Comebacks are always special more so when you’ve back against the wall and no one expects you to fight back. Similar was the situation for Indian cricket team as they were demolished when Australian bowlers ran over them for just 36 runs lowest score for India ever. It infamously known as “Summer of 36” (because its summer season in Australia). To make situation worse Indian captain and superstar batsman Virat Kohli went on parental leave, ace pace bowler Mohammad Shami was ruled out due to fractured arm, another star batsman Rohit Sharma placed in mandatory quarantine for 14 days and Indian bowler Umesh Yadav injured during the second test match. Despite all the odds and challenges India defy the great odds to claim victory in second test match of the series by 8 wicket at MCG and level the series 1-1.
The second test began with a lot of questions after all Indian team were demolished for just 36 and lost the first match of 4 match test series. This was evident when Indian team announced 4 changes including 2 debutant on the eve of 2nd test match to be played on Boxing Day at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). Mohammad Siraj for Mohammad Shami, Ravindra Jadeja for Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill for Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant for Wriddhiman Shaha.
The first day of 2nd test match began with Australia winning the toss and opting to bat. An inspired Indian bowling unit, led by the menacing Jasprit Bumrah (4/56) Ravichandran Ashwin (3/35), steam-rolled Australia for a meagre 195. The debutant for India, Mohammed Siraj (2/40 in 15 overs) also repaid the faith shown in him. While Marnus Labuschagne (48) top-scored for Australia, Travis Head and Matthew Wade made 48 and 30 runs respectively.
India was 36 for one in its first innings in reply to Australia’s 195-10 at stumps on day 1 of the second Test at the MCG, Melbourne on Saturday. Debutant Shubman Gill batting on 28 in the company off Cheteshwar Pujara on 7.
Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane scored a fine century as India reached 277 for five against Australia before rain forced an early stumps on the second day of the second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. Rahane showed great determination as he made an unbeaten 200-ball 104, studded with 12 hits to the fence
Rahane (104) and Ravindra Jadeja 40 were at the crease when the stumps were drawn with India leading by 82 runs. In the third session, Rahane and Jadeja added 104 runs without losing a wicket. Australia were all out for 195 in their first innings on the opening day.
India is well within distance of levelling the four-match Test series after reducing Australia to 133 for 6 in the second innings at stumps on the third day of the second Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday. Ajinkya Rahane’s 112 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 57 took India to a decent first innings score of 326 and a handy 131 run lead. India will now look to wrap up the proceedings on the fourth day as Australia has a slender lead of two runs with only four wickets in hand.
For India, Jasprit Bumrah bowled brilliantly to end the day with 1/34 while Ravindra Jadeja got 2/25. Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj also got a wicket each. The only worry for India is Umesh Yadav’s (1/5 in 3.3 overs) calf muscle injury after removing opener Joe Burns with a peach of delivery.
India restricted Australia for 200 and required another 70 runs to win. Which India achieved with a loss 2 wicket and levelled the series 1-1 in what was incredible comeback story.
As the saying goes “Only darkness can make the stars shine” similarly in the most challenging times the stars of Indian cricket teams shine like brightest stars. Well whole series has not ended there are still two test matches to be played but this victory will be etched as among the most memorable victory of Indian cricket team as they defied great odds to clinched victory.