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Indian team is completing its much-awaited tour to Australia and how! The second test match of the series brought a shower of praise for the team from cricket fans, critics, commentators and fellow cricketers and the team definitely deserved this after their disastrous performance in Adelaide. VVS Laxman has emptied his store of adjectives in the praise of the team and deservedly so. It was one of the best performances of the team after its one of the worst performances on Adelaide ground. Team’s morale could have been shattered but they chose to leave the past failure and grabbed victory.
- The “sweetest” test win
Laxman in his column for Times of India called it one of the “sweetest test wins” for team India at their “favourite hunting ground”. Boxing Day Test match which ended with eight-wicket victory against Australia. Laxman appreciated the coach, Ravi Shastri and support staff for keeping the previous loss in mind and perspective and moving ahead accordingly. Special credit to the coach has been given for ensuring that “the team was in the right mind-space.”
- Ajinkya and Ashwin stole the show
- Ajinkya Rahane has surely made a special place in each heart for his captaincy. VVS Laxman also did not refrain from this appreciation. Rahane has got credit for setting “unorthodox fields” and using the bowlers with a new strategy. Laxman wrote, “Ajinkya Rahane mastered his resources astutely, reaping rewards once the bowlers executed their plans impeccably”.
- R Ashwin’s dismissal of Steve Smith is one of the highlights of the match and this was the second time in a row that this Australian player fell prey to Ashwin’s deadly bowling. Laxman wrote describing Ashwin’s attack, “R Ashwin seems to have the measure of Smith at the moment and backed up his performance in Adelaide with another lovely display of off-spin in Melbourne.”
- Praise worthy debutants –Shubhman Gill & Mohammed Siraj
- Laxman’s experienced eyes were right on point in recognising pure talent in the debut stars Shubhman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. He “was heartened” by their performance in the match. It was very easy for the newcomers to be “overawed by the stage” as per Laxman but they “fitted in perfectly”. Laxman also took a moment to highlight that India’s bench strength at this moment is so strong that it doesn’t need the biggies like Kohli, Shami, Ishant and Rohit Sharma to win a match. Laxman wrote, “India didn’t appear seriously handicapped.”
- Disappointment not hidden
- Laxman did not shy away from displaying his disappointment at Mayank Agrwal’s and CheteshwarPujara’s performances. He referred to their performances in the match as the only “one disappointment”. According to Laxman their bad performances have been made up for because of Rahane’s “most significant knocks”.