The Indian cricket side’s tour to Australia always brings amusement, thrill, and great memories for cricket fans. The men in blue against the green and gold are well known for their fighting spirit, and the quality of cricket which both teams offer.
The Visitors came up with the hope to repeat the heroics of the 2018-19 Aussie tour where they drew the T20I series, took the ODI series, and dominated the Australians in the Test series as well. But is it the same, this time around? Have we seen all on offer from these two sides on this tour? Does an exciting end to this fascinating tour await us? Only time will tell.
Let’s revisit some of the highlights so far and make some predictions on the remaining matches.
ODI Series proved to be an easy one for the Australians
It seems the Kohli-led side was caught unprepared in the first two ODIs as they were still adapting to the Australian conditions. The hosts went 2-nill up in the first two matches of the ODI series comprehensively. However, the visitors didn’t take long to strike back. The Indian side won the last ODI to avoid the whitewash, and it proved to be the take-off factor as they found a winning momentum for the T20I series. Let’s have a look at some of the notable performances from the ODI series.
First ODI Highlights: Finch, Smith, and Maxwell shine with the bat | Sydney, Nov 27 2020Australia won by 66 runs
Australia posted a mammoth total of 374-6 in the first ODI. Captain Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell were the notable performers with the bat. Both the top-order batsmen provided a solid start by making hundreds, and Maxwell did the rest by playing a cameo of 45 runs in just 19 deliveries!
Chasing such a big total in Australian grounds is always tough, and it proved so as the Indian side was found short of 66 runs. However, Hardik Pandya kept them in the game by scoring 90 of just 76 balls until he got out in 39th over from Adam Zampa’s bowling.
Second ODI Highlights: Super Smith smashes second straight 62-ball century | Sydney, Nov 29 2020Australia won by 51 runs
The Australian batting line-up punished the men in blue yet again by setting up a huge total of 389-4 in 50 overs. All of the top 5 batsmen of the Australian side scored 50+ runs, with Smith being the only centurion. The notable change from the 1st ODI was his strike rate. Super Smith smashed the Indian bowling attack with a second straight century off just 62 balls. The rest was done by Maxwell as he provided the finishing touch by scoring 63 runs with a whopping strike rate of 217.24.
The Indian side kept their fighting spirit but ultimately fell short by 51 runs. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were the notable performers with the bat for India. The former scored 89, while the latter managed to fetch 76 runs. However, both the batters couldn’t see their side over the line.
Third ODI Highlights: The Indian Side Strikes Back to Avoid Whitewash | Canberra, Dec 2 2020India won by 13 runs
The final ODI of the series was the closest encounter among all 3 matches. India batted first for the 1st time in the series. They were struggling at 152-5 when the Pandya-Jadeja duo managed to add a 150-run-partnership off the last 18 overs. The former scored 92 runs, while the latter made 66 runs. The men in blue managed to go past the 300 run mark, courtesy of this 6th wicket partnership.
The hosts struggled in the chase right from the start as they were 158-5 with all of their top five batsmen back in the pavilion. The Indian side held their nerves and snatched a famous victory in the last over.
T20I Series: India Wins the Series 2-1
It looks as if Team India learned a harsh lesson from the ODI series. They replicated Australia’s domination in ODIs to take the T20I series in the same way. The Indian side took the series by winning the first two T20Is. The Aussies secured the final T20I to avoid the clean sweep. Let’s have a glance at what happened in each round of the T20I series.
First T20I Highlights: The Australians fell short of just 11 runs! | Canberra, Dec 4 2020India won by 11 runs
The Indian side batted first and posted 161-7 in 20 overs. KL Rahul provided a start with a fifty, whereas Ravindra Jadeja finished the inning with a quick 44-run cameo of just 23 deliveries.
The Hosts couldn’t chase a moderate target of 162. India’s bowling collectively managed to restrict the in-form Aussie batting line-up for 150-7 in 20 overs. There weren’t many notable performers with the bat for Team Australia.
