HomeAnalysisHow India sealed a historic Test series victory in...

How India sealed a historic Test series victory in Australia?

- Advertisement -

India overcame Australia 2-1 in the four-match Test series at their own backyard to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India claimed a maiden series win here and credit to Virat Kohli’s side for stepping it up against the hosts. The scoreline could have been 3-1, but that wasn’t possible after rain and bad light affected the fourth Test match at the SCG.
India’s win in Adelaide and Melbourne, besides the dominance in Sydney, saw them stay ahead of Australia throughout the series. The only defeat came in Perth when the hosts fed on India’s wrong team selection and made maximum purchase from the surface on offer.
For India, there were many defining moments that helped them win the Test seres. It was one of the series that was won by fine margins. The quality on offer was evident and it showed how India gained valuable experience from the Test series earlier in South Africa and England.
India didn’t repeat mistakes as seen in these two series in particular. Also, Australia were weakened by numerous issues and are a team in transition. They were nowhere near to the cricket they produced at home in the 2017-18 Ashes against England.
Credit to Kohli for becoming the first Asian skipper to win a Test series in Australia. The achievement is so mean feat and goes down as one of the most significant ever in the history of Indian cricket.
Here we analyse how India won its maiden series in Australia.

India started off well in Adelaide

Virat Kohli in all smiles during a training session. (Image: Twitter @ICC)

India showed their affirmation of being the number one team in the world. They needed to get off to a strong start and that was seen in Adelaide. Despite being rocked early on, Cheteshwar Pujara’s sublime 123-run knock got them to 250 in the first innings. The momentum was with India and those extra runs gave them the confidence to breathe.
Pujara’s innings set the tone for the rest of the series. The valuable 15-run lead in the first innings coupled with a special show from Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings contributed to something substantial. The bowlers chipped in and surged past the Aussie resistance.
The 31-run win was the perfect scenario that set the Test series alive. One cannot forget the contribution from the Indian bowling quartet, who continued to pile pressure and didn’t allow the Aussies to settle.

- Advertisement -

Partnerships played a role

Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara run between the wickets against Australia at the SCG. (Image: Twitter @BCCI)

Partnerships were one aspect that saw India enjoy advantage over Australia. It was one area that India had the edge over the hosts and that was evident throughout. Pujara’s 62-run stand with R Ashwin for the seventh wicket was just the start. In the second innings in Adelaide, the 30-year-old put in another shift and added that important 87-run stand with Ajinkya Rahane.
In Melbourne, the credit went to debutant Mayank Agarwal, whose 83-run stand with Pujara was a crucial one. The best thing happened when Pujara alongside Kohli added a mammoth 170-run stand to get India to 443/7.
India earned wins in both these Tests and could have also won in Sydney, where Pujara was once again in the thick of things. The 116-run stand with Mayank was followed by key 100+ stands with Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant. Credit to India for batting well and countering the Aussie bowlers.
The partnerships helped them to declare while being in comfortable positions.

Pujara was in the thick of things

Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot in the first Test in Adelaide. (Image: Twitter @ICC)

India weren’t dependent solely on skipper Kohli. This was a bright moment for the side. Unlike in South Africa and then in England, the visitors had set themselves through their captain. This series belonged to Pujara. He was the epitome of grit, character and culture of sorts.
Pujara defined his aura with some yesteryear Test cricket mentality. He was the fulcrum of this Indian team and one felt that the 30-year-old had all the time in the world. The Aussies never managed to stick for longer periods and so did many Indian batsmen. But Pujara showed why he loves this format.
His 521 runs in this series was of utmost value and significance. He looked in great shape and the positive mentality reflected through his batting. The senior pro handled responsibility well and gave the indication that India can afford to look beyond Kohli.
What worked for him was that his stay at the crease was purposeful and it wasn’t just defend. He worked for his runs and played freely.

Mayank and Pant were consistent

Mayank Agarwal plays a shot against Australia. (Image: Twitter @BCCI)

These two players were the biggest positives for India. Mayank made his debut in the third Test and looked settled from the word go. He continued with the same aura that helped him achieve success in domestic cricket. Mayank made the most out from his chance and India looked settled once again atop as long he was there.
His scores of 76 and 42 were top notch in Melbourne which helped India win the decisive Test. When the chips were down, he battled against the likes of Pat Cummins and Co. in the second innings. He scored a superb 77 in Sydney as well.
Pant was terrific and amassed many records. His consistency with the bat needs to be lauded. The 21-year-old scored 350 runs in the series and it was string of starts that eventually contributed to his 159* at the SCG. Pant has given India the comfort of a reliant player that can counter the opposition. He is a strong keeper-batsman and we knows what he is capable of.

Bumrah led the decisive bowling unit

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have a chat against Australia at the MCG. (Image: Twitter @ICC)

The bowling was the highlight of the series. India won because they were the better side with the ball. The bowling unit picked up a staggering 70 wickets across seven innings. India weren’t desperate to finish off the tail. They rather stayed patience and waited to come up with a plan.
That shift in mentality struck the right chords. There was an urgency to get things right. The Indian pacers led by Jasprit Bumrah (21 wickets) were on top gear throughout. Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma gave him the much needed support.
The pace quartet played a strong hand to win the series. It was Bumrah’s nine wickets in Melbourne that caught the eye. The pacers accounted for 14 wickets in the Adelaide Test. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja need to be praised for their efforts in the first and the third Test.
And the it was third choice spinner Kuldeep, who picked up a supreme five-for in the fourth Test. This is one area where the Aussies failed. Besides Nathan Lyon and Cummins, the rest didn’t offer consistency.

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -