India captured Australia’s last two wickets after a rain-delayed start to day five of the third Test on Sunday to complete an emphatic 137-run win and take a 2-1 series lead into the Sydney finale.
India, denied victory on day four by the tail-end resistance of Pat Cummins, were forced to wait nearly two-and-a-half hours for play to begin due to rain at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but when the weather cleared their bowlers wrapped up Australia’s innings for 261 in 22 minutes.
In his second over, seamer Jasprit Bumrah had Cummins edge to Cheteshwar Pujara, who took a sharp, low catch in the slips to remove the bowler for a personal high score of 63.
Paceman Ishant Sharma then sealed the result when he had Nathan Lyon edge behind to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant for seven when attempting to slog the ball.
The wicket triggered bear hugs and backslaps among the Indian players as travelling fans in the sparse crowd roared with joy.
Having dominated with bat and ball throughout the one-sided Boxing Day clash, Virat Kohli’s men will head to the Sydney Cricket Ground with a genuine belief they can become the first Indian team to win a series Down Under.
The win also saw them retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy contested between the nations after claiming last year’s series 2-1 at home.
Here, we take a look at some numbers from the third Test that matter:
— Jasprit Bumrah is now the leading wicket-taker in international cricket in 2018, going past Kagiso Rabada’s tally of 77 wickets. It is only the fourth time that an Indian pacer ended a calendar year as the leading wicket-taker in international cricket among those who took at least 75 wickets in a calendar year across formats.
— Bumrah became the first Indian pacer to take more than eight wickets in a Test match in Australia. His matches figures were 9 for 86. The previous best figures for an Indian pacer in a Test in Australia was 8 for 109 by Kapil Dev at Adelaide in 1985.
— Virat Kohli has now won four Tests as a captain in SENA countries — the most for an Indian captain, eclipsing MS Dhoni and MAK Pataudi's record of three Test wins each in these nations. This was his 11th overseas Test win which is now the joint most for an Indian captain alongside Sourav Ganguly.
— This was India's fourth Test win outside Asia in this year which is the most for them in a calendar year, surpassing their three wins outside Asia in 1968.
— This was the 10th defeat for Australia at home in international cricket this year — the joint second most for them in a calendar year at home. They lost 12 international matches at home in 1985.
— Rishabh Pant now holds the record of effecting most dismissals among Indian keepers in a Test series — 20, going past Naren Tamhane (against Pakistan in 1954/55) and Syed Kirmani (against Pakistan in 1979/80).
— This was India's 150th Test victory. They won four away Test matches this year and Cheteshwar Pujara scored 50-plus runs in each of them.
— This is the second time that India have retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy while Australia have been able to do it only once so far.
— Bumrah ended the year with 48 Test wickets — the third most for a bowler in a debut calendar year in Tests. Terry Alderman holds the record of picking up most wickets in a debut calendar year in Tests — 54 in 1981.
With inputs from Reuters
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Clarke admitted that the Australian Test captain needed to be held to a high standard, but he said the team would end up with few options if it has unrealistic expectations.
Pujara said he didn't make major changes to his technique and it was just the fearless approach which helped him score runs in England Tests after facing criticism for lack of intent
However, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli failed to trouble the scorers and it was a hundred that came under pressure with India being 80 for 3 and 160 for 4 at different stages of the game