Captain Finch was the highest run-scorer with 35 runs for the Aussies. Whereas, Indian debutant, Thangarasu Natarajan and the mystery spinner Yuzvendra Chahal collectively kept the pressure on the hosts with each taking 3 wickets. The most notable and somewhat controversial moment of the game was the 1st concussion substitute of the T20Is: Chahal filling the shoes of Jadeja, and it proved quite a useful move for the hosts.
Second T20I Highlights: The Last Over Thriller | Sydney, Dec 6 2020India won by 6 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
The second T20I was a thriller. It surely kept us glued to our TV screens right until the last over. The Finch-led side had to win the game to keep the series alive, but couldn’t. After posting a formidable target of 195, fans of the home side would have backed on them to defend it, but the visitors had other ideas.
Pandya played a herculean inning by finishing the game in the last over. He smashed two huge sixes of Daniel Sams’ bowling to seal the deal and the series.
Third T20I Highlights: The Hosts Avoid 3-0 Defeat | Sydney, Dec 8 2020Australia won by 12 runs
Australia reached the Sydney Cricket Ground with the hope of avoiding humiliation. They had to win the last game to avoid a clean sweep. Luckily, they managed to achieve a 12-run win over the hosts. Noteworthy performers with the bat were Mathew Wade (80 runs off 53 balls) and Maxwell (54 off 36 balls). Besides, young leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson stood out with the ball by taking 3 wickets.
The Indian side couldn’t chase the total this time. Although, they took the series 2-1.
With this, both sides set their sights on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the 4-match Test series. The Australian side would be without David Warner this time, and the Indian side would miss veteran fast bowler Ishant Sharma. Moreover, King Kohli will also feature in the 1st Test only. So, let’s have a look at the Test series.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy: 4 Match Test SeriesDecember 2020 – January 2021
The South Asian giants took the series 2-1 when they visited last time in Australia. Although, the Aussies were without their 2 top-order batsmen, i.e., Smith and Warner. The Australians were ready to turn the tide on the Indian side this time. Whereas the Indian side was ready to give a tough challenge to the hosts.
Let’s review the 2 test matches that have been played so far and give some predictions to indicate where the two sides are heading.
First Test Match (D/N): The Hosts Go 1-0 Up Comprehensively | Adelaide, Dec 17 – Dec 19 2020Australia won by 8 wickets
The Indian side was initially in the driving seat for the first two days of the game. They even had a lead of 53 runs for the second inning. However, their dominance and their hope to go 1-0 up in the series were dashed by a brilliant spell of Josh Hazlewood. He tore through the Indian batting line-up with his swing and seam bowling. The veteran bowler took 5 wickets in just 5 overs and India was bowled out for 36 runs! Amazing, isn’t it?
India’s lowest ever Test score meant that the hosts had to chase only 90 runs to seal the 1st Test match. Tim Paine’s side won the game by 8 wickets in the end.
Second Test Match: Rahane and Co. level the series | Melbourne, Dec 26 – Dec 29 2020India won by 8 wickets
India came out of nowhere in the Second Test. Most of the cricket pundits predicted a 4-0 series defeat for the men in blue. However, the Rahane-led side had other ideas. They triumphed over the hosts by winning the Boxing Day Test Match, a feat that not many touring sides have achieved.
There were a few notable performances for the winning side. Firstly, they restricted the Aussies to a small total of 195 with the assistance of Jasprit Bumrah and the debutant, Mohammed Siraj, taking 4 and 2 wickets, respectively. Secondly, their batters grabbed this opportunity with both hands and went past the three hundred mark. Captain Rahane completed his century, whereas Jadeja scored a fifty.
In reply, the Aussies couldn’t score much and were bowled out for 200. This meant a 70-run target for Rahane’s side, and they chased it quite comprehensively. With this, the ghosts of Adelaide were buried, and India squared the series 1-1.
