During that series, Australia announced a Test & T20I squad that would have been played at the same time (before Australia cancelled the South Africa tour of course).
These two events got me thinking—Can India field two Test XIs at the same time without overlapping players? How about an additional ODI & T20I team?
Build FOUR Indian National Cricket Teams: 2 Test teams, an ODI, and a T20I XI so that (1) each team can field a team (wicketkeeper & 5 bowling options), and (2) a player is not repeated in any of the lists.
Would you pick Virat Kohli for the Test team, ODI, or the T20I? Bumrah?
Can you make all 4 teams balanced? The goal is that each team is just as good and competitive on the international stage. The ODI & T20I teams should be good enough for the World Cups and the Test teams for the World Test Championship.
With so many spinners in the Indian cricket circuit and given recent history, does Kuldeep Yadav find a place in any of these XI?
India Cricket Teams
Test Team 1
1. Mayank Agarwal
2. Shubman Gill
3. Cheteshwar Pujara
4. Virat Kohli (C)
5. Rishabh Pant (WK)
6. Hardik Pandya
7. Ravindra Jadeja
8. Ravichandran Ashwin
9. Ishant Sharma
10. Jasprit Bumrah
11. Kuldeep Yadav
Test Team 2
1. Prithvi Shaw
2. Abhimanyu Easwaran*
3. Hanuma Vihari
4. Ajinkya Rahane (C)
5. Karun Nair
6. Wriddhiman Saha (WK)
7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
8. Umesh Yadav
9. Mohammed Siraj
10. Navdeep Saini
11. Shahbaz Nadeem
Indian Cricket Limited Overs Teams:
1. Shikhar Dhawan
2. Rohit Sharma (C)
3. Sanju Samson (WK)
4. Shreyas Iyer
5. Kedar Jadhav
6. Vijay Shankar
7. Axar Patel
8. Deepak Chahar
9. Mohammed Shami
10. Khaleel Ahmed
11. Yuzvendra Chahal
1. KL Rahul (WK)
2. Ishan Kishan*
3. Suryakumar Yadav*
4. Manish Pandey
5. Shivam Dube
6. Dinesh Karthik (C)
7. Krunal Pandya
8. Shardul Thakur
9. Varun Chakravarthy
10. Washington Sundar
11. Thangarasu Natarajan
India’s most successful Test skipper and the stand-in skipper in Australia are given the Test reins, while the most successful IPL captain & captain of the victorious Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy have been given limited overs captaincy duties. We made sure the limited overs team had plenty of 6th bowling options, an area Indian selection has recently struggled with.
Extended List of Prospects
These are just the 44 that are ready for the international level. Just like IPL 2020 showed, we can further create a squad just of the Emerging Players. Here is an extended list of players for the next decade.
Others:69. Jayant Yadav, 70. Jayadev Unadkat, 71. Siddharth Kaul, 72. Dhawal Kulkarni, 73. Sandeep Sharma, 74. Mandeep Singh (India caps, have age on their side, but out of favor & unlikely to get back in anytime soon)
*Note: Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, and Amit Mishra were not considered because they are almost at the end of the careers and are out of the favor with the selectors.
Problem of plenty for Team India.
We have all criticized Indian cricket selectors at some point in time, but we can clearly see it is difficult to give every player an extended run. Gone are the days where we can find players who play 2 or 3 formats for more than a decade. Virat Kohli maybe the last of his breed in India.
Next week, we will do a similar exercise with the England cricket team. Their limited overs depth is quite something, and they are a rising force in Test cricket as well.
What will your Indian XIs be? What do you think of Indian cricket right now? COMMENT BELOW! Would love to know your thoughts!
If you like this, check out the rest of our World XIs with TwistsHere – Best Fielding XI, Best Commentators XI, and much more!
India Vs Australia Series Review: The Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Usually a Test series is made up of a few iconic moments. This series was a compilation of iconic moments stitched together into a series.
Injuries:Pucovski–Warner & Ishant-Bhuvneshwar Kumar pre-series. Shami, Umesh, Ashwin, Vihari, Jadeja, Bumrah, KL Rahul, & Pucovski again during the series.
Adelaide:Kohli‘s 74 & Run-Out, India 36/9 via Cummins & Hazlewood, Paine & Burn score, Kohli returns home.
Melbourne: India’s resilient comeback win, Rahane’s magnificent ton, Ashwin-Smith duel, Rahane comforts Jadeja after run-out.
Sydney: Rohit Sharma returns to work, Shubman Gill’s emergence, Smith-Labuschagne master-student showcase, Siraj battles racial abuse, Matthew Wade’s brain fades, Paine drops & sledges, India hold on, Pant 97, Pujara-Pant + Vihari-Ashwin = Draw.
Brisbane: Nathan Lyon’s 100th Test & signed jersey by Team India, stranded on 399 wickets, Natarajan & Sundar debut, Saini injured, Siraj’s 5-for, Thakur-Sundar fightback, Gill’s 91 & Pant’s 89*, Pujara Fights Body Blows & Butterfly, 328 chased, The Gabba fortress breached.
The series went from being “too friendly” to racial abuses. There were plenty of mini contests like Paine vs Ashwin, Pujara vs Lyon, fielders vs the flying ball, & Pujara vs Cummins (my favorite battle) to name a few.
Here are my picks for the best moments, emerging players, and much more in this India Vs Australia Series Review! Comment IN THE COMMENTS SECTION below on your favorite moments.
*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.
Interesting that toss went the wrong way in these games and batting second was not detrimental.
Player of Series
Australia Pat Cummins 4/21 Best Innings, 7/69 Best Match
Rishabh Pant – 274 Runs (5 innings)
Cheteshwar Pujara – 271 Runs (8 innings)
Marnus Labuschagne – 426 runs (8 innings)
Steven Smith – 313 runs (8 innings)
Mohammad Siraj – 13 wickets (6 innings)
Ravinchandran Ashwin – 12 wickets (6 innings)
Pat Cummins – 21 Wickets (8 innings)
Josh Hazlewood – 17 Wickets (8 innings)
India Vs Australia Series Review: Stats
1. Cheteshwar Pujara is a Legend.
2018/19 – 521 runs, 100s-3 & 50s-1, best of 193, Average 74.42, Strike Rate 41.41, Balls Faced 1258
2020/21 – 271 runs, 100s-0 & 50s-3, best of 77, Average 33.87, Strike Rate 29.20, Balls Faced 928
Statistically, Pujara had a worse tour than 2018 by double the margin in almost every area. In reality? His impact this time was just as important, if not more. If Pujara was not present at Sydney or Brisbane, neither would have drawn the 3rd Test nor won the 4th. The Australian bowling line up at the final session of 4th Test had all the energy drawn out of them through the defense of Pujara. On the last day, Pujara was unfazed despite so many blows to the helmet, chest, and the worst – finger jarring. Act of character and survival upon which India prospered.
2. Youngsters & India A Deliver
In 2008, Sri Lanka unveiled the M Factor against India – Malinga, Muralitharan, Mahela, & Mendis (later Mathews).
Similarly, India had the S factor – Debutants Siraj, Sundar, Shubman, Shardul (first Test – 10 balls & injured).
Shubman Gill’s consistency & backfoot punches, Washington Sundar’s confidence, Siraj’s maturity, & Shardul’s ability to make things happen all contributed to India’s series victory. If one player could symbolize this series, it is Mohammad Siraj, leading from the front in his 3rd Test match. Father’s bereavement and on the back of racial abuse, he stood firm on his ground and delivered.
January 11th is Rahul Dravid’s birthday, India A & India U-19 Coach (2016-19), now the head of the National Cricket Academy, and a mentor to many of these youngsters. Rishabh Pant & Vihari, a product of the India A system, provided Dravid with a perfect birthday gift on the eve of his birthday.Pant will always be questioned, but when India needed him, he delivered.
3. Rahane & Team Management
In our India vs Australia preview, we said that after 2014, “Rahane has failed to go to the next level,” & needs a “Pujara 2018 or Laxman 281 to elevate to legendary status.”
Verdict: Rahane has now successfully elevated himself to legendary status – as a batsman, player, & captain.
Although Rahane’s Melbourne knock rejuvenated the side, special mention needs to go to Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, the physios, & the support staff. In hindsight, the 36/9 rejuvenated the side, but it could easily have gone the 2011 England-Australia tours with 4-0. Credit to the team management & leadership group to keep the team together and motivated (The law of averages helped India as chances for the rest of the series went India’s way).
With all the Rahane vs Virat vs Rohit Twitter battles, one should remember that this is Kohli’s team (emphasis on fast bowlers & overseas victories) which Rahane took forward with Rohit & co in the leadership group. Team effort, no less.
1. Labuschagne, Smith, & Warner
739 runs, 100s-2, 50s-4, best of 131, average of 49.27.
Sounds pretty good, right?This is the combined stats of Marnus Labuschagne & Steven Smith and vastly skewed by the performance in the last two matches. They were good, but not the usual. Smith lost the duel to R Ashwin over the series, while Labuschagne capitalized on dropped chances. For a side carrying injured openers, a Joe Burn, and a couple of inconsistent keepers, a lot more was expected from these two.
David Warner was visibly unfit, & 67 runs (from which 48 came in one innings) at 16.75 does not reflect a player of his caliber. Against Warner, every bowler looked like Stuart Broad.
Starc took 11 wickets at 40.72 (74.7 SR) & Lyon with 9 wickets at 55.11 (SR: A whopping 124.6)
Alarming numbers. Lyon looked decent for the first couple of Test matches without much ‘luck,’ especially with Hazlewood & Cummins going through the Indian line-up. As the series progressed, it became clear that Lyon was having an underwhelming series. Pujara’s dancing down the wicket blocks & Pant’s hit was too much to digest. Starc? Inconsistent, out of form, & slightly injured. Amidst a long tour, COVID Bio-Bubbles, and against a certain Pujara, not rotating quicks cost Australia.
Speaking of inconsistent keepers, Tim Paine & Matthew Wade: A Tale of Two Careers.
8, 33, 30, 40, 13, 4, 45, 0, and a whole load of ways of getting out
Look, I like Wade & Paine. Paine even had a great series with the bat, including a match-winning 72. I admire players who started early, were dropped, improved, & fought back into the XI. These two have been in-and-out since 2010-11 & have finally managed some success at the international level, but is it enough? One of Australia’s flaws this series was not capitalizing on strong situations, and Wade was always at the center. Not converting a single start might be too much for the Australian selectors. On the other hand, Paine will still be in the side at least as a batsman, but lots of question on his keeping and captaincy. Also, Tim & his Paineful reviews.
Murmurs about Alex Carey trying a summer England gig after being released from Delhi Capitals…
3. The Lone Bright Spots
Not everything was bad for Australia though.
8 innings, 162.1 overs, 51 maidens, 21 wickets, 4/21 Best innings & 7/69 Best match
That’s Pat Cummins for you. Most overs bowled. Highest wicket taker. Most maidens. Player of the Series. Consistently threatened India’s batting from the first Test to the last. Intensity, eyes on fire, perfect line & length. Hazlewood was really good too, but Cummins was just on another level.
Debutants Cameron Green & Will Pucovski were of the highest quality. Although Green did not have much to show in the wickets column (none after 6 matches & 44 overs), he ticked several boxes. A tall bowler at 140 kph, safe pair of hands with 10 feet reach, can dig in when needed, and explode as his blistering 84 displayed. Pucovski never looked out of place with a confident 62, sandwiched between unfortunate injuries.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series.
The 4th Test overshadowed the Broken Cricket Dream awards for Australia, otherwise Joe Burns falling career, Pucovski’s repeated injuries, & Wade’s dismissals were ideal candidates. Here they are:
Shubman Gill & Mohammad Siraj
India’s Resilience & Character Sundar, Shardul, Siraj
Tim Paine – The Batsman Marnus Labuschagne – The outfielder
Broken Cricket Dream
The Injuries The Dropped Catches Kuldeep Yadav
Tim Paine – The Captain Tim Paine – The Keeper Nathan Lyon 399*
India Vs Australia Series Review: The Awards
Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS!
Where Do They Go From Here?
In terms of the World Test Championship, India are at the top with the England home series to go, while Australia drop to #3 with a South Africa 3-match series to happen…somewhere (Australia virtually out of the WTC).
The India-Australia rivalry has taken the next step and few are even calling for a 5 match series. I am not sure if that should happen in the COVID environment and strict quarantine days, but definitely a possibility in the future.
Ashes 2005 Comparsion
Is the 2020-21 India vs Australia series the greatest test victory of all time? Probably not.
Ashes 2005 is usually hailed as the pinnacle of Test cricket extravaganza and rightly so. Both teams at their peaks, Australia’s 2005 meriting Top 2 All Time status (a squad which maybe only Steve Smith & Pat Cummins could have made), full crowds inspiring the next generation, England winning the Ashes (2-1) for the first times since 1986-87.
Was India’s Melbourne victory the greatest comeback of all time as the cricket Twitter family suggested at the time? No. Not even close.
Was India’s draw the greatest match saving draw of all time? Nope.
Was India’s chase at the Gabba the highest ever or the most enthralling? Nah.
The 36 All Out worst collapse of all time? Almost, but not really.
Legacy of the India Vs Australia 2020 Series
But the fact that all of the above happened in the same series under the backdrop of COVID-19 and depression around the world (both economically & mentally speaking).
India 36/9 at Adelaide, Kohli going home, Ishant-Umesh-Bhuvi-Shami-Bumrah less India, without the stars of Sydney in Jadeja, Ashwin, & Vihari, Siraj battling father’s bereavement & racial abuse. Gabbatoir breached. You cannot predict this. None of us could have.
So let me ask this again—Was the 2020-21 India-Australia the greatest ever Test series? No, but in terms of the context and stories, this may as well be the greatest story of them all.
Why compare anyway? I am just glad we have both series to cherish in our memories forever.
Anyway, what are your thoughts on this India Vs Australia Series Review? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Also feel free to share/discuss on our Twitter & Facebook pages!
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Cricket 2020 Predictions – India Vs Australia. New Zealand Vs West Indies, England Vs South Africa.
These three series started almost simultaneously on November 27th and has finally come to an end on January 19th. From Dawid Malan and Hardik Pandya T20 special to the Williamson-Nicholls show, abandoned ODI series, and the culminating India Vs Australia Test Series, this past two months have been full of ebbs and flows.
Also lots of lack of sleep. Watching multiple matches of cricket across time zones. By the end one thing was for sure,
India’s Resilience & Character Sundar, Shardul, Siraj
Tim Paine, the Batsman
Kuldeep Yadav (No Game)
Cricket 2020 Predictions Results: Aus Vs Ind
*Note: Some of the subjective Emerging Players/Surprise Package came from Twitter Polls.
My Prediction Results
If I were to give myself an award for the India vs Australia series, it would be the 2nd best guess. For the limited overs, I had the 2-1 & 1-2 correct but in the reverse order for the ODI & T20I series respectively.
Similarly, I picked the second best players of the series. Hazlewood took 2nd most wickets, Rahane tapered off at the end, and although Vihari & Labuschagne played crucial roles for their teams, they were not the most valuable players. R Ashwin was definitely a surprise all-round package, but Siraj-Sundar-Shardul in the 4th Test was even more surprising.
For the Eng-SA, I had 3-0 for sure, but in favor of South Africa. Oh how hopeful and naive. 😅
*If Most runs/wickets/MVP of either side is stated, then points will be given. For Emerging Player, either Shubman Gill, Will Pucovski, Mohammad Siraj, or Cameron Green will get a point.
2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 1-1 (Tests) 0/3
1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅ 1/2
0-3 (T20I) ❌, 2-1 (ODI) 0/1
Hanuma Vihari (Ind), Labuschagne (Aus)
Trent Boult (NZ), Roston Chase (WI)
Moeen Ali (Eng), Van der Dussen (SA)
Quinton de Kock
Trent Boult-Jason Holder (tied)
Will Pucovski ✅
Joshua De Silva ✅
Kyle Jamieson ✅
TOTAL POINTS: 4/21
The Actual Results
The Winners (Drumroll Please…)
And The winners are…. In-Depth Football & Cricket (9/21) 🥇, Ansh Sharma (7/14) 🥈, Pratyush (7/21) 🥉& Crazy Anand (7/21) 🥉! Congratulations!!!!
*OOh, how life has changed in 2 months. Rohit Sharma came back for the 3rd Test, while KL Rahul found himself injured. Did not get to play a Test match at all.
2-1 (ODI), 1-2 (T20I), 2-1, 1 Draw (Tests) ✅
1-2 (T20I), 2-0 (Tests) ✅
2-1 (T20I), 1-2 (ODI)
KL Rahul (Ind), Travis Head (Aus)
Colin de Grandhomme (NZ) , Jason Holder (WI)
Jason Roy (Eng), Andile Phehlukwayo (SA)
Faf du Plessis
Mohammed Siraj ✅
*Rohit Sharma was the first choice but Sharma has been ruled out for the first 2 Tests
The predictions for the next two in India vs Australia were correct in number (4-5), the guesses were opposite of the team who won the respective series. Great guess work nevertheless Rahul and Just Cricket!
Everyone has been dismissing India’s chance in the BG Trophy – Test series . I have a feeling we will do well there , provided all of them stay injury free. We are a better team in the white ball format , so winning them wont be a surprise .
For #SAvEng I just hope they get on the pitch. If they do, England probably win both 2-1. They don’t seem to be taking ODIs that seriously right now which could give SA a chance but most of them have had either a decent IPL or a good rest so will be ready to go…
The series can be summed up by Nelson Mandela’s quote, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Whenever India looked like they were gone, they found a way to get back up.
36/9 in Adelaide and without Virat Kohli at Melbourne. Surely India cannot recover at the Boxing Day Test? Well exactly the opposite happened as India achieved a memorable victory. The entire team rose to the occasion & Rahane, the stand-in captain, stood up with a magnificent century.
Injuries to fast bowlers of the Class of 2018. Before the series, No Ishant, no Bhuvi. Midway through the series, Shami, Umesh, and Bumrah out. By the end, Ashwin, Jadeja, & Vihari are done. Battered & bruised, they draw the third test.
Did the Indian team decide to give up at any point in time? Does India play for the draw in the 4th test? No & No. They go for the win. And they indeed win.
Life Lesson 1: It is okay to make mistakes. You will suffer setbacks. The important part is to regroup, learn from these initial setbacks & mistakes, and find your feet again. Keep working. Keep going. Just never give up.
2. Just Be Yourself
Moment: Pant-Pujara Partnership
Oh he plays too slow! No intent shown….Oh he is too reckless. Gets out against the run of play.
This is not a description about one player but a paraphrasing of criticism for two different players, Pujara and Pant.
Balance is important. Criticize these two at your own peril.
Pujara scored his slowest fifty in the first innings of the 3rd Test. He followed it up by his 3rd slowest in the second innings. He went to break his own slowest 50th at the historic Gabba chase.
Pant ‘throws it away’ in the 2019 World Cup Semi-Final. Pant has ‘thrown it away’ several times before. In the third test, he plays a ‘rash’ shot at 97. Hopes of India’s win diminish, but the fact India had hope in the first place is due to Pant. Fortune favors the brave.
Pujara ended the series with a strike rate of 29.2. Pant with 69.89. Neither got a century, yet the partnerships of 148 (265)in Sydney and 61 (141) at Brisbane were monumental in India’s victory.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant. Chalk and cheese. Yin and Yang.
Life Lesson 2: Adapting to different situations & circumstances in life is important but not at the expense of your innate being. Always learn from others, listen, take their advice, but at the end of the day, you are unique, and that is good enough. Never change who you are for others, and never forget where you came from.
3. Character & Determination
Moment: Hanuma Vihari & R Ashwin in the 3rd Test
Hanuma Vihari had a disastrous series till Day 5 of the 3rd Test. In his 5 innings, he scored 16 & 8, 21, and 4 & 23*. By the 4th day, he had run himself out after looking uncomfortable with a 4 (38), dropped a couple of crucial chances, and had been hit numerous times at forward short leg.
When Pujara & Pant depart on Day 5, Vihari has only scored 3*(31) with a session & a half to go. Just to put salt on the wound, Vihari suffers a hamstring injury. His new partner, R Ashwin, neither has form on his side nor a functioning back.
