Ind vs Aus 2nd Test: Top five reasons why India thrashed Australia in Boxing Day Test: No Virat Kohli, no Rohit Sharma, no Ishant Sharma, no Mohammad Shami and the humiliation of getting bundled out for 36 in the second innings of the first Test notwithstanding, Team India under stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane scripted a majestic comeback in the Test series against Australia as they won the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by eight wickets on Tuesday.
Chasing 70 for a win, it was only poetic justice that Rahane hit the winning run of Nathan Lyon as the series stands 1-1 with two Tests remaining. The win not only brings India right back in the series, but also a step closer to the final of the World Test Championship.
Let’s take a look at the top five reasons behind India’s resounding win and comeback in the series:
Ajinkya Rahane’s century: Rahane’s century is the biggest talking point of the match and it deserves to be. Stand-in skipper Rahane played a true captain’s knock of 112, one that was an epitome of skills, patience, resolute defense, determination, and bloody-mindedness to put Australia on the back-foot. It was his ton that paved the way for India taking a substantial 131-run first-innings lead against Aussies.
Sunil Gavaskar perfectly explained Rahane’s innings and said that the knock sent out a message to the home side that India will not “lie down and be walked all over” despite the humiliating loss in the series opener.
Ravindra Jadeja’s return: India definitely received a huge boost by Jadeja’s return as the all-rounder not only contributed in the batting department but also proved his worth in the bowling and fielding department.
Coming in as a replacement for Virat Kohli, Jadeja took a wicket, a catch in the first innings and when needed, played a very crucial innings on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the MCG.
Jadeja slammed his 15th Test fifty after resuming Day 3 on 40. The all-rounder was dismissed for 57 by Mitchell Starc but his innings had ensured a lead in excess of 100 for India. Also, he bagged two crucial wickets in the second innings.
Notably, Jadeja’s batting graph has been on the up since the last two years. In fact, since 2016, Jadeja has a batting average of 46.29 and a bowling average of 24.97. With an average difference of 21.32, Jadeja has been the best all-rounder in world cricket in the last three years, above Ben Stokes, Shakib Al Hasan and Jason Holder.
Replacing Prithvi Shaw with Shubman Gill: Replacing Shaw with Gill worked wonders for India as they got off to a good start which they were missing in the first Test. Gill hit 45 and smashed eight boundaries during his 65 ball knock, registering a dominant performance against a formidable bowling attack, despite the early dismissal of fellow opener Mayank Agarwal.
Interestingly, Gill also became India’s third-highest run-scorer on Test debut in Australia when he scored 45 runs on Day two of the ongoing ‘Boxing Day Test’.
Moreover, Gill continued his superb form in the second innings as well as he remained unbeaten on 35 to make sure that India cross the finishing line without much trouble.
Inclusion of Mohammed Siraj: Debutant Siraj made it to the playing XI as a replacement for injured Mohammed Shami, but the Hyderabad pacer proved out to be key-bowler for India with his wicket-taking abilities. He provided crucial breakthroughs and complemented Jasprit Bumrah well from the other end with his pace and swing. He was the highest wicket-taker for India in the second innings having bagged three wickets. Overall, Siraj picked five wickets in the game.
India’s desperation to redeem themselves: After a shameful loss in the first Test, where India were bundled out for mere 36 in the second innings – their lowest total in Tests, the visitors were more than desperate to bounce back in the series and shut their critics. Like they say, ‘a wounded lion is more dangerous’, same was the case with India. The best possible way for them to heal their wound was to avenge their shameful loss and they did exactly the same by thrashing Australia by eight wickets in their favourite Boxing Day Test at their favourite venue MCG.