Here is everything you need to know from 2023 Cricket World Cup Australia preliminary squad announcement.
Let’s not wait a second and dive right in.
Key Takeaways – 2023 Cricket World Cup Australia squad
The average age of Australia’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad is 31.2.
The 18-member preliminary squad has ODI match experience of 76 ODIs (1126 ODIs among 15 players).
Australia’s squad composition is as follows: 6 proper batters (with three part-time bowling options), 6 all-rounders, and 3 proper bowling options. In total, Australia has 12 bowling options (3 leg spin, 2 off spin, 1 left arm pace, and 6 right arm pace) in their squad if absolutely needed.
Australia has 3 left-handed batting options (David Warner, Alex Carey, and Travis Head) and three wicketkeeping options (Carey, Head, Inglis) in their squad.
Australia Cricket World Cup 2023 Team at a Glance
Battler/part time leg spin
Batter/ part time off-spin/occasional wicketkeeper
All-Rounder/Left Arm Spin
**Was in the squads leading up to the World Cup but did not make it to the final squad
Australia Cricket World Cup 2023 Potential XI
Mitchell Marsh/Marcus Stoinis
Alex Carey (WK)
Pat Cummins (c)
Ashton Agar is ruled out of the World Cup with a calf injury. Marnus Labuschagne replaces him.
Travis Head is selected for the WC squad despite fracturing his hand.
Captain Pat Cummins was injured, but made it in back to the squad during the India ODI series.
Australia have dominated ODI World Cups for as long as I can remember.
Can they do it again? With as many bowling options as they have, they have the flexibility in the squad to go all the way. They have injury concerns and lack of subcontinent experience may be an issue.
How far do you think Australia go all the way? Comment below on your thoughts.
Frequently Asked Questions – 2023 Cricket World Cup Australia Squad
What is the average age of Australia’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad?
England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad average age is 30 years.
Who is Aaron Hardie?
Aaron Hardie is a 24-year-old Australian all-rounder. He has played 26 first class matches, 16 List A, and 46 T20 matches. He has played for the Australian U-19 team & Perth Scorchers.
Who is selected for Australia’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad?
David Warner, Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott, Aaron Hardie, Ashton Agar, Tanveer Sangha, Josh Inglis, Nathan Ellis, and Travis Head are in Australia’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad.
Are you curious to learn how many World Cups has Australia won? Here’s a quick answer—Australia has won a mammoth 26 World Cups & ICC tournaments across formats!
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Australia’s exceptional cricketing achievements.
Last week, Australia defeated India to complete the only remaining trophy on their cabinet—The 2023 World Test Championship.
In this article, we’ll dive into the complete list of ICC trophies won by the mighty Aussies, including their World Cup triumphs in both Men’s and Women’s cricket, T20I victories, ODI successes, and U-19 accomplishments.
So, whether you’re an avid cricket fan or simply curious about Australia’s prowess on the pitch, we’ve got you covered with all the fascinating details. Let’s dive in and explore the rich legacy of Australian cricket!
Australia has won a total of 26 world tournaments in cricketout of 65 tournaments, a whopping 40%! (14 Under-19 World Cups, 12 Men’s ODI World Cups, 12 Women’s ODI World Cups, 8 Men’s T20 World Cups, 8 Women’s T20 World Cups, 8 Champions Trophies, 2 World Test Championships, and 1 Commonwealth Games). They have been in the finals on 34 occasions (52.3 %).
Australian women have lifted the trophy 14 times, the senior men’s side has won on 9 occasions, and the Under-19 men’s side has won a total of 3 times. This includes 7 Women’s ODI World Cup (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013, 2022), 6 Women’s T20 World Cups (2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020, 2023), 5 Men’s ODI World Cup (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015), 3 Under-19 Men’s ODI World Cups (1988, 2002, 2010), 2 Champions Trophies (2005, 2009), 1 Commonwealth Gold (2022), 1 Men’s T20 World Cup (2021), and 1 World Test Championship (2023).
Meg Lanning has been Australia’s most successful captain, winning ICC trophies on six occasions (2014, 2018, 2021, 2023 T20 World Cups, 2022 Commonwealth Gold, 2023 ODI World Cup) followed by Ricky Ponting – 4 (2003, 2007 ODI World Cups, 2006 & 2009 Champions Trophy).Sharon Tredrea, Belinda Clark, and Jodie Fields have won two World Cups each as well.
The Australian cricket team has been 8 runners-up times. This includes twice each in the Women’s ODI World Cup (1973, 2000), Men’s ODI World Cup (1975, 1996), and Under-19 World Cup (2012, 2018), and once each in Men’s T20 World Cup (2010) and Women’s T20 World Cup (2016).
Fun Fact: In finals they have won, Australia’s favorite opposition has been England (8 times) followed by New Zealand (5), India (4), Pakistan (3), West Indies, and South Africa (2). They have won World Cups in almost every cricketing country – India, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the UAE.
Australia’s cricketing prowess is nothing short of extraordinary, with a total of 26 world tournament victories and 8 runner-up finishes. Their impressive trophy cabinet boasts 7 Women’s ODI World Cups, 6 Women’s T20 World Cups, 5 Men’s ODI World Cups, 3 Under-19 Men’s ODI World Cups, 2 Champions Trophies, 1 Commonwealth Gold, 1 Men’s T20 World Cup, and 1 World Test Championship.
These remarkable achievements showcase the Australian cricket team’s consistent dominance on the international stage, making them a force to be reckoned with.
As we celebrate their cricketing legacy, we eagerly anticipate what the future holds for this exceptional team and the exciting milestones they are yet to conquer!
Australia’s World Cup Wins – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How Many times has Australia won the Cricket World Cup and other ICC trophies?
Australia have won 26 world tournaments in cricket. This includes 7 Women’s ODI World Cup (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013, 2022), 6 Women’s T20 World Cups (2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020, 2023), 5 Men’s ODI World Cup (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015), 3 Under-19 Men’s ODI World Cups (1988, 2002, 2010), 2 Champions Trophies (2005, 2009), 1 Commonwealth Gold (2022), 1 Men’s T20 World Cup (2021), and 1 World Test Championship (2023).
2. How many times has Australia’s men team won the Cricket World Cup across formats?
Australia men’s cricket team has won five ODI cricket World Cups (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015). They have also won one T20 cricket World Cup (2021) and one World Test Championship (2023). In addition, they have also won 2 ICC Champions Trophy and 3 Under-19 World Cups.
3. How many cricket World Cups has Australia women’s team won across formats?
Australia women’s cricket team has won 7 ODI cricket World Cups (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013, 2022), 6 T20 World Cups (2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020, 2023), and one Commonwealth Gold (2022).
This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look at the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT), one of the most celebrated Test series in the cricket world today.
We will discuss the history of BGT, and look at some of the prominent players who have played a major role in making this tournament what it is today, including the most runs and wickets. The upcoming BGT 2023 schedule and how they can follow the tournament as it unfolds in India is also displayed.
The Border Gavaskar trophy has been held 15 times since 1996, 8 of which were hosted by India and 7 by Australia.
India has won the Border–Gavaskar Trophy 9 times(96-97, 97-98, 2000-01, 04-05, 08-09, 2010-11, 12-13, 16-1)
Australia has won the Border Gavaskar Trophy 5 times (1999-2000, 04-05,07-08,11-12, 14-15).
Sachin Tendulkar (3262), Ricky Ponting (2555), and VVS Laxman (2434) are the highest run scorers in Border Gavaskar Trophy history.
Anil Kumble (111), Harbhajan Singh (95), and Nathan Lyon (94) are the highest wicket-takers in the Border -Gavaskar Trophy.
India has won in Australia twice (2018-19, 2020-21). Australia has won in India 4 times, but only once since 1996 (1947-48, 1956-57, 1959-60, 2004-05).
