India’s win in the four match Australia test series will go down in the history books as one of the finest triumph by any visiting team in Australia. The Virat Kohli led team were down and out after they lost the first test at Adelaide after getting bundled out for just 36 runs in second innings to hand over a comfortable 8 wickets victory to the Aussies.
Virat Kohli left the tour owning to maternity leave and Ajinkya Rahane took the charge from the second match of the series. Rahane’s men showed great intent to bounce back and win the second test by 8 wickets. Australia were expected to come out strong in the third test and they trapped India when the visiting team needed over 400 runs and were to face 131 overs.
Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 148 runs partnership put India in commanding position at one stage but after the departure of this Delhi-Saurashtra pair, R Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari played close to 43 overs to take India to a famous draw in Sydney.
The fourth test was scheduled at GABBA in Brisbane, a ground where Australia last lost a test in 1978 and the fortress was intact since then. A determined India which faced setbacks in form of injury and racial comments did something extraordinary to eke out a historical win to clinch the series 2-1. The visiting team needed 328 runs in fourth innings which was never going to be easy infront of a strong Aussie bowling line up. Shubman Gill’s 91, Cheteshwar Pujara’s gritty innings of 56 and the fearless 89* runs innings of Rishabh Pant ensured that India create history and dismantle the fortress of Australia.
India missed some of the key players owning to injuries and they were replaced by less experienced players who did the job for the visitors. Despite impressive performance, some stars from Australia series may not be able to make it into the playing 11 of England series. Let’s take a look at them-
Natarajan joined Team India as a net bowler on the tour of Australia after his impressive run in IPL 2020. The injury of the players gave him a chance to debut for India in the ODI series, T20 series and then continued injuries concern in test series open the door to his longer format debut in the fourth test at GABBA. The Tamil Nadu fast bowler also took advantage of the opportunity and won everyone’s heart with his performance as he picked three wickets in the first innings.
However, the 29-year-old may not be picked in the England test squad as seasoned campaigners in Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to return in the home series against England.
The 29-year-old medium pacer from Mumbai was included in the fourth Test after Ravindra Jadeja was injured. Thakur played his second Test match after three years and made the most of the opportunity. He took three wickets in the first innings and then played an important knock of 67 runs to deny Australia a big lead.
With the return of other senior pacers for the England test series, he is expected to be sidelined from action.
With R Ashwin benched for the last test at Brisbane due to injury, Washington Sundar was picked in the team and he made the most of the opportunity. He picked three valuable wickets in first innings including that of Steve Smith and scored 62 runs to deny Australia a big lead. He dismissed a dangerous looking David Warner at 48 in the second innings and played quickfire 22 off 29 balls to help India register a historic victory at Brisbane.
With Ashwin getting fit for the England series, he is expected to be sidelined. Also if the team management plans to play an all-rounder, Hardik Pandya may take his place who is expected to make it into the playing 11 of the team for the longer version against England.
India’s test squad for England series- Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya (VC), KL Rahul, Hardik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur