A gruelling home season culminated in the best possible fashion for the Indian side as they were able to brush aside a stiff Australian challenge in a hard fought series. Not many would have expected Australia to fair well in Indian conditions but they were up for the task and forced India to doubt their methods. And when you create those doubts in the oppositions mind, you know you are doing a good job.
But India knew that Australia hadn’t questioned their ability, they had questioned their mindset; and that they needed to approach the rest of the series with a renewed one. And that is exactly what they did. More intent, more clarity and more hunger; all of which was infectious and helped all individuals play with that much needed killer instinct.
There was some fabulous cricket on display throughout the series and despite Star Sports making a huge hue and cry about the ‘sledge hammer’, cricket took care of itself. Smith’s counter attacking batting, Pujara’s patience, Rahul’s exuberance, Jaddu’s consistency, Lyon’s guile, Ashwin’s trickery, Umesh’s bursts, Hazlewood’s line, Handscomb’s grit; it just made for a very delightful cricketing experience. And when skill comes to the forefront, words simply take a back seat.
India finally managed to clinch the series 2-1, playing the important moments better and riding on the momentum changes to end the year as the number one team in Test Cricket.
Coming to the final day of the test match, India needed the openers to add a quick 30 runs to their overnight score of 19, in order to settle the nerves in the camp. But when Pujara was run out for nought, there was a sense of uneasiness, all of which was cleared when Rahane started spanking Cummins to all parts of the ground. Rahul remained stoic all through and guided India to a famous series victory, winning this Test match by 8 wickets.
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