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is a Test series held between India and Australia named after Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border. Although India and Australia have been playing Test series since 1947, this series officially began in 1996 when Australia toured India for one Test match. Since then, it has been held every 2-3 years in either India or Australia.
History of India vs Australia Test Series at a Glance
Since 1947, both Australia and India have hosted the Test series on 14 occasions each (28 series total). Australia has won 12 times each, India has won 11 times, and the series has been drawn five times. The entire table of the India-Australia Test series is summarized below.
*Note that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy officially begins in 1996.
History of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Now we will present each Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series in detail, in reverse chronological order.
BGT 2022-23 (India 2-1)
Number of Tests: 4
Venues: Nagpur, Delhi, Indore, Ahmedabad
This series was marked by the excellence of India’s three spin allrounders – Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, & Axar Patel. Resurgence of Virat Kohli, Usman Khawaja’s defiance, and Nathan Lyon’s effectiveness were factors in yet another absorbing Test series.
Player of the Series in BGT 2022-23: Ravichandran Ashwin
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2022-23: Usman Khawaja (333)
Virat Kohli’s 50, Tim Paine’s rearguard effort, 36 ALL OUT, Ajinkya Rahane’s Melbourne 100 & captaincy, Shubman Gill’s emergence, Smith and Labuschagne’s successful partnership, and Pat Cummins doing it all. Siraj suffers but delivers, Thakur & Sundar lead India’s next generation, Ashwin-Paine spice up the tournament, Vihari takes body blows, and the yin and yang of Pujara-Pant gives India series victory and breaches the Gabba fortress.
Player of the Series in BGT 2020-21: Pat Cummins
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2020-21: Marnus Labuschagne (426)
If you saw the first season of The Test, you will realize what a thorn Pujara was in Australia’s plans. He defended, defended, and defended some more. In the process, he scored tons of runs. Rishabh Pant & Tim Paine provided several cute moments, Nathan Lyon vs Pujara & Pant was mesmerizing. Bumrah’s slower delivery to dismiss Shaun Marsh will forever be etched in memory. To sum it up though, it was Kohli’s captaincy and the fast-bowling revolutionwas key to India’s success.Australia was without the services of Warner & Smith as they tried to recover from the ball tampering scandal, but this does not take anything away from India.
Player of the Series in BGT 2018-19: Cheteshwar Pujara
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2018-19: Cheteshwar Pujara (521)
Rishabh Pant (350), Virat Kohli (282)
Marcus Harris (258), Travis Head (237)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 2018-19: Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Lyon
Mohammad Shami (16)
Pat Cummins (14), Josh Hazlewood (13), Mitchell Starc (13)
Australia started with a massive win and hope to win a series in India.Pujara scored another double century and a couple of fifties. Beginning to be a pattern, isn’t it? Steve Smith with scores of 109, 178, 111 was at his absolute best, but the Ravis (Ashwin & Jadeja) were just too hot to handle. Other players played decent roles as well. Nathan Lyon took an eight-for and Steve O’Keefe delivered that first win with 6-fers. KL Rahul with twin fifties, Matt Renshaw, Shaun Marsh, Rahane, Wade all contributing as well in what was a competitive series.
Player of the Series in BGT 2016-17: Ravindra Jadeja
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2016-17: Steven Smith (499)
Although India did not exorcise the ghosts of 2011, Team India provided that glimmer of hope. It was Mitchell Johnson’s year and even though he was Australia’s highest wicket-taker, the partnership between Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane will be remembered forever.Just check this clip out.Virat Kohli’s twin tons in Adelaide made for a classic Test and set his career up. But Steve Smith. 769 Runs. Genius. Nathan Lyon. 23 Wickets. Australian legends coming into their own in this series.MS Dhoni surprises with his retirement after the 3rd Test, and Ryan Harris retires after yet another memorable performance.
Player of the Series in BGT 2014-15: Steven Smith
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2014-15: Steven Smith (769)
Michael Clarke’s unforgettable year, MS Dhoni’s double, and the greatness that Ravichandran Ashwin is.Pujara scored a double as well, and Vijay continued in the prime of his life with 167.But this series will be remembered for Shikhar Dhawan’s glorious 187 on debut, Starc’s 99 at #8, and Steven Smith starting to make runs on Asian soil.
Player of the Series in BGT 2012-13: Ravichandran Ashwin
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2012-13: Murali Vijay (430)
Cheteshwar Pujara (410), MS Dhoni (326), Virat Kohli (284)
Michael Clarke (286), Ed Cowan (265), David Warner (192)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 2012-13: Ravichandran Ashwin (29)
Australia crushes India. Shall I say anymore?A drubbing. A disaster. Michael Clarke smashes 329* and 210, Ricky Ponting averages 108.8 and also scores a double. Hilfenhaus & Siddle take 50 wickets among themselves. James Pattinson announces himself (briefly) on the international stage. Rahul Dravid gets bowled 7 times. An end of an era. Kohli’s 116 in the 4th Test India’s only positive. This tour will always be remembered for the infamous 0-8.
Player of the Series in BGT 2011-12: Michael Clarke
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2011-12: Michael Clarke (626)
Ricky Ponting (544), Mike Hussey (293), David Warner (266)
Virat Kohli (300), Sachin Tendulkar (287)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 2011-12: Ben Hilfenhaus (27)
Short but sweet series. The Mohali Test is an all-time classic. VVS Laxman, back spasms, and a successful chase with the lower order. In the second Test, Tendulkar continued his dream resurgent year with 214 & 53*. In the second innings, Rahul Dravid was yet again going to be demoted from his #3 position for someone else. That someone else turned out to be Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a counterattacking 72. Cheteshwar Pujara—counterattacking Australians since 2010.
Player of the Series in BGT 2010-11: Sachin Tendulkar
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2010-11: Sachin Tendulkar (403)
Murali Vijay (176), Suresh Raina (118)
Shane Watson (271), Ricky Ponting (224), Tim Paine (183), Marcus North (141)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 2010-11: Zaheer Khan (12)
Harbhajan Singh (11), Pragyan Ojha (9)
Mitchell Johnson (8), Ben Hilfenhaus (8), Nathan Hauritz (6)
Anil Kumble retires at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Ishant Sharma continues his growth with a player of the series performance. Although Hussey, Katich, Johnson, Krezja, and Watson played key roles for Australia, it was clear that Australia was in a transition era.
Player of the Series in BGT 2008-09: Ishant Sharma
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2008-09: Gautam Gambhir (463)
The series turned out to have both off-field and on-field drama. What began as a great era of Test series from 2000-01 ended with 2007-08 with some questionable decisions and the Monkeygate crisis.Tendulkar still scored runs, Anil Kumble still took wickets, but Brett Lee was the pick of the players in the series.
Player of the Series in BGT 2007-08: Brett Lee
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2007-08: Sachin Tendulkar (493)
VVS Laxman (366), Virender Sehwag (286)
Matthew Hayden (410), Andrew Symonds (410), Michael Clarke (316), Michael Hussey (292), Ricky Ponting (268)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 2007-08: Brett Lee (24)
Australia finally breaches the India fortress feat Damien Martyn. A young Michael Clarke, game-changing Gilchrist, and Gillespie all contributed to their effort. India’s spin trios—Kumble, Harbhajan, and Murali Kartik took 60 wickets among themselves but fell short.
Player of the Series in BGT 2004-05: Damien Martyn
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2004-05: Damien Martyn (444)
Michael Clarke (400), Simon Katich (276), Matthew Hayden (244), Justin Langer (228), Adam Gilchrist (218)
A series for the ages. Ricky Ponting & Rahul Dravid at the top of their games scoring 706 & 619 runs respectively. Dravid’s 233 & 72* with VVS Laxman torturing Australia once again. Sachin Tendulkar resists his cover drive temptation to score 241*, Kumble India’s top performer with the ball yet again, Ganguly scores a ton. Sehwag, Hayden, Martyn, Steve Waugh all among the runs. Gillespie, Agarkar, MacGill, and Lee among the wickets. Something for everybody. Many great players of this era in peak form. Deserved 1-1 drawn series.
