Australia vs India: Resurgent India level series at MCG
One of the headlines after the Adelaide fiasco that saw India register their lowest ever Test score read: Day and Nightmare Test. Within eight days of that debacle, if a similar headline had to be scripted for the Melbourne Test, it would be Daydreaming! For it’s been an unreal four days of Test cricket from a side without its regular captain, who is also the most important batsman, and the premier pacers.
The much talked about ‘character’ did not leave the screen for a moment as India kept fighting and pushing Australia into the corner, session after session to script one of their greatest Test victories of all time. A win by eight wickets at MCG has helped them restore the parity in the series with a 1-1 scoreline.
Going into the fourth day of the match, one could sense that India were just formalities away but the usual cynic pointed out at the scoreline from Adelaide. And given opposition’s attack, it could have been a not so smooth ride if the Aussies managed to take their lead above 150.
But the bowlers were not going to let it slip away so easily. The pitch had flattened out offering absolutely nothing, so the bowlers switched to banging the short ones into the pitch, culling the Aussie tail before it could wag and hurt.
In the absence of Umesh Yadav, all the bowlers chipped in. Siraj was the pick of them all, bagging three, two of which came on the 4th day morning.
With Australia managing just five runs more than what they did in their first innings, India needed 70 runs to square off the series.
Tim Paine’s men came charging and Mitchell Starc removed Mayank Agarwal cheaply again. Cummins did not take long to send back Cheteshwar Pujara as well. However, young turk Shubhman Gill and the stand-in general Ajinkya Rahane did not let the blip decide the story for them and saw the side home without any further damage.
With the series now well poised at 1-1, India will feel emboldened further with the return of Rohit Sharma. Umesh Yadav’s injury will worry them a bit but the confidence earned from Melbourne will hold them in good stead for Sydney. They march on after putting the ghost of 36/9 to rest.