Photo: Wasim Jaffer/Twitter
Photo: Wasim Jaffer/Twitter

India recorded a marvellous win as it comprehensively beat Australia by eight wickets in the Boxing Day Test match to level the four-match series 1-1.

The 70-run target looked small when debutant Shubman Gill and captain Ajinkya Rahane, centurian of the first innings, started smashing Aussie bowlers all around the ground. The win came 10 days after a humiliating defeat in the first test match when India were bowled out for its all-time lowest score of 36.

With this victory, the Indian team turned the tables on cricketer-turned-commentator Michael Vaughan who predicted India's whitewash after Virat Kohli-led side suffered a harsh defeat in the first Test.

Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer made the most of this opportunity to troll Vaughan. Jaffer, who is quite the trendsetter with his memes and jokes on social media, took to Twitter and shared a still image from Netflix superhit show Sacred Games with a slight change in context.

The target of 70 was never a big one but for a team that was bowled out for its all-time lowest score of 36 only 10 days back, one can't fault them if that played at the back of their minds.

Shubman Gill (35 not out) and skipper Rahane (27 not out) knocked off the runs in 15.5 overs to complete the victory.

This was after the quartet comprising Jasprit Bumrah (2/54 in 27 overs), debutant Mohammed Siraj (3/37 in 21.3 overs), Ravichandran Ashwin (2/71 in 37.1 overs) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28 in 14 overs) showed maniacal consistency over a period of 100 overs on the flattest of decks, where extra bounce became their go-to weapon.

"The talk was all about showing attitude, intent and character. One hour took the game away from us in Adelaide, but we still have a lot to learn," Rahane said in the post-match presentation.

Indian teams, since the turn of the new millennium, have had some memorable overseas victories but when the backdrop and context of this Test at the iconic MCG is recorded for posterity, Rahane and his magnificent bowling unit will find more than an honourable mention in the pages of history.

"Really proud of all the players, credit to our debutants Gill and Siraj. The way they showed character was amazing," Rahane said.

The Indian teams of yore used to lose stomach for a good scrap after humiliating defeats but not this one. It stood out for the manner of its comeback in the absence of a genius called Virat Kohli and a magician in Mohammed Shami.

Australia captain Tim Paine had nothing to offer as an explanation for why his side could not capitalise on the big absences.

"Very disappointed, played poor cricket, sloppy cricket. Let's not take anything away from India, they forced us to make mistakes," he said.

India were also hamstrung by Umesh Yadav's calf muscle injury mid-match which reduced a five-pronged bowling attack to four men.

But in the last three and half days, Rahane, first with his hundred and then with solid leadership, showed what Kohli meant when he spoke about 'New India'.

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Free Press Journal