Set a target of 70 to win the second Test, India made little fuss of the chase despite losing 2 wickets, wrapping the match inside 16 overs to level the series 1-1 at Melbourne.
The thoroughly dominating performance will do wonders for India’s confidence as they go into the 3rd Test. Australia, on the other hand, have a lot of homework to do if they want to bounce back in the next match.
As for India, Mayank Agarwal’s struggles in Australia continued, and he again departed cheaply. Agarwal looked shaky from the beginning and was punished for his lack of feet movement as he edged a Mitchell Starc delivery to Tim Paine. Cheteshwar Pujara was the next go, with the No.3 batsman edging one to gully off Pat Cummins’ bowling.
The young Shubman Gill, on the other hand, continued from where he left off in the 1st innings. The opener looked at ease in the middle, and confidently took the charge and attacked the Australian pace attack. Displaying some sublime stroke-making, he made a strong case for keeping his place in the next Test with a well made 35*.
He was admirably supported by captain Ajinkya Rahane (27 off 40 balls). The skipper walked into bat much earlier than he would have expected, with India at 19/2. However, Rahane showed the same composure which got him his hundred in the 1st innings. The skipper was at his signature best and scored at a brisk rate to wrap up the chase on Day 4.
India had earlier bowled out Australia for 200
Earlier in the day, India made full use of an extended morning session to clean up the Australian tail. The second new ball triggered the Australian’s downfall after they had looked assured at the crease early on.
The entire India bowling attack combined brilliantly, to consistently pick up wickets. Although the lower order batsmen did their best to stretch the innings, the visitors' persistence paid off by the end of the morning session.
The win will serve as a big boost to the Indian camp. After the Adelaide loss and the departure of Virat Kohli, many had expected the visitors to be blown away at MCG. However, the team has shown great resolve to bounce back from adversity and will go into the next Test confident about winning the match.
Australia on the other hand will be left searching for answers as far as their batting is a concerned. In a game where none of the Australia batsmen scored a fifty, the home side has its work cut out if it wants to win the series this year.
India 326, 70/2 (Shubman Gill 35*, Mitchell Starc 1 for 20) beat Australia 195, 200 (Cameron Green 45, Mohammed Siraj 3 for 37) by 8 wicketsPublished 29 Dec 2020, 10:05 IST