India's head coach Ravi Shastri heaped praise on the Indian team for their fantastic victory in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). He believes this win is one of the greatest comebacks in the history of world cricket, especially after how the visitors lost the Adelaide Test inside three days.
Team India had a lead of 53 runs in the first Test, going into their second innings. However, they slumped to their lowest-ever total of 36 runs and gifted the Test match to the hosts. After such a morale-crushing defeat, Team India also lost the services of skipper Virat Kohli (paternity leave) and pace spearhead Mohammed Shami (fractured wrist) for the rest of the series.
In such testing circumstances, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane instilled the belief in his men that they can stage a strong comeback in the Test series. After the second Test, Ravi Shastri explained to the press the kind of character the visitors showed to fight back. He also dedicated this win as a new year's gift to the millions of fans who didn't stop believing in their team.
"It's a great present from the team to millions of supporters to have a very happy new year. This will go down in the annals of Indian and world cricket as one of the greatest comebacks. From being 36 all out to coming back in three days, the boys showed great composure," Ravi Shastri said.
Ravi Shastri also praised Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj for impressing on their Test debut
Team India made four changes in their playing XI going into the Boxing Day Test and included two debutants in Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. Gill impressed one and all with his scores of 45 and 35* in the two innings, and played a fearless brand of cricket.
Siraj was also brilliant, picking up five wickets in the Test. He helped the Indian team with crucial breakthroughs in the second innings in the absence of the injured Umesh Yadav. Ravi Shastri lauded the way both these debutants performed without showing any nerves.
"That's the brand of cricket we've been playing for 3-4 years. The 2 debutants showed great maturity and discipline. Today Siraj's effort was outstanding. The maturity he showed for someone playing his first Test was outstanding," Ravi Shastri said.
After Team India's loss at Adelaide, not many had given them a chance to come back into the Test series. However, the visitors showed great determination and against all odds, pulled off a famous victory.
With the series now level at one win apiece, the Indian team will look to put more pressure on the hosts and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.