The much awaited India vs Australia test series for the Border Gavaskar trophy has come to an end with India winning the 4 test series by 2-1 . In fact India has won their last 4 test series vs Australia by an identical margin & that included twice in Australia which is a massive achievement . The last time Australia beat India in a test series was at home in 2014-15 by 2-0 and the next test series between the two nations is from December 2024 and therefore India will be completing a decade of test series dominance over Australia without losing any series .
In the just concluded series , India were all over Australia in the 1st test at Nagpur which they won by an innings . Australia did have their dominance in the 2nd test at Delhi and had India on the ropes but could not close it out due to a magnificent late fighting innings by Axar Patel who ensured that Australia didn’t get a big first innings lead . From there Australia batting totally collapsed in the 2nd innings and they lost the test .
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However Australia fought back well to win the 3rd test at Indore but could not repeat their feat at Ahmedabad on a flat batting deck in the 4th test .
The main reason for India’s win in the series was of course their superior spin attack of Jadeja and Ashwin , who always spelt danger against a brittle Australia batting lineup . The Aussies failed to apply themselves adequately in the first two tests , either being too defensive or carelessly attacking with poor execution of the sweep shot on turning decks . It was only after the 2nd test that Australia improved their batting application and put up a much improved show at the backend of the series .
Apart from their spin duo , India cannot overlook the brilliant Rohit Sharma 100 on a challenging deck at Nagpur that set up the series and Axar Patel’s batting contribution throughout the series . Later Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli got their much awaited 100s in the last test while Pujara played a couple of important knocks .
As for Australia, it is already said that their batters failed to apply themselves at Nagpur & Delhi and improved themselves thereafter . The Aussie spinners tried their best . Lyon was outstanding and the two younger spinners Murphy and Kuhnemann bowled with lots of heart which helped them in winning at Indore . As for their batting , Usman Khawaja played outstandingly throughout the series . Travis Head played some enforcing knocks while Labuschagne and Handscomb had their moments .
There have been some fine individual performances for both teams . For India , the seniors Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli excelled . Rohit scored 242 runs at 40.33 average in the series with one brilliant hundred in the opener while Kohli scored 297 runs at 49.50 average helped largely by his marathon 186 at Ahmedabad . Gill replacing an out of touch Rahul , scored 154 runs at 51.33 average largely helped by his 100 in the 4th test . Pujara had modest returns of 140 runs at 28 average while Jadeja scored 135 runs at 27 average. However the peak of the performance came from Axar Patel who amassed 264 runs at 88 average and played some hugely impact knocks as a lower order batter .
In bowling it was the Ashwin ( 25 wickets ) & Jadeja (22 wickets) show as both rattled the Aussies and thereby finishing the series at below 20 average . Shami got 9 wickets in the series .
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Keeper KS Bharat had a patchy series with 13 dismissals and 101 runs at 20 average . He missed a few sitters at Ahmedabad which had the best batting pitch .
India will be disappointed with the returns of Shreyas Iyer (42 runs at 10 average) and K L Rahul (38 runs at 12 average) . Both needs to get back amongst the runs to revive their test fortunes .
As for Australia, Usman Khawaja with 333 runs at 47. 57 towers above everyone else in his team as a batter and he showed great skill, application & temperament throughout the series . Travis Head after being dropped surprisingly in the first test came back with pleasing returns of 235 runs at 47 average and he batted with a lot of aggression which paid him dividends . Marnus Labuschagne with 244 runs at 40.33 average ended on a good note after a patchy series . However Handscomb and Steve Smith , both regarded as fine players of spin ended with modest returns of 145 runs at 29 average and Smith in particular won’t be happy at all with his returns after a great series in India in 2017 . David Warner had a poor series scoring only 26 runs in 3 innings . Cameron Green batted with great application in the last test for his overall returns of 135 runs at 67.50 average . However he missed out the 1st two tests due to injury which hurt Australia badly .
Wickekeeper Alex Carey kept extremely well with 6 dismissals but he strangely flopped with the bat scoring only 65 runs at below 10 average .
The bowling was all about Nathan Lyon with his lion hearted effort . Lyon took 22 in 4 tests at 22.36 average followed by Todd Murphy who was very impressive in his debut series with 14 wickets at 25 average . Kuhnemann supported well with 9 wickets at 31 average . The quicks did not bowl that much and got very few wickets .
Thus the stage is now set for the final of World Test Championships of 2021-23 cycle to be held at the Oval , London from 7 to 11 June and these two sides India and Australia will face up in totally different conditions .