71 years, 31 Series and 98 Tests...
That is how long Indian cricket fans have waited for the win in a test series in Australia! Finally on 7th January 2019 Team India won a test series in Australia with a 2-1 margin for the first time ever since they started playing cricket. This was undoubtedly a team victory.
All batsmen and bowlers contributed in this historical victory but two men stood out amongst the crowd. Cheteshwar Pujara and Jaspreet Bumrah. Cheteshwar Pujara had average of 27 in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) countries before India's tour of England last year. But since then his performance has changed wonderfully. In the current series he scored 521 runs in 4 matches with an average of 74 and a best score of 193. Pujara's performance was far better than what this statistics suggest. He has batted for a total of 29 hours in the series. 29 hours.
That shows great patience, determination and temperament. Throughout the series Australia struggled to get him out. Frustrated Nathon Lyon asked Pujara in Sydney, "Mate, aren't you bored yet?" Australia outplayed India in Perth Test and India outplayed Australia in Melbourne Boxing day Test. As Australian captain Tim Paine said the Adelaide Test was the difference. And that difference was Cheteshwar Pujara. Team India was struggling at 127/6 but Pujara with Ashwin steadied the Team India's ship.
No one will raise questions about his intent or Strike rate anymore. Jaspreet Bumrah was the highest wicket taker of the series. He took 21 wickets with an amazing average. Mohammad Shami complemented him well with 16 wickets at average of 26. Even with his short run-up he manages to bowl continually at 140 kmph speed. Bumrah’s raw pace with the some help from pitch ripped through opposition's batting.
The Melbourne test appeared to be drifting towards a draw on the 3rd day of series but Bumrah bowled ball of the series to get Shaun Marsh out at lunch and that changed the direction of the match. Bumrah took 6 wickets for a mere 33 runs to get Australia all out for 151 in the first winnings. That spell of Bumrah won the Boxing Day test for India. The Indian captain and arguably the best batsman in recent times, Virat Kohli has said that he does not want to bat against Bumrah in a Test match. Perhaps that is the best compliment for any bowler.
Jaspreet Bumrah has taken highest 49 wickets in his debut Test season and he has become the first subcontinent bowler to take a fifer in SA, England and Australia in the same calendar year. After winning the test series in Australia, South Africa is the last bastion left to conquer from the SENA countries. With such brilliant performances from Captain Kohli and team, hopefully we will conquer that pretty soon as well.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. MyIndMakers is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of MyindMakers and it does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.