Skipper Ajinkya Rahane  match-winning knock. India thrashed Australia by 8 wickets to win the second Test match on Day 4 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to square the four-match series.

Rookie Shubman Gill once again showed his class in the second innings with a fine batting performance. He registered an unbeaten knock of 35 runs from 36 balls to help his side get the much-needed victory.

Gill’s knock also hit seven fours. Earlier on Day 4, the visitors bowled out the Australians for 200, with the hosts setting a paltry target of 70 runs.

Despite losing two early wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara, stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane made sure that there wasn’t a repeat of the Adelaide collapse and helped Gill wrap up the proceedings with ease.

Test debutant Mohammed Siraj was the star bowler for India in the second Test, recording a total of 5 dismissals. With both sides level at 1-1. Full Scorecard

Australia has sunk to an eight-wicket defeat at the MCG, with India roaring back to level the series at 1-1 and putting itself in the driver’s seat to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia’s quicks did their damnedest to make a contest of it after another disappointing display with the bat saw the Indians set a target of 70 runs.

Although, as Mitchell Starc took Mayank Agarwal’s edge for 5 and Pat Cummins removed Cheteshwar Pujara for 3 the Australians found the thing that kills you – hope.

And Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane picked the gaps left by a competitive field that hope faded and was replaced by thoughts of what could have been.

What if any of the six dropped catches in India’s first innings total of 326 had been held. What if any of the batsmen had managed to post a 50+ score in either dig.

Fittingly it was captain Rahane who hit the winning runs, finishing unbeaten on 27 as rookie Gill scored an exciting 35 off 36.

Australia started the day knowing it needed something special from its bowlers both with bat and ball.

Cameron Green started the day on 17 opposite Pat Cummins, with Australia’s leading sitting at two and only four wickets in the bank.

The pair, responsible for dragging this Test into a fourth day, managed to see out the final 14 overs of the old ball and as their partnership passed 50 there was a glimmer of hope they could take Australia to a defendable total.

The second new ball brought the wicket of Cummins, bounced out by Jasprit Bumrah for 22 and eventually Green’s impressive 146-ball vigil came to an end on 45, caught off the bowling of Mohammed Siraj just as he was really starting to get going.

Siraj picked up another when he had Nathan Lyon caught down the legside for 3 and after some stubborn resistance, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled Josh Hazlewood for 10.

Tim Paine | Australia captain: Pretty disappointed. We played some poor cricket, sloppy cricket for a major part of the game. Credit to India, they forced us into mistakes with the bat, ball and also on the field. And when you do that against a quality team, it costs you. But again, need to credit India as they put us under pressure. We have issues with the batting and need to get it sorted. We’ve seen the temperament that he (Green) showed and as he plays more games, he’ll get even better, which is exciting. (On the team plans in coming days) We’ll stay together probably although some guys may get released to play BBL games but mostly, we should be together.

Ajinkya Rahane | India captain | Player of the Match: 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. We were thinking of having an all-rounder and Jadeja has been brilliant for us. Shubman, we all know his First-class career and in this game, he has shown the intent to play shots at this level. Has shown composure. Siraj has shown that he can bowl with discipline. It’s really difficult for debutants to bowl with discipline but that’s where I think the First-class experience comes in handy. The talk was all about showing the attitude and intent on the field. As I said, character. 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.

Most wins for India at an overseas venue:
4 MCG, Melbourne (14 Tests)
3 Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain (13 Tests)
3 Sabina Park, Kingston (13 Tests)
3 SSC, Colombo (9 Tests)

** Ajinkya Rahane is the second Indian captain to win each of his first three Tests as captain after MS Dhoni.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here