Australia vs India 2020/21 | Sportzwiki

Australia vs India 2020/21

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
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Justin Langer Must Change Coaching Style As Per Feedback From 40 Players And Staff

Justin Langer must change his coaching style if he wants to continue in his role, an end-of-season review of cricket Down Under has warned. The 50-year-old was given “strong and straightforward” feedback — taken from 40 players and support staff — about his coaching style as part of the team’s regular end-of-season reviews.

Australia men’s cricket players are moving towards taking greater control of the dressing room as a robust end-of-season review has highlighted that head coach Justin Langer needs to change his ways.

The review was done by players and support staff, and as a process, Justin Langer was given strong feedback about his coaching style and team manager Gavin Dobey was also given a straightforward talk, reported Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia
Australia. Image Credits: Twitter

Justin Langer’s Intense Management Coaching Style Dissatisfied Australian Cricketers According To Tim Ford’s Report

After Australia suffered a 1-2 defeat against India in the Border Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year, there was dissatisfaction with Justin Langer’s intense management style. It was also revealed that frustration at the team was brought down by the coach’s shifting moods. The end-season-season review comprises of opinions of up to 40 players and support staff.

“This is effectively identical to the process undertaken before the last World Cup and the 2019 Ashes where the team performed strongly,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted CA’s national teams boss Ben Oliver as saying.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Image Source : AP IMAGE
“It’s part of our ongoing commitment to on- and off-field improvement and we expect it will have a similar benefit in the team’s preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup and home Ashes.
“Tim is again assisting us as he has in the past with gathering feedback and insights from players and staff. It’s always a thought-provoking and energizing process which we get great value,” he added.

A second review process was conducted by leadership consultant Tim Ford and it will reaffirm the players’ intent to take more ownership of the side. Tim Ford went on to interview players virtually towards the end of the home season and their responses will be kept anonymous. He asked every member for their thoughts on team values and what needed to be updated.

The review only confirms the reports which had come after Australia’s 2-1 shock loss to India in 2021. During the high-profile series, it was revealed that players were facing difficulties in coping up with Justin Langer’s intensity and micro-management.

Cricket Australia (CA) has now claimed that Tim Ford’s review meeting was not as hard on Langer as the player review and the 50-year-old head coach will be appraised soon. Justin Langer’s four-year contract comes to end in 2022 and the renewal of it will solely depend on the response from the former opening batter.

Justin Langer Will Also Receive Tim Ford’s Report

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, and Aaron Finch will now be presented with this end-season report next week. Justin  Langer will also be receiving feedback from Tim Ford’s report. Tim Ford was hired by Cricket Australia two years ago to facilitate the reintegration of Steve Smith and David Warner into the side after their ball-tampering bans. Australia will next take on West Indies in five T20Is and three ODIs in July this year.

Justin Langer(AP)
Justin Langer(AP)

Justin Langer was appointed as the head coach on a four-year contract in 2018 after Darren Lehmann had stepped down in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. The players also expressed discontentment towards team manager Gavin Dovey. Justin Langer’s response to the feedback across the rest of the year will decide whether he will be handed a new contract.

Australia
Australia. Image Credits: Twitter
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Australia Distracted By India’s Sideshows During 2-1 Test Series Loss, Says Tim Paine

Tim Paine pointed fingers at India’s reported reluctance to go to Brisbane for the final Test as one of the instances of the visiting team trying to distract them. Australia was beaten at the Gabba as Tim Paine’s side lost the 4-Test series 2-1 to India.

Australia captain Tim Paine has said his side allowed themselves to be distracted by India’s “sideshows” during the intense 4-Test series which the visitors won in a dramatic fashion earlier this year.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

Tim Paine Received Lot Of Criticism After Test Series Loss To India

Tim Paine received a lot of flak after his side went 2-1 against a depleted Indian side which was without captain Virat Kohli after the first Test wherein the visitors were bundled out for 36, their lowest-ever Test score. India bounced back, hammering Australia in Melbourne before they sealed a heroic draw in Sydney, denying Australia with some gutsy batting on a Day 5 pitch at the SCG.

