INDIA TOUR TO AUSTRALIA 2020-21

INDIAN TOUR TO AUS 2020-21

In the shorter formats in Australia it was a mixed fortune as both India & Australia split the series wins while ODI was won by Australia 2-1 and India won the T20Is with the same margin.  So , the honours were even in shorter formats.

https://youtu.be/wNG0W45iCHI  (Indian victory video)

Border-Gavaskar Trophy test series

So, the  attrition of battle for supremacy started  in the BG test series, as the stakes were high. The test series between the two countries were fought really hard as they are the two best teams in test cricket.  As the defending champion of the BG trophy the onus is on India to prove his credentials.

It was a series of Indian debutants in the forefront delivering the goods at the hustings.

ADELAIDE FIASCO

The first test at Adelaide was a D/N encounter with a pink ball.  Though India played a solitary D/N test in India against Bangladesh in India, it was an uphill task to face the Aussies as they never lost a D/N test so far.

India did get a lead of 53 runs in the first innings after restricting the Aussies to 191 runs.  But the disaster in batting happened on the 3rd day morning when India collapsed to 36/9 in the second innings in just 22.1 overs with Mohamed Shami Retired injured.  This was their lowest innings score in Tests.  So, Australians proved their best with the Pink ball. The pink ball exponents  Josh Hazlewood with 6 wickets scalp and Pat Cummins with 4 wickets exposed the Indian juggernaut.  They won the test  easily by 8 wickets.

MELBOURNE TURN AROUND

The indian team drew flak everywhere and everyone predicted that the Aussies would steamroll India for the Test series and even said 4-0 in favour of Aussies as Kohli , the captain returned to India for his child’s birth.

Condemned to Ashes, the Indian team think tank brought in some changes For the 2nd Test at Melbourne. The out of form P. Shaw was replaced by young debutant Shubman Gill from Punjab to open with Mayank Agarwal and another debutant Mohammed Siraj from Hyderabad replaced the injured Mohd. Shami and the all rounder Ravindra Jadeja took the place of Kohli.

The bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah delivered the decisive punch scalping 4 and Ashwin claiming 3 wickets including the prized scalp of Steve Smith and the debutant Siraj chipped in with 2 wkts restricting them with just 191 runs .  And India replied  strongly with 326 as the Stand-in captain A. Rahane led from the front with a fine century and useful contributions from the debutant Gill (45 runs) and the all rounder Jadeja with a fine half century.  And in the 2nd innings Australia again faltered and bowled out for just 200 as the indian seamers dented the batting line up led by the debutant Siraj claiming 3 and all the other 4 bowlers claimed wickets.  And India finished the win in style by 8 wickets.

SYEDNEY  STONE WALLING

Australia came back strongly with the world’s best batsman, Steve Smith leading the indian attack to swords and made a merry of making runs, hitting a powerful century and ably supported by M. Labuschagne (91) and the debutant opener Will Pucovski (62) and scored 338 runs in the first innings and indian bowling wilted under pressure.  R. Jadeja took 4 wickets.

Sydney is synonymous with controversies.  This time racial slur by the spectators on Indian players, Siraj and Bumrah and the “Sledging” by the Aussie players and silly act by Steve Smith scruffing the crease line created by R.Pant etc.,

India did start well with Rohit sharma playing his first test of the series opened with Gill putting 76 runs for the opening wicket but losing wickets regularly in spite of half centuries by Gill and Pujara.  India lost a ludicrous 3 run outs and ended up 244 runs falling behind 94 runs of Australia.  And Australia again made quick runs and set up a massive 407 runs for Indians to chase.

India started well again putting 77 runs for the first wicket but again losing wickets regularly until Rishab Pant, who was nursing injury, took up the gauntlet for the win along with C. Pujara added 148 runs in 44 overs and with him India threw in their towel for the win and Pujara also departed leaving Vihari and the tailenders exposed to the Australian attack.

Then came the Stonewalling act began when Ashwin joined Vihari.  It was the testing time for both of them.  As both were battling with injuries stood like the rock of Gibraltar.  And they also faced a barrage of bouncers from the Australian speedsters hitting Ashwin on his rib cage and shoulder and Vihari already suffering hamstring injury batted and batted.  Both were in trance unperturbed by the intimidatory bowling and the SLEDGING barbs by the Australian fielders led by their captain and they battled for 44 overs and BLOCKATHON delivered the desired result – a DRAW.   

GABBATOIR CONQUERED

The 4th and final test was played at GABBA ground, Brisbane.  The GABBATOIR was a fortress of the Australians as they were undefeated since 1988 and they won 32 tests there as the bounce and cracks used to help Australian quickies.  India was plagued by injuries and four players were replaced by 3 debutants . The third test “stonewalling” heroes Vihari and Ashwin were out with injuries and Jadeja (broken his wrist) and Bumrah also joined the injured list.

So, there were 3 debutants viz., Washington Sundar, T. Natarajan, Shardul Thakur ( though played just one test and bowled 10 balls in a test).  Sundar and Natarajan travelled with the test team as  net bowlers were asked to don the indian tri colours in the test.

It was like 13 wickets Versus 1013 wickets as the test unfolded and India romped home with a great victory.  The combined bowling of Indian bowlers had just 13 wickets between them before this test whereas Australian bowlers with rich experience and 1013 wickets between Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Lyon couldn’t deliver.  And the inexperienced Indian bowling line up of rookie bowlers of Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Natarajan and Washington Sundar with just 13 wickets between before this test dealt a heavy blow and breached the “Fortress” of “Gabbatoir” in their backyard and sealed a spectacular victory in the history of Indian cricket and at world level no team could achieve back-to-back victories against Australians in Australia.

And the Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar and soothsayer  predicted before this match that India would win this test and the series by  2-1 and Indian team did it so.

And India chased the target 328 runs in the tough conditions as the pitch developed cracks and the ball was rising viciously.  In fact a beauty of the delivery from Siraj which caught unaware Steve Smith and he couldn’t avoid the delivery and the red cherry hit his right thumb before landing in the hands of A. Rahane at gully.

Indian batsmen rose to the occasion gallantly, led by R. Pant who took the fight till the last run to win, hitting a boundary with just 3 wickets in hand and 3 overs to spare.  

And heroes in this test were –  

1.the MOM Award winner, Rishab Pant, whose lusty hitting of 89 unbeaten runs in the chase

2. The debutants T. Natarajan, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur who took 3 wickets each in the Australian first innings.  And W. Sundar & Thakur with the willow scoring 123 runs for the 7th wicket in the first innings

3. Mohamed Siraj, whose 5 fer, first time in tests in his 3rd Test and Shardul with 4 wickets in the second innings

4. The Warrior, Chateshwar Pujara, who took 12 blows on his body in this match

5. Captain, Ajinkya Rahane, who led the bunch of young cricketers with calm and composure.

6.  Shubman Gill, the opener, who set the tone for his whirlwind 91 in the second innings

7. And the last but not the least the Head coach and support staff deserves special mention.

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