Melbourne [Australia], December 29 (ANI): India pacer Ishant Sharma feels stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane is a "bowler's captain" but coach Ravi Shastri has heard such a phrase for the first time in his career.
The Indian team was without regular skipper Virat Kohli and Rahane led the side to a thrilling eight-wicket win against Australia on Tuesday.
Shastri praised Rahane for his captaincy in the Boxing Day Test but squashed off any claims of a player being a bowler's captain in cricket.
"I do not know, I'm hearing it (bowlers' captain) for the first time. There is no definition for such. But he is a very shrewd leader and has a good understanding of the game," said Shastri in a virtual press conference.
Shubman Gill and Mohammad Siraj had replaced under-fire Prithvi Shaw and injured Mohammad Shami in the second Test. While Gill impressed everyone with his batting in both the innings, Siraj hogged the limelight on Tuesday after his fiery bouncers helped India fold Australia for 200.
Shastri feels Rahane's calmness helped Gill and Siraj in bringing out their best on debut.
"I thought his calm composure out there in the middle helped the debutants and the bowlers as well. There was a calming influence. In spite of losing Umesh I thought we did a great job," said Shastri.
Earlier, Ishant had termed Rahane as bowler's captain. The Indian pacer also said the right-handed batsman loves communicating with the players on the field.
"I think he is a bowler's captain. He is not someone who'll say: do this or do that. Even when Virat is there (as captain), he (Rahane) will keep on asking, I do not know about others, but he asks me every single time: 'How many overs you want to bowl so I will speak to Virat'," Ishant had said during an interview with ESPN Cricinfo.
India defeated Australia by eight wickets to level the four-match Test series 1-1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The win also ensured India moved a step closer to the final of the World Test Championship. (ANI)