The problems got bigger and bigger for India as they were without even one of their frontline bowlers for the fourth and final Test at the Gabba, where Australia hadn’t lost a Test since 1988. However, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s men breached the Gabba fortress, sealing an emphatic win after chasing down 329 on the final day.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Australia bowlers looked deflated on the final day and captain Tim Paine was far from impressed with his glovework and tactics. Australia lost the series 2-1 as India won their second successive series on Australian soil.

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).

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.

Tim Paine: Australia Was Distracted When India Informed They Weren’t Going To The Gabba

Paine, speaking to the press in Australia on Thursday, has pointed fingers at reports of India unwilling to go to Brisbane for the final Test as one of their efforts to distract the host team. While there was speculation about India’s reluctance over quarantine rules in Brisbane, none of the players or the team management said they would not travel to Queensland. Eventually, the final Test went ahead at the Gabba only to see Australia losing their fortress.

“Part of the challenge of playing against India is they’re very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn’t really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that,” Tim Paine said, as quoted by news.com.au.

“The classic example was when they said they weren’t going to the Gabba so we didn’t know where we were going. They’re very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball.”

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane
Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

After winning the Test series in Australia, India returned home to a hero’s welcome. They lost the first Test of a 4-Test series against England at home but bounced back to win the series 3-1 and booked a place in the final of the World Test Championship.

Virat Kohli’s men will travel to England in the first week of June and complete the mandatory quarantine period before taking on New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in Southampton from June 18 before 5 Tests against hosts England commences from August.

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Marnus Labuschagne Defends Australian Coach Justin Langer

Marnus Labuschagne has come in defence of coach Justin Langer after reports emerged about the Australian players are not liking the latter’s headmaster-like coaching style.

It was also claimed that Justin Langer had stopped Marnus Labuschagne from carrying a toasted sandwich in his pocket onto the field against India, an incident which didn’t go down well with some Aussie cricketers.

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne. Credits: Twitter

Marnus Labuschagne Loves What Justin Langer Brings To Team

However, Marnus Labuschagne recently addressed the situation, saying he loves Justin Langer and that there is no animosity between them. The right-handed batsman indicated that things have been blown out of proportion, following Australia’s series loss to India.

“I love JL, and I love what he brings to the team. There’s always more pressure when you’re not winning games. We’ve got to make sure that we’re really focused when we come back as a squad and make sure we stay really close to each other as a group and as a coaching staff. We need to keep supporting each other and backing each other,” said Marnus Labuschagne.

Marnus Labuschagne finished the 4 Tests in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as the top run-scorer, amassing 426 runs at an average of 53.25. The 26-year-old scored one century and two half-centuries in eight innings. However, his efforts turned out to be in vain as India won the Test series by a 2-1 margin.

Justin Langer’s demeanour unified the Australian team after they were in troubled waters after the sandpaper gate incident in South Africa in 2018. He stayed with them during the most crucial hours but the latest reports that surfaced portrayed his wrong picture. However, after Marnus Labuschagne’s statements, things seem alright again.

Justin Langer Told Marnus Labuschagne Not To Take A Toasted Ham And Cheese Sandwich To Dugout After 40-Minute Lunch Break

Justin Langer recently talked about the growing narrative of a dressing room divide in the Australian camp and said he still has a lot to learn. The Australian coach said regarding the sandwich incident that he asked Marnus Labuschagne not to take a toasted sandwich.

” I told Labuschagne not to take a toasted ham and cheese sandwich (to the dugout) after his 40-minute lunch break.”

Justin Langer
Justin Langer (Image Credit: Google)

Australia were set to tour South Africa for a three-match Test series. But it was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation in the Rainbow Nation. The Aussies are scheduled to play England in the Ashes later this year.

He also stated that Australia was looking up for the tour of South Africa but safety concerns should be taken on priority and COVID-19 situations really look disturbing in Proteas nation. He also wants to throw his name into the hat ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, to be held on February 18, in Chennai.

Sunil Gavaskar, Hardik Pandya, India vs New Zealand 2019
Sunil Gavaskar. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Sunil Gavaskar Hails Team India For Their Inspiring Show in Australia

Batting star Sunil Gavaskar happy with the Indian side’s resolve, fortitude, and spirit displayed during the ongoing 4-Test match series.

