They say Test cricket is all about absorbing pressure and riding on momentum, wearing down the opposition while you silently keep loading in your armoury, and then unleashing your arsenal at just about the right time.
After giving that 87 run lead in the first innings, few would have expected the down and out Indian side to make any sort of an impact in this Test match. But Pujara, Rahane and Rahul turned it on. They soaked in the pressure, applied themselves and ultimately helped India gain a more than handy 187 run lead.
And when you have anything more than 150 to chase on an up and down 4th day subcontinent track, you are going to be weary. Especially after you have been through batting collapse after batting collapse in the same conditions just a few weeks back. Thoughts start to wander, strategies start to look foolish and minimal targets seem to look outlandish.
Combine that with a renewed confidence in your opponent, and you know that things aren’t going to be all that mushy for long.
India were cornered tigers before the last day, they were close to finding their feet but no where close to being the king of the jungle. But when you have done it time and again, it is only a matter of that oomph coming back to you, before you start dominating the opposition again. And it was no surprise that the Indian attack turned up for what was a lethal bowling performance in the 4th innings.
With a lot of focus being on the ‘sledge hammer’ when these two countries face each other, it was a delight to see such an even contest this time round. India are well and truly back and if they can dig deep and find their mojo once again, the series from here on could turn out to be a mirror image of the bygone(New Zealand, England and Bangaldesh) series.
Here is how Twitter reacted to India’s brilliant comeback in the series:
— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) March 7, 2017
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadejaaaa) March 7, 2017