After losing the first Test in Adelaide, followed by Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami’s absence ahead of the Boxing Day Test, things were pretty difficult for India to bounce back in the 4-match Test series.
However, the Ajinkya Rahane and Co. held their nerves and did the impossible by handing an 8-wicket defeat to Australia in the second Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday.
The Day 4 began with Australia at 133/6, and the hosts added 67 more runs before being bundled out on 200.
In reply, India lost two wickets in the form of Mayank Agarwal (5) and Cheteshwar Pujara (3). But Shubman Gill (35 not out) and Rahane (27 not out) made sure the visitors lose no more wickets. The duo took their side over the finish line.
With the victory at MCG, Rahane became the second Indian captain to win each of his first three Tests as captain after MS Dhoni.
Rahane as skipper:
- Beat Australia by 8 wickets, Dharamsala 2016/17
- Beat Afghanistan by innings & 262 runs, Bengaluru 2018
- Beat Australia by 8 wickets, Melbourne 2020/21 *
Here is how Twitter reacted:
What a win this is, absolutely amazing effort by the whole team. Couldn't be happier for the boys and specially Jinks who led the team to victory amazingly. Onwards and upwards from here 💪🇮🇳
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 29, 2020
Lot of positives from this win. Rahane led the side brilliantly, bowlers were relentless but the biggest positive is the performance of two debutants. Both of them were confident and not overawed by the big occasion. Strength of Indian cricket is their strong bench strength.
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) December 29, 2020
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 29, 2020
— DK (@DineshKarthik) December 29, 2020
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) December 29, 2020
The winning moment for India, captain @ajinkyarahane88 aptly playing the winning shot & the entire Indian contingent including all coaches & reserve players in the dugout cheering on #AusvIND pic.twitter.com/GiYIAC10X6
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 29, 2020
1-1 with 2 to play! This should always be known as Rahane's match #AusvInd
— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) December 29, 2020
— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) December 29, 2020
Huge win for India. So impressed by the bounce back from Adelaide. The debutants Gill & Siraj. Rahane up a gear with the bat, and as a leader. 👏🏽👏🏽
— Trent Copeland (@copes9) December 29, 2020
Ten days after being dismissed for 36 in Adelaide, India win the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne by 8 wickets to level the series 1-1. It's the least they deserved after taking the honours on six of the seven days played. #AUSvIND
— Andrew Wu (@wutube) December 29, 2020
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) December 29, 2020
A really special win at the MCG.
Great Determination and great character. Rahane led from the fron,the bowlers were terrific and Gill is chill. pic.twitter.com/X3UO8H2LgR
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 29, 2020
Big day for Indian cricket.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 29, 2020
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) December 29, 2020
Most wins for India at an overseas venue
4 MCG, Melbourne (14 Tests)
3 Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain (13 Tests)
3 Sabina Park, Kingston (13 Tests)
3 SSC, Colombo (9 Tests)#AusAvIND
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) December 29, 2020
Indians to win each of their first three matches as captain in Test cricket:
MS Dhoni (Won his first four)
Ajinkya Rahane is also the first Indian captain to score a Test century on Australian soil in winning cause! #AUSvIND
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) December 29, 2020
Test wins at the MCG this century:
Australia – 15
India – 2
England – 1
South Africa – 1#AUSvIND
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) December 29, 2020
2020 ends on a high for team India. Brilliant bounce back despite missing key players. Hats off! #AUSvIND
— cricBC (@cricBC) December 29, 2020
And that’s it. Well played the entire team. Missing 5 players. Virat Ishant Rohit Shami Umesh. This is a team sport and everyone rallied. @ajinkyarahane88 @ashwinravi99 @Jaspritbumrah93 the leadership group stepped up. Siraj and Gill great debuts. 1-1 all to play in 2021.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) December 29, 2020
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) December 29, 2020
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) December 29, 2020
— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) December 29, 2020
Dravid in Adelaide 2003 – 233 & 72*
Rahane in Melbourne 2020 – 112 & 27*
Both hit the winning run, What a coincidence.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 29, 2020
Why MCG win is one of India’s finest Test wins
Came after Adelaide loss where India were bowled out for 36
No Kohli. Injuries to Shami,Ishant
Rahane led from the front with his captaincy & batting
Debutants Gill & Siraj were impressive
Ashwin-Jadeja were amazing
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) December 29, 2020
Coming from 36 all out. No Kohli, Rohit, Shami & Ishant for the Second Test. Defeating Aussies in their frontier. Well led @ajinkyarahane88. Take a bow Team India. A memorable TEST victory to sign off 2020 #AUSvIND
— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) December 29, 2020