AUS vs IND 2nd Test Recap: India beat Australia by 8 wickets to level the series 1-1
Brief scores: Australia - 195 & 200 (Wade 40, Labuschagne 28, Green 45; Siraj 3-37, Jadeja 2/28)
India - 326 & 70/2* (Shubman Gill 35*, Ajinkya Rahane 27* Mitchell Starc 1/20, Cummins 1/22))
Ajinkya Rahane led Team India bounce back in style to beat Australia by eight wickets to level the four-match Test series. India outplayed Australia in every department to seal a series-leveling win on the fourth day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Chasing just 70 for a win, India took just 15.5 overs to scale the target on Tuesday (December 29) With this, the ghosts of Adelaide have been buried, now the four-match series standing at 1-1.
Debutant Shubman Gill impressed most among Indian batters and got India off to a flier start in a paltry 70-run chase. Though the Aussie pacemen successfully got rid of Agarwal and Pujara early in India's second innings but had no answer for Indian stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and debutant Shubman Gill, who helped their team reach the below-par total earlier set by the hosts. The series is tied at 1-1 with two Tests to go.
Moreover, Ajinkya Rahane is the second Indian captain to win each of his first three Tests as captain after former Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Ajinkya Rahane has been adjudged 'Player of the Match' for his Captain's knock.
At one stage on Day 3, it seemed like India would flatten Australia for an innings win after having them on 99/6, following their 131-run lead. However, the Aussies lower order put some fight and showcased in the middle at the business end at MCG. In an extended opening session on Day 4, Pat Cummins and young Cameron green continued to keep India frustrated, but could only manage a lead of 69 with the bottom four batsmen adding over 100 runs.
India, who were one bowler short after Umesh Yadav sustains a calf injury last evening, got little purchase from the old ball at the start of the opening session. So, he surely misses the next game to be played at SCG on Jan 7.
What a win this is, absolutely amazing effort by the whole team. Couldn't be happier for the boys and specially Jinks who led the team to victory amazingly. Onwards and upwards from here 💪🇮🇳— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 29, 2020
To win a Test match without Virat, Rohit, Ishant & Shami is a terrific achievement.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 29, 2020
Loved the resilience and character shown by the team to put behind the loss in the 1st Test and level the series.
Well done TEAM INDIA! 👏🏻 #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/64A8Xes8NF
Rahane said after the post-match presentation ''Really proud of all the players. Played really well. Want to give credit to the debutants Siraj and Gill, the character they showed after the Adelaide loss was great to see. Character was important for us, especially after losing Umesh in the second innings. That (five-bowler plan) worked well for us nicely.''
''Adelaide was about one hour that took the game away from us. Lots to learn for even now. Australia applied themselves with their last five wickets. Umesh is recovering well, management and medical staff will take the call. We're excited about Rohit coming back. Spoke to him yesterday, he's waiting to join the team,'' he further added.
The third Test will be played at Sydney Cricket Ground in New year 2021 (December 7) at 5 AM IST.