4 Indian Players who are on their last tour of Australia
Virat Kohli’s Indians are on the brink of achieving the impossible. Kohli will become the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia. When the series started, the Australians were expected to dominate the home series despite the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith. But as we near the end of the series, this might very well be the first home series in which no Australian batsman has scored a hundred.
Australia’s obsession to go into a Test series with one-day players like Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Mitch Marsh and their lack of bench strength has cost them the series. Though Australia felt the absence of Warner and Smith very much, it was the batting performance of Chateshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, and Rishabh Pant which decided the series in India’s favour. Besides, the Indian fast bowling trio was in such good form that they would have rendered even Warner and Smith ineffective had they been available.
As we celebrate Team India’s biggest achievement in recent times, let us examine four of the Indian players who are on their last tour of Australia. India are scheduled to tour Australia by end of 2020.
1. Murali Vijay
Matches – 61, Innings – 105, Runs – 3982, Avg – 38, 100s – 12, 50s -15
Murali Vijay struggled all through 2018. Though Vijay finished the year 2017 on a high with scores of 128 & 155 against Sri Lanka at home, he could not carry forward that good form into 2018. During 2018, Vijay had scored 282 runs from 15 innings at a poor average of 19. If one takes out his century against Afghanistan, his next highest score for the year was 46.
After failing in the first two Test matches in England, Vijay was dropped from the team and was never expected to come back. But the horrendous form of Shikhar Dhawan in red ball cricket has brought Vijay back in the reckoning for the Australian series. In hindsight, a youngster like Mayank Agarwal should have been selected for the Australian series in the first place.
Again Vijay was not expected to be in the playing XI in the first Test at Adelaide before Prithvi Shaw got injured. After scoring 11, 18, 0 & 20, Vijay was dropped for the third Test at Melbourne. Again for the fourth Test at Sydney, the team management preferred KL Rahul and not Vijay to replace Rohit Sharma.
In the England series, Vijay had scores of 20,6,0 & 0 before he was dropped for the last three Test matches. After this terrible recent performances, it is now very difficult for Vijay to come back into the Indian team leave alone last till the next tour of Australia in two years time.
Vijay is now 34 and with the advent of youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay might have played his last Test innings on this tour of Australia.
Murali Vijay’s memorable performances
# His scores of 167 & 153 against Australia at home in 2013. India won both the matches.
# His scores of 146, 52, 24 & 95 in the first two Test matches of England tour in 2014. India drew the first Test match at Nottingham and won the second match at Lord’s.
# His 144 against Australia at Brisbane in 2014.
# His scores of 75 out of 201 and 47 out of 200 against South Africa at Mohali in 2015.