Player of the Series in BGT 2003-04: Rahul Dravid
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2003-04: Ricky Ponting (706)
Matthew Hayden (51), Justin Langer (369), Simon Katich (353)
The series that began the rivalry. Steve Waugh’s final frontier was so close, yet so far. VVS Laxman’s greatest innings of the century, the 281, and the partnership turned narrative around for this series and Indian cricket in general. Shane Warne’s expression that day said it all. Sourav Ganguly, the charasmatic captain leading India after the match-fixing era, Sachin Tendulkar doing what he does best (along with his googlies), and Harbhajan Singh being a class apart. India’s top three bowlers in the charts read: Harbhajan (32), Tendulkar (3), Zaheer Khan (3).From Australia’s end, Hayden, McGrath, Gilchrist, Waugh, Warne, and Gillespie all played a role in the series.
Player of the Series in BGT 2000-01: Harbhajan Singh
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 2000-01: Matthew Hayden (549)
Steve Waugh (243), Michael Slater (166)
VVS Laxman (503), Rahul Dravid (338), Sachin Tendulkar (304), SS Das (173)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 2000-01: Harbhajan Singh (32)
Sachin Tendulkar (3), Zaheer Khan (3)
Glenn McGrath (17), Jason Gillespie (13), Shane Warne (10), CR Miller (6), Mark Waugh (3)
With the exception of individual performances by India, Australia completely blew the visitors away. Ricky Ponting was the top run-scorer and Glenn McGrath was the highest wicket taker of ther series, two names that would come up time and again over the next decade. Tendulkar was the player of the series, but VVS Laxman’s 167 gave Australia a taste of what they were about to face in the future.
Player of the Series in BGT 1999-2000: Sachin Tendulkar
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 1999-2000: Ricky Ponting (375)
Justin Langer (289), Steve Waugh (276), Adam Gilcrist (221)
1998—The year of Sachin Tendulkar. He continued his Sharjah exploits in Test cricket. Here is a clip of the battle between Shane Warne vs Sachin Tendulkar in India for the first time. Although Australia got a consolation win, India defeated Australia by healthy margins in the first two Tests.
Player of the Series in BGT 1997-98: Sachin Tendulkar
Highest Runs Scorer in BGT 1997-98: Sachin Tendulkar (446)
Navjot Singh Sidhu (341), Mohammad Azharuddin (311)
Mark Waugh (280), Mark Taylor (189), Ian Healy (165)
Highest Wicket-Taker in BGT 1997-98: Anil Kumble (23)
Javagal Srinath (8), Venkatapathy Raju (7)
Gavin Robertson (12), Shane Warne (10), Michael Kasprowicz (8)
The schedule for the 2023 BGT 2023 is shown below:
1st Test, Nagpur, 9-13 February, 2023
2nd Test, Delhi, 17-21 February, 2023
3rd Test, Dharamsala, 1-5 March, 2023
4th Test, Ahmedabad, 9-13 March, 2023
The ODI series is scheduled as follows:
1st ODI (D/N), Mumbai (Wankhede), 17 March, 2023
2nd ODI (D/N), Visakhapatnam, 19 March, 2023
3rd ODI (D/N), Chennai, 22 March 2023
Who were Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border?
Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border were two of the greatest cricketers in history.