The former cricket star who earned his legendary status following unmatched batting prowess hailed the Indian cricket side led by Ajinkya Rahane for their inspirational displays despite Adelaide’s heartbreak. He highlighted team India’s “mental strength and courage” throughout the 4-Test series as the main driving force behind their exploits.

Gavaskar believes that what India achieved in Australia was enough to put belief among the team and that fans will be proud of their team no matter what happens in the coming engagements. He was also adamant that Australians will not forget the challenge given by their visitors over the summer.

Fans will be watching how events unfold in the upcoming Test series and can win huge amounts with cricket betting on Betway.

Team India will do all it takes to retain the prestigious Border-Gavaskar series trophy, named after the legendary pair of Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border. However, the team is currently deflated after a number of dependable players were forced out due to injuries.

Sunil Gavaskar Hails Team India for their Inspiring Show in Australia

“It doesn’t matter what happens here at the Gabba over these final two days,” said  Sunil Gavaskar. “We Indians can and will be truly proud of our cricketers. I have led Indian teams on tours in Australia and no firsthand how challenging it can be. But what we have witnessed in the series is something extraordinary.”

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gavaskar was speaking to 7Cricket after the 3rd Test series match that saw India lose to Australia. Fans of cricket can wager on the next Test series match with Betway that gives you a chance to bet on all the cricket action from all parts of the world.

“The tour has tested India not just physically but mentally as well. They have been living in a bio-bubble since their arrival from the UAE in November last year after spending nearly 3 months in a bio-secure environment at the IPL 2020. The resolve, fortitude and spirit displayed by these players has been inspiring. Most have been away from home and in the horrid team for over five months. They have been routed in the most crushing way and with the world watching.” added Sunil Gavaskar.

Gavaskar is well aware of how badly the squad is ravaged by injuries and applauds every member’s efforts for their character coming from rather difficult situations.

“They have seen friends battered and broken. They have been tested for their mental and cricketing limits at every turn, every minute. And even under that most intense train, they have never stopped fighting. And they may still somehow manage to take the trophy home.” The batting great further said. gives you a chance to bet on all the cricket action from all parts of the world.

Sunil Gavaskar. Indian Cricketers Association, India vs New Zealand 2019, India
Photo Credit: Twitter.

Sunil Gavaskar also had a word for Australians, who over the years have given India a real challenge in cricket.

“A trophy that was named to honour me and the great Allan Border. A captain who embodied everything we have seen in this series – mental toughness and skill. I know you Australians respect that most of all in yourself and your opponents. And I know you will always remember what these Indians have achieved this summer.” remarked Sunil Gavaskar.

I Couldn’t Sleep And Had To Take A Sleeping Pill – Shubman Gill Before Making His Test Debut
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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I Couldn’t Sleep And Had To Take A Sleeping Pill – Shubman Gill Before Making His Test Debut

Shubman Gill has won the heart of millions of fans in India after his impressive debut Test series against Australia, which concluded earlier this month. Playing as an opener, he was confident and played fearlessly against the strong Australian attack. But the youngster has revealed that he had a nervous breakdown.

Speaking to Forbes India, Shubman Gill shared his feeling when India was all for 36 in the second innings of the first Test, which became the lowest total of India in Tests. This was a shocker for both the Indian players and the fans and things changed pretty quickly in the favour of the hosts in the third innings.

I Couldn’t Sleep And Had To Take A Sleeping Pill – Shubman Gill Before Making His Test Debut 1
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Twitter.

Shubman Gill recalled that it was a shocking event for the whole Indian team. They could not take it down their neck that the team has been bowled out for just 36 runs after having two best days.

“When the 36-all-out happened in Adelaide, it was really shocking for us. We didn’t know how to react because everything happened so quickly. We didn’t get the time to absorb it. We were in a comfortable position in the match, and in an hour everything changed, Shubman Gill told Forbes India.

However, Gill was confident about contributing positively towards the Indian team as he didn’t want the series to be remembered as “the great Adelaide collapse”.

