India for the first time ever were the favorites to win the test series in Australia and they delivered. The Aussies needed to win the fourth and final test at the SCG to square the series and finish 2-2.
However, rain washed out most of the fourth day’s play and all of the fifth and final day which meant India finished on with a 2-1 series victory. This was the Indian team’s first ever test series victory in Australia and they retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Dominant With The Bat
The Aussies had a weakened batting unit with the absence of Steven Smith and David Warner but their bowling attack was at full strength. Starc, Hazelwood, Cummins and Lyon are up there with the best bowling attacks in the world but they were not good enough to run through a resilient Indian line-up.
India’s openers KL Rahul and M Vijay were disappointing coming into the series and they finished on a disappointing note as well. Yet, India were able to put up good scores thanks to a phenomenal batting display by C Pujara who was named the man of the series. He received good support throughout the series from V Kohli, A Rahane, M Agarwal and R Pant.
Lethal With The Ball
Australia was always going to struggle with the experience and class of Warner and Smith. The pace trio of J Bumrah, M Shami and I Sharma were on song right throughout the series and outclassed the Australian pace trio. R Ashwin once again had to sit out of an overseas tour mid-ways due to an injury but R Jadeja and K Yadav stepped up when it mattered.
India were in a commanding position to win the fourth test after forcing Australia to follow-on at home after 31 years but rain played spoiled sport and gave the Australians a break.
This victory is one that Kohli and team will always remember and so will the 1.3 billion fans back home.
In a statement, Kohli said “I want to say I’ve never been more proud of being part of a team, than this one right here. Just one word to say, ‘proud’, to lead this team and it’s an honour and privilege. The boys make the captain look good. By far, this is my biggest achievement. It’s at the top of the pile.”