Sports News from SYDNEY January 7, 2019.
India eventually won a test series in Australia for the first time in over seven decades.
India were denied a real shot at picking up the ten wickets they needed to win the series 3-1 but they will be pleased take a 2-1 series victory. It was a sort of an anti-climax as the previous three games were keenly contested.
India came into the Sydney Test having retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at MCG in the Boxing Day Test and a 3-1 margin looked to be on the cards but for the weather. Rains disrupted the fourth match of the series ended in a draw with no play possible at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In the last Test, though, Australia could not score even half of India’s first innings score. The duo of Pujara and Rishabh Pant scored big hundreds and batted Australia out of the match and hence the series as well.
Cheteshwar Pujara, at number three, stood head and shoulders above the rest with 521 runs from 1258 balls in the series. Pujara turned out to be the difference between the sides. Not so surprisingly, he was adjudged the Man of the Match and Man of the Series.
With four sessions left to play, Australia were forced to follow-on after being dismissed for 300 in reply to India’s 622 for seven declared.Wins earlier in Adelaide and Melbourne had given Virat Kohli’s side a 2-1 lead.
With this series win, Virat Kohli thus became the first Indian captain to register a Test series win in Australia.
-He had previously led India to a historic whitewash against Sri Lanka in 2017.
-He also became the first Indian skipper to register three Test match wins in a series outside the Asian subcontinent in 50 years. It was MAK Pataudi who had done the same with a 3-1 series win against New Zealand in 1967-68.
-He also surpassed Ganguly as the most successful Indian captain in overseas conditions in Tests format with 12 wins to his name.
-He also joined the elite list comprising of Bishan Singh Bedi and Mushtaq Mohammad in becoming the most successful Asian captain in the format in Australia with three wins.