What really triggered me was that the day after this incident there was a news item that said “the great Adelaide collapse”. I was reading it and all I could think at that time was that I don’t want the series to be remembered in terms of the collapse,” he added.

I couldn’t sleep and had to take a sleeping pill: Shubman Gill

I Couldn’t Sleep And Had To Take A Sleeping Pill – Shubman Gill Before Making His Test Debut 2
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Opening about his condition before making his Test debut, Gill revealed that due to nervousness and anxiety he couldn’t sleep the whole night and had to take sleeping pills.

“Before our first match [in Adelaide], I knew I’ll get to debut in the MCG match. I couldn’t sleep and had to take a sleeping pill. Next morning, on the first day of the Test, we were fielding first. It didn’t hit me then that I was making my debut since the entire team was on the field.

Gill had a memorable debut as he scored 45 and 35 not out across the two innings in Melbourne and helped India in winning the game by 8 wickets and levelling the series by 1-1. He played another outstanding knock in the fourth Test although he missed his century. He scored 91 runs in The Gabba to give a solid foundation after which Rishabh Pant scored an explosive 83 runs to guide India to retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21.

Bharat Arun Defend Virat Kohli As Talks Of Ajinkya Rahane To Be The Permanent Test Captain Increase After Historic Win In Australia
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Bharat Arun Defends Virat Kohli As Talks Of Ajinkya Rahane To Be The Permanent Test Captain Increase After Historic Win In Australia

India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun has heaped praise on Virat Kohli for taking the team to new heights under the captaincy. He stated that the win ratio under Kohli’s captaincy has increased. His remark had come after many are rooting for Ajinkya Rahane to take over the captaincy.

In the absence of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane guided India to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. Under his captaincy, India made a great comeback in the four-match Test series after an embarrassing defeat in Adelaide. His hundred in the second Test in MCG sow the seed of belief in the Indian camp which led in remarkable in Brisbane.

Virat Kohli has brought changes over the year: Bharat Arun

Bharat Arun Defends Virat Kohli As Talks Of Ajinkya Rahane To Be The Permanent Test Captain Increase After Historic Win In Australia 3
Bharat Arun. Image Credit: Getty Images.

During an interaction with Sports Today, Bharat Arun lauded Ajinkya Rahane for his fabulous achievement of winning a Test series in Australia despite missing up to six first-team regulars. However, he vouched for Kohli to remain as the Test captain, considering the 32-year-old’s stupendous record despite the Adelaide debacle.

“First thing, I would like to congratulate Ajinkya Rahane for the magnificent job he did in Australia. But to the people who are writing against Virat Kohli, I would just like to put up one stat for them. Out of the 20 series that he has captained, he has won 14 series for India. Which means the percentage of win record is over 70%,” Bharat Arun said.

Bharat Arun Defends Virat Kohli As Talks Of Ajinkya Rahane To Be The Permanent Test Captain Increase After Historic Win In Australia 4
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images

Bharat Arun reminded the big culture shift Virat Kohli had brought in India’s dressing room. He stated that the Indian skipper brought in the fitness culture while India’s pace bowling attack has also become strong under him.

“People who tend to write about him have forgotten what he (Virat Kohli) has done over the years. What has Virat not done? The fitness culture he has brought into the team. Fast bowlers, fielding have all gone up under him,” Bharat Arun added.

After the historic triumph in Australia, India will face England in the four-match Test series at home. Virat Kohli will also join the side.

T Natarajan
T Natarajan
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Playing For India And Taking Wickets Was Like A Dream: T Natarajan

T Natarajan had a dream-like tour of Australia. He traveled as the net bowler but ended up debuting in all three formats in the same tour, becoming the first Indian player to do so. Although COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise for him as other Indian bowlers could not travel to Australia as replacements, nobody could take the credit for the massive impact he had in India’s triumph across all the series against Australia.

Swooped in ODIs as the backup of Navdeep Saini, he played the last match of the ODI series, which was the dead rubber but important for India to avoid a clean sweep. The pacer picked up the important wicket of Marnus Labuschagne and executed perfect yorkers to bamboozle Australians.

Playing For India And Taking Wickets Was Like A Dream: T Natarajan 5
T Natarajan. Image Credit: BCCI.

