With fourth and final Test ending in a draw, Indian cricket team registered a historic maiden series in Australia. The Virat Kohli-led side came into the last Test with an unassailable lead of 2-1 after the victory in Melbourne. And now after weather played spoilsport on day four and five of Sydney Test, India walk away with all the honours. This is for the first time that India has managed to win a Test series on Australia soil. Ind vs Aus 4th Test Full Scorecard.
The first India-Australia Test series on Australian soil was held way back in 1947/48 and since then, the Indian team was denied their first series win in Australia. Out of previous 11 series, hosts Australia emerged victorious in eight while three ended in draws. And now, Kohli-led side has done what teams in the past could not manage to- win a Test series in Australia.
On previous three tours Down Under, India were handed back to back series defeats, including the 4-0 whitewash in 2011/12, in the longer format of the game. Interestingly following the win in the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), India for the first time after 1977/78 managed to win two Tests on an Australian tour. Though it was just the seventh Test win for India on Australian soil. Nonetheless, the Kohli-led side has been in tremendous form and outplayed the hosts in all Tests except the one at Perth. Kuldeep Yadav Gets Maiden Five-Wicket Haul in Australia During Sydney Test; Equals 64-Year-Old Record.
Kohli, apparently, becomes the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia. He is also the only Asian captain to win Tests in Australia, England, and South Africa.
India’s Test Series Results in Australia
Cheteshwar Pujara- Architect of the Series Win
It was batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who set the tone for the series win. The right-handed Test specialist was truly in sensational form. Pujara scored 521 runs in seven innings, which includes three centuries and a half-century. The 30-year-old batsman averaged over 74 as he made Australian bowlers toil hard. Cheteshwar Pujara vs Rahul Dravid: 'New Wall' Outperforms the Former in India-Australia Tests?
Apart from Pujara, India’s young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant emerged as second highest run-getter in the series. Pant scored 350 runs, which includes unbeaten 159 at Sydney. Skipper Kohli had a good series with the bat as well as he scored 282 runs, averaging just over 40. The Indian captain scored a century and fifty as well.
Jasprit Bumrah- Wrecker-in-Chief
With 21 wickets, Jasprit Bumrah emerged as joint top wicket-taker with Australian spinner Nathan Lyon. However, Bumrah’s better strike-rate of 44.9 made him stand out. The lanky pacer provided his team with vital breakthroughs whenever it needed. His 9/86, which included career-best 6/33, at Melbourne made sure India retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Apart from him, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma were constant with the ball as well. The duo scalped 16 and 11 wickets respectively.
In the spin department, Ravi Ashwin started for India and he picked six wickets at Adelaide. India then decided not to field any specialist spinner at Perth, which backfired, with Hanuma Vihari doing the spin duty. Ravindra Jadeja played the last two Test and picked seven wickets. Young Kuldeep Yadav was handed a game in the final Test and he responded with an impressive five-wicket haul.
Mayank Agarwal- Impressive Debutant
With young Prithvi Shaw ruled out of the series, India opted for an opening pair of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. The duo failed to perform in the first two Tests and subsequently, India went ahead with a new pair for the third Test. Mayank Agarwal, after labouring in the domestic cricket, was finally handed a Test debut. He and Hanuma Vihari, the makeshift opener, did well at Melbourne. While Vihari showed resistance against the new ball, Mayank looked at ease as he scored an impressive half-century in his first Test outing. In the second innings of Melbourne Test, Mayank hanged around while rest of the batters were dismissed cheaply.
In Sydney, Rahul was recalled but he failed to deliver once again. On the other hand, Mayank has almost cemented his place in the side with a fine knock of 77 runs.
All in all, India had a good Test series Down Under and the scoreline of 2-1 very much reflects it. The visitors, which is not the case always, outplayed home side in each department and even made Australia follow-on (in Sydney) at home after 31 years.