One of the most iconic wins for India against Australia came in 2017 during the Bengaluru Test. The Indian team displayed immense character to make a comeback from the humiliating loss at Pune to level the series on an equally challenging track.
On a turning track, hometown hero KL Rahul scored 90 to combat the 8-wicket haul from Nathan Lyon in the first innings. Rahul helped India post a sub-par total of 189, where none of the other batsmen managed to spend decent time at the crease.
“Nathan Lyon got eight wickets in the first innings. He was running riot, but by the end of the first day, it stopped turning. It was damp,” Ravichandran Ashwin said during an Instagram Live session with fellow Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara.
“Next day, I started bowling over the stumps to [David] Warner and Renshaw. I remember bowling to Renshaw, a couple of balls went here and there, to short leg, and he had this smirky smile so as to suggest they were on top of the game,” added Ashwin.
“All of a sudden, I got really angry because I was not getting wickets, and I told him ‘you better not defend, and make these runs because if you don’t [make these runs], in the fourth innings you guys won’t [even] make 100 runs’. I was angry and said it, but it eventually panned out,” Ashwin added further.
In reply, Australia managed a lead of 87, on the back of notable contributions from Matt Renshaw and Shaun Marsh.
India knocked down the Aussie lead and posted a challenging target in front of the visitors, thanks to the heroic partnership between Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. At one point in time, the Indians were looking at another defeat, with four wickets down and only 120 on the board.
But, Pujara (92) and Rahane (52) stitched a pivotal 118 run partnership in the second innings, helping India to stay in the game. In hindsight, Pujara talked about how the Aussies sledged as if they already won the game.
“I felt pressure when I walked into bat. The kind of sledging they did… I thought they were a little ahead of what they wanted to achieve. Their thought process was, they felt they had already won the game,” Pujara stated.
“By tea, I was with Ajinkya [Rahane], we were coming into the dressing room, and they were sledging as if they had won the game. That is when things did turn around, I felt,” Pujara concluded.
India gave Australia a target of 188 in the fourth innings, on a crumbling fourth-day pitch. Ashwin, with his six-wicket haul, secured a massive 75 run win for India as the visitors were bundled out for just 112.
Rahul, who scored a half-century in the second innings as well, walked away with the Man of the Match award as India drew level the four-match series, 1-1.