Twitter Erupts As Team India Script A Sensational Comeback To Script Consecutive Wins In Boxing Day Tests Against Australia

Twitter Erupts As Team India Script A Sensational Comeback To Script Consecutive Wins In Boxing Day Tests Against Australia

India, Sourav Ganguly, Australia
Ajinkya Rahane and Shubman Gill [Photo-Twitter]

India have successfully excorcised the demons of 36 all-out as they scripted a sensational comeback against the odds to become only the second visiting team after England to defeat Australia in successive Boxing Day Tests at the MCG to draw level the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 1-1. This is also India’s first Test win outside Asia while chasing in the fourth innings, the last of which came in New Zealand in Hamilton 2009.

Starting the day with an overall lead of 2 and 14 overs still to go before the new ball was available, one would have expected the duo of Pat Cummins and Cameron Green to be a bit more aggressive and add some valuable runs to the tally.

Instead, both batsmen were pretty defensive in their approach as they managed a mere 16 runs in those 14 overs. India took the new ball immediately but with the pitch flattening out, the batsmen looked fairly comfortable against the fullish deliveries bowled by Jasprit Bumrah.

India, Australia
Jasprit Bumrah [Photo-Twitter]
India needed something special from their ace pacer and that is exactly what they got as Bumrah produced a rip-snorter out of nowhere to ricochet off Pat Cummins gloves straight to the slip-cordon.

Cameron Green played a lot more attacking approach post-Cummins dismissal. He played a couple of cracking strokes off Bumrah and Siraj before one shot proved to be too many as he holed out to Ravindra Jadeja off the bowling of the debutant at mid-wicket for 46 after having mistimed a pull-stroke.

Ravindra Jadeja nearly got Mitchell Starc after Paul Reiffel adjudged him caught at first slip. Starc, however, immediately reviewed and the replays showed that there was no conclusive evidence that the ball had hit the pad.

The third-umpire then checked the LBW mode of dismissal but RTS showed that the ball was comfortably missing the stumps.

India, Australia
Mohammed Siraj claimed two crucial wickets on day 04 [Photo-Twitter]
But Mohammed Siraj, as he had done throughout the Test, continued to chip away. The debutant claimed his 5th wicket of the match courtesy a short-pitch delivery, one that Nathan Lyon tried to pull, only to give an easy catch to Pant. And, in doing that, Siraj became the first visiting debutant after Lasith Malinga and 4th overall to claim five wickets in his first Test on Aussie soil.

India, Australia
Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing Josh Hazlewood [Photo-Twitter]
Ashwin claimed the final wicket of the innings as he knocked over Josh Hazlewood via a straighter delivery to ensure that the Aussies were bowled out for 200 with an overall lead of 69.

 

Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane guide India to historic win despite early jitters

Needing 70 runs for a historic win, India would have hoped its openers- especially Mayank Agarwal- to get runs against their name.

But Mitchell Starc once again proved to be Mayank Agarwal’s nemesis as he claimed the right-hander for the second time in the Test after the Karnataka opener nicked off on delivery that he perhaps could have left alone.

One wicket brought two for Australia as Pat Cummins dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara for the second time in the match after the Indian No.3 poked with hard hands at a delivery that seamed away from a fullish length to give an easy catch to Cameron Green in the gully region. India- 2/19.

India, Australia
Shubman Gill [Photo-Twitter]
But young Gill once again stamped his authority on the proceedings to calm India’s nerves as he played some scintillating strokes, the best of the lot being a sumptuous straight drive off Mitchell Starc. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane too came out with an aggressive intent as he took the attack to the Australian bowlers courtesy of ferocious pull shot, square-drives and an authorative cover-drive, one that summed up his supreme confidence and authority in the Test.

And, just to sum up Australia’s Test match, they dropped yet another catch, this time of Rahan after he mistimed a lofted stroke over deep midwicket. The kind of Test match that Rahane had both as a captain as well as a batsman, it was only fitting that he scored the winning runs, which he did in the 16th over off Nathan Lyon.

 

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.