India’s fielding coach R Sridhar praised vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane despite Australia’s dominant performance on Day 1 of the third Test in Ranchi on Thursday, PTI reported.

Rahane had taken over captaincy duties after India captain Virat Kohli suffered an injury in the second session and was forced to walk off the field for treatment. Kohli did not return for the rest of the day. Australia ended the day with a commanding total of 299/4. Skipper Steve Smith smashed an unbeaten on 117 while Glenn Maxwell made a sparkling comeback into the side, and was at 82 when stumps were drawn.

Sridhar praised Rahane’s display, singling out the manner in which he exchanged ideas and executed plans. “Ajinkya [Rahane] did a very good job. He was very sure of his plans. Ajinkya being Ajinkya, he was taking advice from the seniors, [Ravichandran] Ashwin and Ishant [Sharma]. In Virat’s absence, he kept the energy well. He positioned himself in the outfield and made sure he communicated well with the bowlers,” Sridhar said.

Sridhar observed that the Ranchi pitch was conducive for the batsmen, “It was probably the better batting day in the series so far. Pitch was nice and placid. It’s not that we are in the situation for the first time during this home season. It was a very good day one batting track. We will see how it unfolds tomorrow,” Sridhar added.

He also reminded that India have been positions where the opposition posted a huge first innings score, “We have been in the same situation. In Mumbai and Chennai [Against England] we have come back and got ourselves in the match,” Sridhar said.