- Virat Kohli and his men moved past their tag of ‘Pushovers’ and beat Australia by 2-1 in the four-match Test series, and in doing so, recorded India’s first ever Test series win Down Under
- Following washout on Day Five of the final Test in Sydney, it was confirmed that the Indian team created history and became the first only Asian team to win a Test series in Australia
In a befitting reply to their critics, who accused them of failing to show up on the overseas tours, Virat Kohli and his men moved past their tag of ‘Pushovers’ and beat Australia by 2-1 in the four-match Test series, and in doing so, recorded India’s first ever Test series win Down Under.
Following a washout on Day Five of the final Test in Sydney, history was created and the Indian team became the first and the only Asian team to win a Test series in Australia. Kohli, as a skipper, achieved something not even the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble could achieve in the past.
The No.1 ranked team came into the series on the back of a lot of criticism following their failure to win series in South Africa and England. But Kohli and co. were never in doubt right from the offset, and from Day One of the series, showed intent.
The first Test, played in Adelaide, was a grueling encounter as both teams delivered blows to each other, one after the another. A match which went down to the wire, it was the visitors who held their nerves and scripted a close 31-run win. The result meant that for the first time ever, India had taken a series lead against Australia in Australia.
But the hosts bounced back in sensational fashion in the second match in Perth, as they won by 146 runs, much due to a man of the match performance by Nathan Lyon.
With the series leveled at 1-1, the Boxing Day fixture in Melbourne was expected to be the game changer, and so it proved. In a performance full of character, the Indian team beat Aussies by 137 runs and confirmed the retention of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
And needing just a draw to create history, India achieved that in the final Test in Sydney due to some extraordinary batting and disciplined bowling. Spearheaded by Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a sensational 193, and youngster Rishabh Pant, who made a career-high 159, the visitors declared their first innings at 622 for 7.
The match was all but secured with such a big score, but India went for the kill, and their bowlers bowled out Aussies for just 300, taking forward a 322-run lead. Kuldeep Yadav was the star of the show with a fifer on his maiden Test appearance Down Under as the hosts were enforced follow-on for the first time at home since 1988.
Though, Kohli and co. couldn’t make it 3-1 as rain played spoilsport on the final two days. Yet, the job was done, as a first-ever Test series win Down Under was completed.
Cheteshwar Pujara was awarded the Man of the Series for his impeccable batting display, as he scored 521 runs in just seven innings at an average of 74.42. But the other star for India throughout the four Tests was Jasprit Bumrah. The 25-year-old took a equal high 21 wickets along with Lyon, but with an average of 17, overshadowed the Aussie spinner.