Standing Tall Down Under

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Jan 2019 08:31:42




India beat Australia 2-1 to win their maiden Test series on Australian soil

THE Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team entered the annals of history on Monday by winning their first-ever Test series in Australia. After the visiting team won the Adelaide and Melbourne Tests, the fourth and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here ended in a draw as no play was possible on the last day due to continuous downpour. India clinched the series 2-1. Opting to bat in the final Test, India took a commanding position as scintillating knocks by Cheteshwar Pujara (193).  And stumper Rishabh Pant (159*) guided the team to a massive 622/7 in their first innings.

India then rode chinaman Kuldeep Yadav’s fifer to bundle out the home side for 300 runs and enforce a follow-on. Australia were six for no loss in their second innings and play wasn’t possible on the final day of the Test, owing to continuous rains. Earlier, wet conditions had forced an early finish on Day Three and allowed less than two hours play on day four, before completely washing out the final day on Monday.

Pujara was the main force behind India’s historic series win as the Saurashtra batsman accumulated 521 runs, averaging 74.43 and in the process slamming three tons. Kohli chipped in with 282 runs. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah turned out to be the most effective bowler for the visitors by bagging 21 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar series, while his partner Mohammed Shami scalped 16 wickets. The two sides will next play a 3-match One-Day series starting January 12 in Sydney.

Commenting on the feat, coach Ravi Shastri said: “I will tell you how satisfying it is for me. World Cup 1983, World Championship of Cricket 1985 — this is as big, or even bigger, because it is in the truest (Test) format of the game. It’s Test cricket, which is meant to be the toughest.”