Gavaskar was an iconic Indian batsman who played 125 Tests for India, scoring a then-record 34 centuries. He held several batting records and is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen ever to have graced the game. On the other hand, Border was an Australian all-rounder who captained Australia to their first World Cup win in 1987. He played 156 Tests for Australia and is widely considered to be one of the greatest captains of all time. Together, these two legends were instrumental in establishing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy which has become one of the most eagerly anticipated cricket series.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy was established in 1996 as a tribute to two of cricket’s finest players, Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border. The series has since become one of the most anticipated events in international cricket, with some of the greatest matches being played between India and Australia over the past two decades. The trophy is contested every two years, alternating between India and Australia, with the last edition being hosted Down Under in 2020-21. The series has seen some of the greatest contests in cricket history, providing for a thrilling and intense experience for all fans.
We will just wait and watch what BGT 2023 has to offer. With all the recent past, I’m sure it will be nothing short of delightful.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy was established in 1996 as a tribute to two of cricket’s finest players, Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border. The series has since become one of the most anticipated events in international cricket, with some of the greatest matches being played between India and Australia over the past two decades. The trophy is contested e very two years, alternating between India and Australia, with the last edition being hosted Down Under in 2018-19. The series has seen some of the greatest contests in cricket history, providing for a thrilling and intense experience for all fans.
When is the next Border-Gavaskar Trophy?
The next Border-Gavaskar Trophy will take place in February-March 2023 in India. It will consist of 4 Tests and 3 ODIs.
Who has won the most Border-Gavaskar trophies (BGT)?
India has won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 9 times, while Australia have held it five times.
How many times has India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia?
India has won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy twice (2018-19 & 2020-21).
How many times has Australia won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) in India?
Australia has won the Border Gavaskar Trophy exactly once in India (2004). However, Australia has won it thrice more before the inception of the BGT.
How many times has Australia won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy?
Australia has won the BGT 5 times.
How many times has India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy?
India has won the BGT 9 times.
Who currently holds the Border Gavaskar Trophy?
India is the current holder of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, winning away from home 2-1 in 2020-21.
We bring to you the list of best Test matches over the past four years. Thrilling finishes galore! Who said Test matches are boring?
by Nitesh Mathur, 08/27/2021
West Indies’ 1-wicket victory against Pakistan and India’s comeback at Lord’s have added another couple of great matches in our memory banks. We have seen some exhilarating Test cricket in the past couple of years.
If there was ever any doubt on the quality of Test cricket, here are 18 matches that have revived Test cricket in the past 4 years.
Match Summary: Pakistan: 376 & 174/8 declared; West Indies: 247 & 202
Player of the Match: Roston Chase
After 95 overs of resistance, with only 7 balls to go for a valiant draw, Shannon Gabriel heaves Yasir Shah and gets bowled. Roston Chase stranded on 101* (239) after batting for an epic 366 minutes. Strategic stroke or brain fade from Gabriel?
In their first innings, Australia had collapsed from 161-1 to 202-10. In the second innings, they had 462 runs to chase or 140 overs to bat. And 140 overs they batted. The man of the hour was Usman Khawaja – 85 (175) & 141 (302), batting for a total of 766 minutes (around 13 hours) to give Australia one of their most savored draws.
“It was assumed that Australia would lose that Test match. What Australia was looking for…was a test of character” – Amazon Prime The Test
This was Australia’s first true moral victory since Steve Smith & David Warner were banned. Usman Khawaja had never truly solidified his place in the Australian XI, but this innings ensured his career would always be remembered due to this legendary knock.
Match Summary: South Africa: 235 & 259; Sri Lanka: 191 & 304/9
Player of the Match: Kusal Perera
In a mammoth chase of 304, Sri Lanka were struggling at 110/5. What followed was a knock for the ages. Kusal Perera hit a miraculous 153* (200) with 12 sixes & 5 fours. The last wicket partnership between Perera & Vishwa Fernando was 78*, with only 6* (27) coming from Fernando’s bat.
“He’s done it! He absolutely does it. One of the greatest see from a Sri Lankan outside Sri Lanka…What a historical day at Durban.” Watch the winning moment here, a contender for the greatest Test match innings of all time.
Sri Lanka go on to win the series 2-0. First time anAsian team won a Test series in South Africa.
