Indian cricket team exacted revenge on Australia by defeating the hosts in the Boxing Day Test match by eight wickets to level the four-match Test series 1-1.
After reducing Australia to 133/6 by the end of the third day of the second Test match, the hosts were all out for 200 runs on Day 4 with India needing just 70 runs to win.
Despite the easy target, India saw early setbacks with Mayank Agarwal and Chetershwar Pujara returning to the pavilion after scoring 5 and 3 respectively. However, skipper Anjinkya Rahane and debutant Shubman Gill stood their ground to see off a comprehensive eight-wicket victory for the visitors.
This will go down as one of India's most memorable test wins. Winning a test in Australia is always special but to do so given the wounds of Adelaide and the absence of key players makes it one for the ages— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 29, 2020
Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane survive early jitters to help India win by 8️⃣ wickets in Melbourne 🔥— ICC (@ICC) December 29, 2020
The series is now level at 1-1.#AUSvIND SCORECARD ▶️ https://t.co/bcDsS3qmgl pic.twitter.com/1tHYMLrBa0
In the absence of veteran fast bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Umesh Yadav, a young Mohammed Siraj led the charge for India’s bowling by taking five wickets in two innings.
Apart from him, debutant Shubman Gill also shone with significant knocks of 45 and 35* to help steady India’s ship in crucial situations, and give India a real opening option for the present and future.
No Kohli.— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 29, 2020
No Umesh in second innings.
Gill making debut.
Siraj making debut.
Lost the toss.
Still, India beat Australia in Australia - One of the greatest wins ever in Test cricket history. pic.twitter.com/eJY4ysvDg2
To win a Test match without Virat, Rohit, Ishant & Shami is a terrific achievement.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 29, 2020
Loved the resilience and character shown by the team to put behind the loss in the 1st Test and level the series.
Well done TEAM INDIA! 👏🏻 #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/64A8Xes8NF
However, it was the captain’s knock that has got every talking. In the absence of Virat Kohli, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane showed class, grit and leadership to bring India back into the contest.
After Rahane’s brilliant knock of 112 runs in the first innings set the ball rolling for India for a win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the skipper returned to finish things off in the second innings with a 40-balls-27.
1-1 with 2 to play! This should always be known as Rahane's match #AusvInd— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) December 29, 2020
India will next face Australia in Sydney for the third Test match, which is scheduled to start from January 7, 2021.
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ William West