The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has produced exciting matches over the years. But the one held in 2020-21 between India and Australia has probably been the most amazing and interesting for cricket lovers. The first test match came in as a shock for the cricketing world as India; one of the top teams in test cricket was bowled out for a record 36 in the second innings with no player able to reach a double-figure score. It was indeed a low scoring match where the bowlers dominated the batsmen. Virat Kohli managed the team till the first test match and then had to leave due to family matters. Ajinkya Rahane took control over the team from the second test match that was held in the historic MCG.
Many first team starters including Mohammad Shami and KL Rahul were forced out of the series due to injuries. The second match saw a shocking revelation and the brut determination of the Indian team as debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammad Siraj took charge and gave Australia the taste of their own medicine. A superb display from captain Rahane accelerated India’s dominance on Australia in that match as he scored a brilliant knock of 112 off 223 deliveries in the first innings. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj lead the bowling attack to dismantle Australia.
By the beginning of the third test, India lost Umesh Yadav to injury and was already playing with a new and inexperienced team. Rohit Sharma was back in the starting lineup giving India some confidence. The third test finally awarded some big scores and lasted till the fifth day. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne provided big scores along with debutant Will Pucovski. Yet again Shubman Gill along with the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara managed to close in the gap of trailing runs. But Australia led by a huge margin and put up yet another huge target for India as Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, and Cameron Green managed half tons.
The last innings saw Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara batter past the Australian bowlers. Unfortunately, Rishabh Pant missed out on his SCG ton. Probably the best moment in test history and the heroics of defense came out when Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari came out to bat. Though both of them were injured severely, they both showed vicious determination as both of them played for nearly 43 overs, and each batsman playing almost 4 hours.
Hanuma Vihari faced 161 deliveries and Ravichandran Ashwin faced 128 deliveries. The match ended in a heroic draw with an over left to play as the players mutually decided to end it seeing that playing anymore would be meaningless.
The last test saw half the team back to the country with injuries including Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Hanuma Vihari. India started with four debutants who came in as net bowlers namely Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Navdeep Saini, and Shardul Thakur. Australia and specially Marnus Labuschagne started on a high note as he hit a ton scoring 108 off 204 deliveries. India just went short of 33 runs in the first innings but Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar put in explosive batting by annihilating Australia. Mohammad Siraj in the second innings managed his maiden test 5fer as Steve Smith and David Warner were the major run contributors. Taking into consideration the way India performed against Australia, India should try out new and upcoming talents against England who could replace the experienced players during times of need. India should test their squad depth before the start of the England series in February to have a strong team.