Match Summary: Australia: 179 & 246; England: 67 & 362/9
Player of the Match: Ben Stokes
Despite being a wonderful series to watch all around, the thunder was stolen by Ben Stokes’ 135*, Jack Leach’s glasses, Nathan Lyon’s run out opportunity, and Tim Paine’s missed DRS review. A 76* (62) partnership for the final wicket. Oohs & Aahs. Reverse sweeps, scoops, and hoicks. Just a great day to be a cricket fan. One of the greatest innings of all time.
“Cut away. Cut away for 4. What an innings. What a player. Take a bow Ben Stokes. The Ashes well and truly alive because of one cricketer & that cricketer is Benjamin Stokes.” (Nasser Hussain) Entire Day 5 minute highlights
This series had so many moments. Stuart Broad 23 wickets & dismissed Warner 7 times. Steve Smith’s legendary masterclass was breathtaking. 774 runs, 3 tons, 3 fifties, best of 211, 110.57 average. Jofra Archer’s Test debut, Smith’s concussion, and Marnus Labuschagne’s entrance as cricket’s first concussion substitute—353 runs, 4 fifties at 51.00. Not a bad start, I say. Ideal beginning for the World Test Championship, a 2-2 Ashes series.
Match Summary: England: 204 & 313; Sri Lanka: 318 & 200/6
Player of the Match: Shannon Gabriel
It was a Test match that went all the way to session 3 of Day 5, which became a common theme for Test matches post the COVID break. After Shannon Gabriel’s 9-fer & #1 all-round Jason Holder had given West Indies the advantage, they characteristically lost it on the final day. The Windies had collapsed for 27/3 in a chase of 200. Then an inspirational 95 by Jermaine Blackwood 2.0 brought WI back with the supporting cast of a hobbling John Campbell & the engine room—Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, and Jason Holder.
Commentary/Winning Moment (None other than than Ian Bishop)
“Victory for the West Indies. A most significant moment for Jason Holder and his team. Great credit to their skill, their commitment. The West Indian people and world credit owes them a great debt…” Commentary Video
The coronavirus had hit and ravaged the world. Worldwide lockdown was in-effect and sports had closed its doors for months. Thanks to the West Indies & England cricket boards, players, the support staff, & essential works, cricket made a comeback via bio-bubbles.
Match Summary: New Zealand: 431 & 180/5 declared; Pakistan: 318 & 200/6
Player of the Match: Kane Williamson
With a chase of 373 at hand in tough New Zealand conditions, Pakistan were 4/2 at tea on Day 4.One of those one-sided home victories for New Zealand again? Not this time. Not with Fawad Alam. With support from the ever dependable trio Azhar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, and Faheed Ashraf, Alam scored 102over 6 and a half hours. Yet a Pakistan-esque collapsed followed after surviving 123.3 overs. Pakistan lost with only 4.4 overs to go. What a jumping catch by Santner as well for the last wicke.t. The drama.
“[Catch it] Oh he’s done it. He’s pulled a hander! Mitchell Santner has done it! Mitchell Santner has finished the game for New Zealand. Look at the scenes!” Commentary Video
Last match of the decade. Turning point for Test cricket. Brilliant rearguard effort despite the loss. And Fawad Alam. What a story. Dropped after 3 Tests despite scoring a 168 on debut. Criticized for scoring hard, ugly runs with a weird stance. Left out for a decade. . Grinded in domestic cricket. Runs after runs. Till he could be ignored no more. Has now scored 4 hundreds since his comeback. Patience is, indeed, the key to success.
India had won the 2018 series 2-1 on the back of Pujara’s toil – 521 (1258). Could they repeat the magic in 2021 with Warner & Smith?
It began with the 36 All-Out at Adelaide. Spectacular bowling performance from Australia. Then Rahane’s century & calm captaincy rejuvenated India at Melbourne. Show of resilience and immense mental strength followed from Vihari-Ashwin after the Pujara-Pant show to secure a draw in Sydney. Finally the young brigade breached the Gabba Fortress. Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Mohammad Siraj, and Rishabh Pant the stars.
