We have heard about the adjectives such as resilience, tenacity, audacity; however, we seldom use it. Experiencing these qualities is a rare feature. Recently, I have witnessed these qualities live on television. India toured Australia in 2020-2021. There’s nothing new about this tour. As usual, Indians are considered to be underdogs. Mighty Australians are the formidable opponent. India starts a series with the worst ever defeat in the first test. India was all out for mere thirty-six runs, the lowest ever total and completely unacceptable for the wealthiest Cricket Board of the world. Nobody was able to digest the fact that India is performing miserably at an international stage.
It was time for India to rise above the expectations in the next test match. India returned from ashes and surprised everybody with a win. India lost a few key players in the first test match due to body line bowling tactics due to injuries. The success was surprising because India managed to win and level the test series. Australians were not in a mood to give up the Border Gavaskar trophy. They started the third test with the determination to defeat India. The fiery bowling attack of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood troubled the batsmen. Indian players continued to get injured however the hope was still alive. Hanuma Vikari, the Indian Middle Order’s backbone, kept our hopes alive. Vihari played an undeterred inning with cameos coming from Indian Lower Order. Indians successfully drew the second test match. There were times when the audiences expected India to win the test match; however, everyone had to be satisfied with a draw.
Finally, the time came for the fourth and final test match. Everyone crossed the fingers and prayed for a draw. Australians had an impeccable record at Brisbane. The Gabba ground has always been lucky for Australians, and they have never lost a test match. The final test match was supposed to be a real test match for Indians. Already eleven players were injured before the start of the final test. More than eighty percent of the team played with the players with almost no experience. Our bowling attack was utterly new. The combined experience of all the three-four bowlers was not even ten test matches. T Natrajan became the first bowler to debut in all the three formats, i.e., test, one day international, T20 Cricket in the same series. Mohammed Siraj debuted in the series, and finished as the highest wicket-taker. Shardul Thakur became the first player to score fifty and two wickets in a test match. Washington Sundar played ‘Sundar’ innings and ensured that India minimized the lead less than fifty runs. Cheteshwar Pujara took fiery blows on the body and despite severe pain continued to play. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant played an outstanding inning to keep India’s hopes alive. Rishabh Pant took severe pain killers and continued to play without pausing with an exceptional strike rate. On the final day of the last test match, nobody expected India to have a dramatic win. However, India created history by winning the final test match and the Border Gavaskar Test series by 2-1
Dr. Vikrant Jain, Assistant Professor, Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB)
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