:: Peoples Time Online ::
India settled for a 2-1 series victory after a persistent drizzle prevented a ball being bowled on the final day of the fourth and final Test in Sydney.
Virat Kohli’s team, No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, thus retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It was India’s first ever Test series win in Australia.
The visitors would have harbored intentions of taking the series 3-1 going into Monday, 7 January, the final day of the Sydney Test. They needed 10 Australian wickets to make that happen, but play was abandoned without a ball being bowled. The gloom and rain couldn’t eclipse the sheen of India’s monumental achievement, however.
After winning the first and third Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne, India had dominated proceedings in the final Test too after winning the toss and opting to bat first.
Riding on Cheteshwar Pujara’s 193 and Rishabh Pant’s 159*, India posted a mammoth 622/7 before declaring. A Kuldeep Yadav-inspired show had Australia bowled out for 300, as the left-arm wrist-spinner claimed five wickets in his very first effort on Australian soil.
Keen on pressing for another victory, skipper Virat Kohli had enforced the follow-on on the fourth day, but the players were taken off for bad light just four overs into Australia’s second innings. Play never resumed thereafter.
The rain never got too heavy on the fifth day but right from the start a nagging drizzle played spoilsport, not letting the players get back out on the field on what could have been another exciting day’s cricket. Yet, India will be very delighted by the magnitude of their achievement.
Pujara, the best batsman of the tour, was named Player of the Match, as well as Player of the Tournament for his three centuries.