Team India paved their way into the history books by recording a monumental victory in Australia. Never had any Asian team won a Test series in Australia, until now.
But Virat Kohli‘s Indian team finally made it possible with the win at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A collective effort by the batsmen, mostly Cheteshwar Pujara and the bowlers made it possible. Jasprit Bumrah swung the victory’s way with a bowling average of 17 in the series. His tally of 21 wickets is also the second-most by an India fast bowler in a series in the SENA countries.
The Australian batsmen were in terrible, and the bowlers couldn’t do much to stop the Indian batsmen either. India toured Australia for the first time in 1947/48, and 71 years later this Indian team brings back home the glory of an overseas win in Australia.
Cheteshwar Pujara, leading with the willow
In the 2-1 series win against Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara leads the charts in the most number of runs scored. Not only did he win the Man of the match award for his 193 in the Sydney Test, but he was also adjudged as the Man of the series. “During IPL, I might be playing county cricket. Next Test series is 6-7 months away. Will give me enough time to prepare. I’ll work hard on my game to play white-ball cricket. But Test cricket is my priority, it’ll always remain my priority,” Pujara said in the post-match presentation.
Also Read: All the Records made in the series
India enforced the follow-on on Australian for only the second time in history
Australia’s embarrassing performance against India at the SCG is made worse when you consider the history behind India enforcing the follow-on on day four. It marks the first time in almost 31 years since Australia has been sent back in by the opposition to bat again immediately after being dismissed in the first innings, on home soil. The last time it happened was against England in Sydney in January 1988, in a one-off Test match.
Virat Kohli’s men need to step up more like this time
Despite Kohli not being in his prime, he was the third among all batsmen in the series. Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant finished ahead of him with 521 and 350 runs respectively. In comparison to the 2014-15 tour, where he scored 692 runs, Kohli’s tally of 282 seemed faint, but his century in Perth on a fiery track – although in a losing cause – was commendable. This series was a proof that Kohli can sometimes step back as a match winner and concentrate more on his captaincy.
Rishabh Pant, the newest Indian prodigy
Pant’s unbeaten 159 at the SCG is the fifth occurrence of an Indian wicketkeeper scoring a hundred outside the sub-continent. Also, the first to do so in Australia. Pant went past Farokh Engineer’s 89 at the Adelaide Oval in 1967 for the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper in Australia. He also holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian wicketkeeper in England. Pant’s unbeaten 159 in the Sydney Test is the highest by a wicketkeeper from an Asian side outside the sub-continent.
The brilliance of the Indian spinners
Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav shared five wickets between them and were at their tenacious best across the two and more sessions that were bowled before bad light set in. Virat Kohli couldn’t take the second new ball, but to be fair, he didn’t need to. The Indian spinners were bowling brilliantly and it was more than evident. Even though rain marred the last day and made the play impossible at the SCG, Australia couldn’t make anything out of their first innings which led to the follow-on. It’s fair to say, the home team were just relieved of a 3-1 defeat.