A dream comeback to wrap up an otherwise sorry year that people mostly want to forget - that’s how India’s sensational 8-wicket win over Australia in the Boxing Day Test can be remembered as. After a disastrous loss at Adelaide where India were bundled out for their lowest Test total of 36 in the second innings, this win now feels sweeter, as we look forward to welcoming 2021.
🇮🇳 bounce back in style 😎— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) December 29, 2020
An all-round performance and a superb finish by @RealShubmanGill helped #TeamIndia level the series 1-1. In the process, India became only the second team after England to win back to back #BoxingDayTest #AUSvIND #Test #Cricket pic.twitter.com/CPtgKfvsBR
India needed 70 runs to win in their second innings, and even though Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara got back to the dugout by the 6th over for just 19 runs on the board, Shubman Gill (35*) and Skipper Rahane (27*) signed off the proceedings with some elegant and mature batting display.
Gill looked at his absolute best, choosing his shots carefully on a turf that had turned mostly flat. The young lad will remember his Test debut fondly for not only performing with the bat but also being diligent in the field. On the other hand, Australia would like to forget their miserable eight dropped catches that surely hurt their chances in the match.
The other debutant of the match, Md Siraj also made a promising start with the highest number of wickets in the second innings (3-37) for India. In absence of Umesh Yadav, who pulled out yesterday with a calf muscle injury, Siraj kept bothering the Aussie tail with his probing line and length.
Australia started the day on 133/6 with just a 2-run lead and the tail decided to hang in there for as long as possible. From 99/6 to 200 all out – it didn’t look like a bad effort at all from the tailenders.
Cameron Green (45) was duly supported by the likes of Pat Cummins (22) and Mitchell Starc (14*) to drag the lead. The latter got a reprieve following an on-field decision of ‘Out’ that looked like an edge carrying to Rahane at slip. A timely DRS kept Starc in the hunt only to delay the obvious. Even though a few may feel, the tailenders should have gone for bigger shots to fetch quicker runs, there is no denial that aggression could have led to quicker wickets as well.
India play their next Test at Sydney from Jan 7, 2021. Meanwhile, Rahane for his outstanding contribution with the bat in both innings was adjudged the Player of the Match, which also fetched him the inaugural Mullagh Medal. The Boxing Day Test Player of the Match medal has been named in honour of Australia’s Indigenous cricketer Johnny Mullagh (Unaarrimin), who got inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame yesterday.
Congratulations to Ajinkya Rahane, the inaugural winner of the Mullagh Medal!— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) December 29, 2020
The Boxing Day Test Player of the Match medal has been named in honour of trailblazing Indigenous cricketer Johnny Mullagh (Unaarrimin). pic.twitter.com/nhHH3c6Xmx