Michael Vaughan looked back at India’s historic Test series win in Australia in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, calling it a ‘brilliant series to watch’.
After losing the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets, India roared back to take the series 2-1, winning the second and fourth Tests in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, while the third Test match in Sydney ended in a magnificent draw.
Michael Vaughan: India And Australia Series 2020/21 Was A Brilliant Series To Watch
With regular skipper Virat Kohli returning home after the first Test, the odds were stacked against India and their stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane. Despite losing several key players to injury as the series progressed, India fought back to register one of their greatest Test series wins of all time.
“It was a brilliant series to watch. The Aussies pummeling them at the Adelaide Oval – 26 all out. Then Virat going back home to be next to his wife giving birth. No one gave India a chance, I don’t care who you are,” Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, said while talking on Fox Cricket.
“The way that they bounced back and Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy was spectacular. And then to get to Sydney and the Aussies just pummel them for a few days. There’s nothing like the last day battling out for a draw, ” Michael Vaughan said.
If winning the second Test was remarkable in its own sense, what followed in Sydney and Gabba were on epic proportions. With their back against the wall, India produced a memorable draw in Sydney.
Starting the final day at 98/2 and needing 309 to win, India battled throughout the day with Rishabh Pant scoring a magnificent 97, along with Cheteshwar Pujara’s knock of 77. They added 148 runs and even though the partnership was broken, Ravichandran Ashwin and an injured Hanuma Vihari produced a marathon match-saving effort.
Michael Vaughan: Very Special Rishabh Pant Enlighted Last 2 Tests
As the action moved to Gabba for the final game of the series – a venue where Australia had not lost a Test match since 1988, no one gave India a chance, and yet, the visitors proved everyone wrong, winning the match by three wickets, with Rishabh Pant once again leading India’s charge with an unbeaten 89, along with half-centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara (56) and young Shubman Gill (91).
“It’s a great spectacle when a team just trying to hang in there. A little bit of banter – Ashwin taking a little bit of talking from behind the stumps. And then the Aussies arriving at the Gabba thinking that’s all. They just can’t get beaten at the Gabba… they’ll steamroll them,” Michael Vaughan added.
“Throughout the whole tour, we knew Rishabh Pant was a player. We all know that he’s got something very special, but I thought particularly those last two Test matches, Pant came to light. It was a brilliant series. I can only imagine how much red wine Ravi Shastri must have had,” Michael Vaughan concluded.
India was bundled out for just 36 runs in their second innings in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide, losing the day/night Test by 8 wickets. India bounced back to win the second Test in Melbourne, showed remarkable resilience to draw the third Test in Sydney, and won the fourth Test in Brisbane for their second successive Test series triumph on Australian soil.
Rishabh Pant’s 97 nearly turned the Sydney Test in India’s favour which India managed to draw while his 89 not out at Brisbane won them the series Down Under.
Ajinkya Rahane set the tone for a dramatic turnaround for the visitors with a match-winning ton in the 2nd Test at Melbourne. He was the guiding light for the youngsters like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan who stepped up in the absence of senior players and gave their best to outclass the Aussies in their own backyard.
Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil. The win at Brisbane was more creditable as they even struggled to field an XI and eventually fielded a team without any frontline bowler.