Final Two Matches: What to Look for?
The hosts have made 3 changes to their Test squad. The veteran opener, David Warner, will be back along with Will Pucovski and Sean Abbott. The left-handed-opener will surely be an added advantage for the home side as he has been reliable for the hosts across all three formats.
India would most likely continue with the same playing 11 to keep their winning momentum. However, the Aussies will have a forced change with the form issues of opener Joe Burns. It needs to be seen whether the hosts go for young opener, Pucovski, or they stick with Wade along with Warner.
Nevertheless, one thing is for sure…. we’re headed towards an exciting end to this amazing series.
3rd Test Highlights: India saves the game & keeps the series alive! | Sydney, Jan 7 – 11 2021Match Drawn
Although the result was a draw, fans enjoyed a most exciting game. The match went right to the wire, and we didn’t have a result until the very last ball. The Australians made two changes by bringing in debutant Will Pucovski & the veteran opener David Warner for Matthew Wade & Joe Burns. The tourists had to make a forced change with the injury of Umesh Yadav by bringing in Navdeep Saini.
Steve Smith makes his bat talk with yet another Test ton!
The Former Australian captain completed his 27th Test ton. His century helped the Aussies go past the 300-run mark. He was backed by debutant opener, Pucovski who made a fifty, along with Marnus Labuschagne, who scored 91 in a formidable partnership with Steve Smith.
Indian bowlers produce a collective effort with Jadeja picking up four wickets.
The Indian bowling attack played as a group and restricted the Aussie batters to 338. All of the bowlers shared wickets except Ravichandran Ashwin, who remained wicketless. Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers with a 4-wicket haul.
In reply, India could only manage to score 244 with two top-order fifties of Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara. Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets.
Australia’s second inning, posted another 300+ score. The hosts set a target of over 400-run mark for the Indian team to chase.
The final day of the match: Indians survive the Sydney scare
The Indian cricket team fought with spirit to save the test match. It was a nail-biter for the fans of both sides. The Test match went right until the last session. Rishabh Pant scored a blistering knock of 97, which kept the men in blue interested however, his departure meant that the Rahane-led side had no option but to draw the game. Hanuman Vihari and Ravi Ashwin built a wall of defense for the visitors, which the Hosts could not breach. Ultimately the game ended in a defiant draw.
Final Test Match: The Indians achieve yet another milestone against the odds on an Australian ground | Brisbane, Jan 15 – 19 2021Indian won by 3 wickets. India wins the Series 2-1.
The Fourth and Final Test was simply breath-taking. Those of you who witnessed it live, would know the electric atmosphere built by both teams. The game was affected by rain interruptions however, those of you who remained attached from the first ball of the 1st day, till the last ball of the final day, will have this game’s memory in your minds forever. Let’s revisit some of the memorable moments of the game.
1st Inning highlights: a good start for Australia
The Australians built a positive start to the Gabba test by scoring 369; the Wonder Boy, Labuschagne scored a century this time.
In reply, the Indian side also kept their fighting spirit with a score of 336. The hosts were down and out at 186-6, until the young duo of Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur added two defiant fifties.
2nd Inning highlights: The Gabba fort breached by the Indians as records tumbled
The Indian side dominated the second innings. However, not many had thought about the possibility of an Indian win, as the tourists had to chase a record breaking 328-run target. The stage was set with an almost impossible task – to chase three-hundred-plus runs on the final day of the game to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy yet again. A draw was enough to retain the trophy for India, but the resilient and brave Indian side was ready to pounce for the second time in a row.
So was the case— the young Indian side, who was the victim of many injuries, beat the hosts with a final blow on the last day. The heroic efforts of Cheteshwar Pujara & Rishabh Pant ensured that the Indian side breached the Gabba fortress. Not since 1988 had a touring side defeated the Australians at the Gabba.
A cricket miracle to remember! Congratulations Team India.
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