Consecutively, T Natarajan also made the debut in the three-match T20I series. He became the highest wicket-taker of the side, picking six wickets in three matches. He perfectly filled the space of Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested.

The injuries woes led to the ouster of all the premier pacers from the last Test match. Eventually, he was also handed over the Test cap. The left-arm pacer didn’t disappoint and notched three wickets in his debut Test match in The Gabba.

T Natarajan’s journey is nothing less than a fairy tale. It is a perfect story for a Bollywood movie.

Didn’t expect to debut for India: T Natarajan

T Natarajan
T Natarajan. Image credit: Twitter.

T Natarajan was also stunned when the opportunities showered for him. He was also under pressure to play for India but wanted to give it all to that one chance. He is thankful for getting support from all the teammates to Indian coaches, who backed him and supported him throughout.

I was keen to do my job. I didn’t expect to get an opportunity in the ODIs. When I was told that I will be playing there was pressure. I wanted to make use of the opportunity. Playing and taking a wicket was like a dream,” Natarajan told reporters in Chinnappampatti in Salem district.

“I cannot express my happiness in words about playing for India……It was like a dream. I got a lot of support from the coaches, players. They supported and motivated me a lot. I was able to perform well because of their backing,” he said in Tamil.

T Natarajan, who was the only net bowler ahead of Australia’s tour, has now played one Test, one ODI and three T20I with a total of 11 wickets in his name. He has been given rest for the first two Tests against England at the home.

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Washington Sundar Wants To Follow Ravi Shastri’s Footstep: I Will Accept The Challenge Just Like Our Coach Ravi Sir

The spin bowling allrounder Washington Sundar, who was one of the significant contributors to India’s historic triumph in The Gabba, has revealed that he wants to follow the footsteps of India’s head coach Ravi Shastri in his cricket career.

After the completion of the white ball series against Australia, Washington Sundar was retained as the net bowler for the four-match Test series. But fortunately, he got the opportunity to play the debut Test match as India’s regular spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja sustained injuries. The duo were ruled out of the injury for the fourth Test.

Washington Sundar was given his Test debut cap in Brisbane. He went on to impress both with bat and ball. After picking three wickets in the first innings, he scored a stunning half-century which cut short Australia’s mammoth lead. His gritty knock instilled hope in India’s camp and eventually, the visitors retained the trophy.

I would love to open the batting in Tests like Ravi Shastri: Washington Sundar

Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur
Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Speaking to PTI, Washington Sundar said that he is ready to take any opportunity and challenge given to him even if asked to open the batting for India in the Tests. He stated that he would accept the challenges like Ravi Shastri did during his playing days.

“I think it will be a blessing for me if I ever get an opportunity to open the batting for India in Tests. I think I will accept the challenge just like our coach Ravi sir did during his playing days,” Washington told PTI. 

Sundar, Thakur
Sundar, Thakur. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Sundar revealed that the current Indian head coach, who was also a part of the World Cup 1983 triumph, inspires the youngsters a lot with his cricket journey. Shastri was also earlier a number 10 batsman but he capitalise every opportunity thrown to him and finally, he went on to become an opening batsman for India.

“Ravi sir tells us very inspiring stories from his playing days. Like how he made his debut as a specialist spinner, got four wickets and batted at number 10 against New Zealand.”

“And how from there, he became a Test opener and played all those great fast bowlers. I would love to open the batting in Tests like him,” said Washington Sundar said. 

After his heroic in Australia, Washington Sundar has also been named in the Test squad for the first two Tests against England which will be played in Chennai.

Bharat Arun Awaits For The Challenge Against In-form Joe Root During Four-Match Test Series
Bharat Arun. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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India’s Bowling Coach Bharat Arun Reveals The Planning To Trap Australian Batsmen Was Started In July

The making of a historic Test series win against Australia was already started in July, reveals India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun. He stated that they have planned to trap Aussies batting mainstays Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne on the leg side after observing their Test series against New Zealand.

Team India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after winning two matches in the four-match Test series. One of the main highlights of the series was Ravichandran Ashwin making Steve Smith his bunny. He had sent him for a duck in the first innings of the second Test match before picking his wicket for one run in the first innings of the first Test.

