No victory seems ever so sweet as in bearding the lion in its own den. After India’s disastrous First Test performance in Australia in the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy, what followed was beyond imagination of all and sundry. A team that in an innings was ignobly crushed at its lowest historical score of just 36 runs was definitely not expected to raise its head again during the rest of the series. However, what followed is now history and will be talked about for years to come.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, who was granted paternity leave after the First Test, the writing for the Indian team seemed to be on the wall, but for the present Indian team, most of whose young guns have been nurtured under the guidance of the legendary Rahul Dravid, surrender is not there in their dictionary. At the end of it all, a new chapter in cricketing history was written at Brisbane where the home team had not lost a Test match in the last 22 years.
One may wonder as to what helped India win the series and perhaps the obvious answer would be the series of injuries to its players, as some of the players who contributed to this historical series may have continued to sit on the bench in the presence of their more illustrious team mates.
Some truth may be concluded regarding my above statement if one is to compare the composition of the Indian team in the first Test with that of the fourth and final Test. Prithvi Shaw with scores of 0 and 4 in the First Test was consigned to the bench as was Wriddhiman Saha who could muster only 13 runs in the two innings. Injuries to Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami made way for two bowlers who were otherwise retained in Australia mainly for bowling at the nets.
Gp Capt Achchyut Kumar has been associated with The Teenager Today for more than 50 years; initially as a reader and later as a contributor on varied topics. Having worked in the Indian Air Force and in India’s oldest company, Forbes & Company Limited, he is now practising as a lawyer in Nainital High Court.