Double delight for India as the Indian cricket and football team make history
It was a double delight for Indian sports lovers as both the Indian cricket and football teams scripted history in consecutive days.
Football: On the 6th of January 2019, the Indian football team added another feather to their fairytale journey as they hammered Thailand 4-1 in their opening game of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 to give their fans the best New Year Gift. The Indians, who are referred to as the 'Sleeping Giants' of football, have been on a great run having recently drawn an away game 0-0 against the Asian giants China. Apart from that, the Indians had earlier won the Intercontinental Cup which took place in Mumbai.
Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri had put the Indian team ahead with a penalty which was awarded after a handball of a Thai player in the 27th minute. Thailand had over 60% possession and was dominating the same. They eventually came back to level the scores as the Thai skipper Teerasil Dangda headed the ball in seven minutes from Chettri's opener.
The Indians put up a rampant show in the second half and went on to win 4-1 as the skipper Chettri slotted another goal to score his 67th goal and become the second highest goal scorer in the international arena behind Cristiano Ronaldo who has 85 goals. This was also Indians biggest and only win in the Asian Cup since 1964 where they beat Hong Kong 3-1. India also mounted to the 95th spot after their historic win against Thailand.
The Indian cricket team started their year off in the best possible fashion carrying on where they left of in 2018. On the 7th of January,2019 the Indian cricket team led by Virat Kohli became the first Indian side to win a Test series in Australia. This win ended the 71-year wait for India. Apart from this India also became the first Asian team to win a Test series in Australia. No play on the final day saved Australia from avoiding a humiliating 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Indians.
The Australians were handed their first follow-on at home in Test cricket in 31 years after they were bowled out for 300 in reply to India's declaration in the first innings at the score of 622 for 7. The Indians were rampant in the Test series from the very first game with every player stepping up and contributing for the side.
Centuries from Pujara and Pant followed by Kuldeep Yadav's fifer on his return to the Test Side led to India's dominating position in the final Test. Pujara emerged as the leading run scorer in the tournament where Bumrah ended as the joint leading wicket-taker.