When India bested Australia under the leadership of Virat Kohli in 2019 and lifted the Border-Gavaskar trophy, it was an incredible scene at the Sydney Cricket Ground. However, there were a lot of people who were highly skeptical about India’s success and tagged it as nothing more than a fluke. According to them, the Australian side missed the likes of Warner and Steven Smith and it was more than enough to leave the Australians rattled.
Being candid, this brand of skepticism is very rarely seen in the sport that nullifies a nation’s heroics Down Under. However, this time around, India seemed short of options and they were down to their last man literally and that was an untested prodigy called Kartik Tyagi who was all set to walk in if there was any further ado.
With all the odds stacked up and with the majority of the first string players out of the team, things looked bleak for India. To make matters further deplorable, Indians had to go through an extremely stringent and inhuman quarantine process where they had to clean their own toilets.
Just when India thought that taking the field will be their salvation, that is when they were proven further wrong with the visitors being skittled out for a paltry 36 in the second innings of the first Test match.
However, the Indians refused to give up. They wanted to come back stronger and they did it in style. In the following Test at Melbourne, the Indian team crafted a remarkable victory by an emphatic 8-wicket margin. What followed thereafter in Sydney was a display of character from the Indian lads.
Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari crafted a herculean partnership that helped them to string a match-defining display, saving India from the blushes of defeat. In fact, Rishabh Pant, at one point in time, seemed to be so belligerent that it felt as if India was inching closer to victory. Unfortunately, his dismissal for 97 proved to be too much for the Indians and they started fighting for their lives.
In the final Test at Brisbane which was considered to be Australia’s fortress that witnessed them staying unbeaten for 32 long years, India pulled off a humongous victory that was spearheaded by Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Rishabh Pant, and Shubman Gill. The man who stayed until the very end to finish off the match was Rishabh Pant who smacked Josh Hazlewood through the covers to lift India the honours.
Post that victory, Shastri and company validated the point that the triumph a year back wasn’t any fluke but a display of sheer dominance over the Australians.
Now with India’s thumping victory over Australia, hopes have been set extremely high. India is now craving to tame England as the series between India and England ensued. Such high the benchmark has been set that according to Shastri the tagline in the dressing room reads, “Yeh Dil Maange More”.