By: Sandipan Bose
It all began with the talk about India wining the Australian series at home by a 4-0 margin. Some even suggested that this is the weakest Australian team to have traveled to India.
Some even thought that most of the games would be over within three days. It only came true during the opening match in Pune that too in favour of Australia.
Otherwise, it was one of the most evenly contested series between India and Australia in recent history. There were days when Australia started off in a spirited fashion and eventually lost their plot like it happened in Bangalore.
But in the very next Test in Ranchi, the same Australia team refused to budge and forced a draw. The series was such an intense battle between both the teams were locked 1-1 before the 4th Test match in Dharamshala began.
No can really gave India a chance after Virat Kohli opted out of the Test due to his shoulder injury. Then stand-in-captain Ajinkya Rahane lost the all-important toss. But India went from strength to strength in the game.
The bowlers got enough space to make adjustments and set their own field. Even a newcomer Kuldeep Yadav got the kind of field from his captain he wanted. And rest they say is history. India, of course, got a slender first innings lead.
Their bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who were silent spectators in the first innings once again came into their elements in the second essay of the match.
The Australia team, which had made 300 in the first innings, was bowled out for 137, thus giving India 106 runs to win the Test and series. The pendulum, meanwhile, swung from one end to the other again on Day 3.
After losing three early wickets, Australia were in the process of rebuilding their innings. Then Ashwin and Jadeja again came to the party. The other bowler who actually stood out in the series for the home team was Umesh Yadav.
He took a total of five wickets in the match to take his tally to 17 from four matches. India’s Jadeja finished the series with 25 wickets while Ashwin took 21 scalps. Umesh is also the highest wickettaker in the series amongst the pacers.
In the batting front, it was Australia’s Steven Smith who would be the leading run-getter in the series followed by Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul.