India have turned things around and how. After the 8-wicket defeat in Adelaide, the visitors handed the Aussies a crushing defeat of the same margin to draw level in the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday (December 29).
Ajinkya Rahane followed up his match-winning century in the first innings to hit the winning runs in the second as India won the Boxing Day Test inside four days.
Chasing 70 to script a record fourth victory at the MCG, India lost both Mayank Agarwal (5 off 15) and Cheteshwar Pujara (27 off 40) inside six overs to the searing pace of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. While Agarwal edged a delivery from tghe left-armer to wicketkeeper Tim Paine, Pujara pushed at a wide delivery, only to see it carry to Cameron Green at gully.
But it was a perfect blend of aggression and caution on display in the 51-run third-wicket alliance between Shubman Gill (35* off 36 balls) and Rahane (27* off 40 balls). Gill’s counter-attacking knock shook off the early jitters, and that, coupled with Rahane’s assurance ensured India chased the target within 16 overs.
Earlier in the day, Jasprit Bumrah ended the defiant 57-run seventh-wicket stand between Cameron Green and Pat Cummins (22 off 103 balls) after the duo added 23 runs in the first hour, with the lead having extended to 25. Green’s (45 off 146 balls) dismissal to debutant Mohammad Siraj spelled doom for Australia, and a come-from-behind victory of the highest order for India.
Mitchell Starc, who normally likes to slog, hung in there for a gritty 14* off 56 balls but he didn’t get much support from his teammates. Siraj (3/37) accounted for Nathan Lyon (3 off 15 balls) before Ravichandran Ashwin (2/71) castled Josh Hazlewood (10 off 21 balls) to bundle out Australia for 200, with a lead of 69 runs.