India’s Test series against Australia last winter and their eventual triumph will go down as one of the greatest series win scripted by a team in overseas conditions.
Despite being humbled in the first Test where their famed batting unit was blown away for the record lowest total of 36 in their Test history and losing their captain for the last three Tests due to paternity leave, Team India under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane overcame all the barriers to not only win the series 2-1 but also breach the Gabbatoir.
Following the humiliation in Adelaide, India came storming back in the Boxing Day Test as they humbled Australia by 8 wickets.
The Men in Blue continued to lose their key players due to injury. They lost the services of Mohammed Shami during the Adelaide Test, Umesh Yadav in the following game and when Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant got injured during the Sydney Test, it looked like everything was about to fall apart.
But Rishabh Pant’s swashbuckling 97 on the final day followed by the grit and resolve of Hanuma Vihari and R. Ashwin, who batted for more than 50 overs, helped the Rahane-led unit to script a draw for the ages.
India lost Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin due to injury for the series-decider at the Gabba, paving way for the likes of Washington Sundar and T Natarajan to make their Test debut.
Shardul Thakur claimed seven wickets in the game and his partnership with Washington Sundar in the first innings helped India inch closer to Australia’s total. Mohammed Siraj claimed a five-wicket-haul in the second innings as Australia set India a total of 328 on the final day.
Shubman Gill’s stylish 91, Cheteshwar Pujara’s gritty half-century, and Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten knock of 89 helped India script a win for the age as the Gabba was finally breached after a gap of three decades.
Recently, Brendon Julian and Mark Waugh hosted a show on Fox Cricket where they asked Michael Vaughan and Australian head coach Justin Langer about India’s monumental triumph.
Vaughan, who prior to the series had predicted that India will lose the series 0-4, took a jibe at Langer when he said that there is no shame in losing to India’s 3rd XI.
”There’s no shame in losing to India’s 3rd XI,’ said Michael Vaughan.
While Vaughan’s comments were met with laughter, Justin Langer once again iterated the fact that with India boasting of such a massive population, they are always going to put together a pretty strong playing XI on the park.
“I know we all joke, Vaughany (Michael Vaughan) jokes about India’s second and third XI but the truth is, in a country of one and a half billion people, who love cricket, if you make the first XI, you’re going to have a pretty tough team,” said Langer.
“There will be pretty good players, and when the opportunity comes, you’ve got to be ready to grab them. We saw that exceptional young talent, they were fierce. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the ledger.” he added.