Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19
A lot had transpired in a span of 18 months. India and Australia went in opposite directions. The Indian team went on an overseas sojourn in 2018. They missed the golden opportunity of winning a series in both South Africa and England. The margin of 1-2 vs South Africa and 1-4 vs England might not narrate the entire picture as India fought gamely. Australia was the last country they had to tour during this cycle. Let us look at the details of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2018-19.
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Australia’s contrarian fortunes:
The sandpaper gate scandal tore apart the Australian team. Two of their best batters along with Cameron Bancroft were handed a suspension. Steve Smith lost his captaincy to Tim Paine and sat out for a whole year between 2018-19. Without two of their major stars, Australia was fielding one of its weakest teams at home. India couldn’t have arrived at a better time on Australian shores.
#1 The Adelaide special
India had not won a single game on both their previous two tours to Australia. But Virat Kohli-led India believed they could conjure up something special this time around. They won the toss but were 4 down with just 41 runs on the board. Cheteshwar Pujara scored a fantastic hundred taking India to a par score of 250.
It was their bowlers who did the star turn helping India gain a lead of 15 runs. Most of the batters chipped in the second innings to post a target in excess of 300. Australia fought valiantly, especially their lower order but India was clearly the better side. They won the game at Adelaide, the place where they won back in 2003.
#2 India concede the advantage at Perth
Australia was clearly hurting post the defeat in the first Test. Their openers put on a century-plus stand batting first on a tough Perth wicket. India did make inroads post the big opening partnership but the damage was already done.
Kohli scored a brilliant century to keep India in the game but Australia managed to eke out a lead. Their lower order added vital runs in the second innings to set India a difficult target. India fell apart in the second innings handing Australia the equalizer. They knew they had repeated the mistakes they committed in South Africa and England.
Also, Read – BGT 2017 – Most Challenging Home Series
#3 Stoic India win at Melbourne
India scored just around 2 runs per over on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test. Australian media and former players quickly jumped at India’s cautious approach. But they scored over 400 runs in the first innings. It was the Jasprit Bumrah show as he scalped 6 to help India take a series-defining lead.
India piled up the misery on Australia adding crucial runs in their second essay. Australia eventually crumbled to hand India a special win at the MCG. India took an unassailable 2-1 lead with a game to play. It was for the first time that India won 2 games in a single series in Australia.
#4 Sydney rain steals the thunder
India had Australia on the mat heading into the fourth Test. Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, and Ravindra Jadeja batted big ensuring India will win their maiden series in Australia. Kuldeep Yadav did a star turn picking up a maiden five-wicket haul. India enforced a follow-on. They had the game well within their grasp to win the series with a margin of 3-1.
But rain hampered the proceedings on the final day. India had to settle with a draw but ended up winning the series nevertheless. Cheteshwar Pujara who scored in excess of 500 runs was awarded the player of the series. India broke their drought on Australian soil!