But boy, does he have spine? Post tea, he gets battered with short deliveries and gets hit on the ribs & shoulders.
Response? They pull off one of the major heists in recent Test cricketing memory. Vihari 23*(161) with over 4 and a half hours of batting & 39*(128) in 3 hours for Ashwin. Partnership of 62*(259).
If this is not one of the greatest displays of character & determination, I just don’t know what is.
Life Lesson 3:Sometimes things are in your favor. At other times, they are not. Vihari could have easily retired hurt and cared for his place in the 4th Test. These moments are what life is all about. Even when you are not 100% physically or mentally, stay in the moment & give it your all.
Mark Twain is credited to have said, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.”
The embodiment of fearlessness was displayed by India’s youth in this tour—Debutants Shubman Gill, Mohammad Siraj, Washington Sundar, (almost debutant) Shardul Thakur, and none more so than the experienced Rishabh Pant.
Gill’s backfoot punches are a thing of beauty. Beauty + Consistency + Positive Approach = Brilliance of Shubman Gill. Scores of 45, 35*, 50, 31, 7, and the 91 that gave India belief in Brisbane.
Thakur & Sundar did not fear against Starc-Cummins-Hazlewood. Neither did they blindly hit. They played proper cricketing shots & dominated. On Day 5 and near victory, Sundar pulled dangerous Cummins for six, Pant paddle swept Lyon, & Sundar got out playing a reverse sweep. Fearless stuff.
Life Lesson 4: You will face challenges and difficulties, whether that is related to school or work. Next time you fear how hard the upcoming exam is or if you have self-doubts about completing a project, take a deep breath and invoke your inner Rishabh Pant.
Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. The youngsters, reserves, & stalwarts of India were prepared when this opportunity came.
Although Rahane’s century was the highlight of Melbourne’s victory, Bumrah and Ashwin were among the wickets, Shubman Gill contributed with a 45 & 35*, & ever dependable Jadeja made a steady 57 along with his fielding efforts.
The Sydney draw was masterminded by Pant-Pujara & Ashwin-Vihari partnerships, but also had key contributions from Gill-Sharma & Jadeja again. In the final Test, the improbable counterattack by Thakur-Sundar, Siraj’s 5-for, & Gill-Pujara-Pant-Sundar took India to victory.
India utilized 20 squad members, Pant was the highest score with only 274 runs, & Siraj the highest wicket taker with 13 wickets. It was a truly a team effort from India’s point of view. Australia had more centuries, highest wicket taker, & most run scorer (since they played all 4 matches).
Life Lesson 5: Learn to work with others. The more diverse the ideas, the better. Individual excellence along with the greater good is the best way forward. Bring others along with you.
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So why does Cummins get a special mention? Because he was the highest wicket taker at 21 wickets and player of the series? No.
Pat Cummins bowled 162.1 overs, the most by a pacer in this Test series (Lyon with 187). Hazlewood was next with 144.4. This is an amazing feat considering Cummins was marred by injuries in his early career (Test debut in 2011, but did not play any tests between 2012-16).
He was just as intense on Day 1 of the first Test as he was on Day 5 of the 4th. In the final hour of the series, if there was one bowler who Tim Paine could depend on, it was Pat Cummins. Still bowling at 140 clicks, hitting the perfect line & length (Spooky pitch map by the way).
Accuracy, Consistency, Intensity. That’s Pat Cummins for you.
Pujara and the rest of the Indian batsmen had drained the Australian bowling unit. Cummins must have been out of energy. He must have tired, but it did not show. Bowled his heart out.
Life Lesson 6: Success comes before work only in dictionary. If you want to pursue any field, be like Pat Cummins. Give it your 100%. Work hard, play hard, fail, learn, cherish moments of glory,repeat.
7. Fine Line Between Banter & Abuse
Moments: Ashwin-Paine Banter, Mohammad Siraj Racial Abuse
The heat of the moment got to Tim Paine in the 3rd Test match with his banter against Ashwin. It came back to bite him since Australia lost their fortress after 33 years, the Gabbatoir. Paine later came back for an emergency press conference to address the issues. At other times in the series, commentators were guilty of making derogatory remarks against Marnus Labuschagne.
Life Lesson 7:Racism is not acceptable in any form. Speak up if you are a victim or a by-stander. Try to learn from other cultures. If you are not sure about a cultural reference or how to pronounce a name, just ask. Don’t Assume. Embrace diversity. Be nice.
8. Walk the Talk: Performance Matters
Moments: Tim Paine & Matthew Wade’s Performances
Tim Paine had a decent series with the bat, especially the counter attacking Player of the Match 73* at Adelaide. The rest of his performance though was below par.
Dropped catches at Sydney & Brisbane, missed DRS reviews, useless banter, & fielding placements. He needs to walk the talk with his captaincy.
The other keeper in the XI, Matthew Wade also needs to walk the talk. He has done a great job plugging holes in Australia’s line up as a middle order, opening batsman, and taking hits from Neil Wagner. In this India Vs Australia 2020 series, he has managed to get out with a soft dismissal on 3-4 occasions.
Life Lesson 8:Words need to be accompanied with actions to have any meaning. Walk the talk & never take anything for granted. When you are doing well, make the most out of your opportunity because the good times can end very quickly.
9. Leadership Matters
Moments: Siraj leads the attack, Rahane consoles Jadeja after Run Out
If I had to remember this series by one story alone, it would be Mohammad Siraj. Siraj comes from a humble background, was in bereavement of his father’s loss, and was racially abused. Bumrah gets injured, and India play the Brisbane Test with a total of 4 Test matches among the 5 bowlers, with Rohit Sharma being the most experienced bowler.
Siraj becomes the leader of the attack, gives advice to Saini, Natarajan, & Thakur, and takes a well deserved 5-fer. It has been a great boon to Indian cricket that the transition from Zaheer Khan to Ishant Sharma, Ishant Sharma to Bumrah, and Bumrah to Siraj has been smooth. Arms around shoulders.
Speaking of leadership, Rahane’s captaincy & calm demeanor (the Jadeja moment & reaction after series victory) were central to India’s win. In addition, the physio’s efforts during this injury-marred series, and support staff’s influence with Bharat Arun & Ravi Shastri cannot be understated.
Life Lesson 9: Be the leader you want others to be. Lead with humility and vision. Take responsibility. Guide others. Sharing is caring. Creating other leaders is the most significant sign of leadership.
10. Do Not Get Ahead of Yourself
Moments: The Gabba Fortress Breached
The pre-series talk included several predictions of Australia sweeping 4-0 and even after Sydney, Gabba’s statistics were the talk of the town. We all know what happened.
India needs to be warned as well. This was an expected surreal win, but the Indian team should not get ahead of themselves. If India gets complacent, who knows, England might provide India a taste of their own medicine later this year.
Life Lesson 10: Pride and ego can lead to positive growth if utilized correctly. Hubris and arrogance, on the other hand, will certainly bring your downfall.
11. Bonus Story: Superstitions For The Win
This is a fun personal story.
I have always enjoyed underdog stories. I mean, this entire blog is about “Broken Cricket Dreams.” One of the Test matches I have always waited for is a 5th Day hard fought draw.
Due to time zones, I had missed Faf’s Adelaide debut & a similar New Zealand-England match earlier in the decade. The 2015 South Africa blockathon (143 runs in 143.1 overs) resulted in a narrow defeat. The end of the decade, I thought my dream would come true with the Azhar Ali-Fawad Alam-Rizwan effort. It was not to be.
I am also known for my jinx ability & superstitions (just for the fun of it). So 3rd Test Day 5, I had been asked by my friend and family to not tweet a thing. I went one step ahead and decided to not speak either for the day.
After almost 9 and a half hours, the dream finally came true. India had saved the Test match. And guess what? It was a kind of peaceful exercise, not being on social medial 24-7. Anyway…
India Vs Australia 2020 Legacy
Surely this is a tour that Allan Border & Sunil Gavaskar would be proud of.
For a generation or two, the 1999 World Cup Semi-Final, 2005 Ashes, 2001 Laxman’s 281, Belinda Clarke’s 229* were the moments to cherish. In the last 5 years, cricket has rejuvenated itself. All formats with memorable moments.
T20 World Cup – Remember The Name
Women’s World Cup 2017, WT20 2020 – 86,000 spectators
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