Ravi Shastri said that we need to take the off-side out of the Australians: Bharat Arun

India's Bowling Coach Bharat Arun Reveals The Planning To Trap Australian Batsmen Was Started In July 6
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Bharat Arun reveals that they had chalked out the whole plan after the discussion with head coach Ravi Shastri to bamboozle Smith with their leg side theory.

“Ravi Shastri (head coach) called me sometime in July,” Arun said. “When we were discussing the Australia tour, he said that we need to take the off-side out of the Australians. So, we had our own analysis and felt that most of the runs that Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschange had scored was off the cut, pull and on the offside.

“We also took a cue out of the New Zealand attack when they bowled to Steven Smith, where they had attacked his body and he had felt very uncomfortable at that point in time.

India's Bowling Coach Bharat Arun Reveals The Planning To Trap Australian Batsmen Was Started In July 7
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credit: Twitter.

Bharat Arun also heaped the praise of stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, who fluently executed the plans in the remaining of the three-Test matches after Virat Kohli’s departure.

“Ravi called and said, ‘I want you to make a plan where we eliminate the offside for the Australians.’ Then we sat and planned the whole thing,” Bharat Arun said. “We said we’re going to attack them with straighter lines and have on-side fields for batsmen.

“The thought process started in July and when we had discussion with Virat [Kohli], he bought into the theory. We employed it in Adelaide and Ajinkya [Rahane] was magnificent [in his use of the plan] in Melbourne onwards and the bowlers responded beautifully, ” he added. 

Not only, India won that match but also broke Australia’s 32 years unbeaten record in The Gabba.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Virat Kohli Messaged Around 12:30 am, The Night We Were Bowled Out For 36: India fielding Coach Reveals ‘Mission Melbourne’

After 36 all out in Sydney against Australia, many former cricketers had predicted India will lose the next three matches with Virat Kohli also leaving. But the Indian skipper was all through connected with the team, as Ravi Shastri said. Fielding coach R Sridhar has also revealed that Virat Kohli also had an important discussion with the team after Sydney Test to plan for the Melbourne Test.

Ag Lowest Test Total
Image Credit: Twitter.

During a conversation with off-spinner R Ashwin on the latter’s Youtube channel, Sridhar said Kohli had messaged him around 12:30 am after India suffered a humiliating loss in Adelaide to discuss the plans for the next Test in Melbourne.

“It was midnight, around 12.30 am, the night we lost the Adelaide Test. Virat Kohli messaged me: ‘What are you doing?’ I was shocked. I thought why is he messaging at this time? I told him head coach (Ravi Shastri), myself, Bharat Arun, and Vikram Rathour are sitting together. He said, ‘I’ll also join you’. I said, ‘no problem, come over.’

“He came there and all of us started discussing. That’s where ‘Mission Melbourne’ began. Shastri made a point there, ‘This 36, wear it like a badge! This 36 is what will make this team great’,” Sridhar said.

Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya decided to strengthen the bowling: Sridhar

Virat Kohli Messaged Around 12:30 am, The Night We Were Bowled Out For 36: India fielding Coach Reveals 'Mission Melbourne' 8
Image Credit: Getty Images.

R Sridhar revealed that Ajinkya Rahane, who was due to take India’s captaincy, and Kohli gathered for a long discussion for chalking out the plans for the MCG Test. And, the outcome of the meeting was that Ravindra Jadeja will replace Virat Kohli in the playing XI, which turned out to be a masterstroke. The spin-bowling allrounder scored a crucial fifty and also became the leading wicket-taker in the second Test match.

“We were slightly confused but then we started talking about the decisions we’d have to take. Virat called Ajinkya the next morning and we had a very good discussion. After a 36 all-out, usually, teams would strengthen their batting. But Ravi Shastri, Virat, and Ajinkya decided to strengthen the bowling. That’s how we replaced Virat with Ravindra Jadeja, and it was a masterstroke,” concluded Sridhar.

Team India defied all the predictions and turned the table after the great MCG comeback. Eventually, Ajinkya Rahane-led Indian side retained the trophy and won the four-match Test series by 2-0.

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