“Pujara, to a younger generation is just a curiosity. As the game moves more and more towards T20, which is the modern savior of our game, the word resilience starts to go out because there is no time for resilience. ” – Harsha Bhogle on Pujara in Amazon Prime’s The Test
The 2018 victory was the first instance an Asian team has won a Test series in Australia. The 2021 series? Arguably the best Test series since Ashes 2005—This series had everything—bowling excellence, centuries, youngsters, experience, banter, sledging, draws, collapses, and chases. Even with a so-called injured ‘third string,’ squad, whenever India were down, they came back with new hope & stars.
Match Summary: Sri Lanka: 135 & 359; England: 421 & 76/3
Player of the Match: Joe Root
The Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya series. On paper, does not look too close, but the 1st Test was actually engrossing to watch. In chase of 74, England were 14/3 with Joe Root run out (the only way he can get out these days). Jonny Bairstow & Dan Lawrence took England home but the tension was high. 4 innings, 446 runs for Root, 15 wickets for Embuldeniya. Individual brilliance.
“Massive, massive. This is massive. England in a spot of bother.” (After Root’s dismissal) Commentary Video
Start of Root’s magical year; English fan stranded in Galle cheers from the fort; England won the series 2-0 to extend their overseas winning streak to 5 after they had won 3-1 in South Africa earlier. They would win another in Chennai before Axar Patel decimated England’s subcontinental dreams. (England had also won the 2018 tour of Sri Lanka 3-0 in this same timeframe).
Match Summary: Bangladesh: 430 & 223/8 declared; West Indies: 259 & 395/7
Player of the Match: Kyle Mayers
Imagine that you are not sending your 1st XI to Bangladesh, a spin-heavy nation that has had an impeccable record in the past 5 years. No expectations before hand.Bangladesh would have been happy with their effort with centuries from Mehidy Hasan Miraz & Mominul Haque. They even declared in the second innings.
A successful chase of 395 runs followed in 127.3 overs with twodebutants, Kyle Mayers (40 & 210*) & Nkrumah Bonner (86)sealing it for the West Indies with a remarkable partnership of 216 runs. Fourth innings match-winning double century on debut in the subcontinent. Wow.
Commentary/Winning Moment (Ian Bishop Again)
“A win to warm the hearts of every West Indian wherever you are in the world! New heroes have emerged from the ashes..” Commentary Video
West Indies won the series 2-0 in Bangladesh with a depleted squad. The greatest chase of all-time?
Match Summary: India: 217 & 170; New Zealand: 249 & 140/2
Player of the Match: Kyle Jamieson
Under difficult batting conditions and rain all around, both teams fought it out till the very end. The WTC Final was expected to be a boring draw two rains and bad light. Instead, it became a thriller that went deep into Day 6, final session. With a chase of 139, Latham-Conway had departed to spin trial by R Ashwin. Reversed DRS decision, maidens, and a dropped catch later. At 44/2, anything could have happened the way Ashwin was bowling. When the time came, the experienced duo Kane Williamson & Ross Taylor came together, soaked in the pressure, and after took New Zealand home safely.
Match Summary: Pakistan: 217 & 203; West Indies: 253 & 168/9
Player of the Match: Jayden Seales
168 target. West Indies collapse to 16/3. After a classic 55 by Jermaine Blackwood, West Indies slip to 114/7. Pakistan needed 3 wickets. West Indies 54 runs. Then Kemar Roach came to the party and had to the take the responsibility of ‘batting with the tail.‘. Roach’s 30* and a valiant 17-run partnership between the mentor-protege pair, Roach-Jayden Seales guided West Indies to a memorable 1-wicket victory.
Match Summary: India: 217 & 203; England: 253 & 168/9
Player of the Match: KL Rahul
Day 5, All Results possible. England Favorites. India, not known for their tailender run-machines, unleash Mohammad Shami (56*) & Jasprit Bumrah (34*). 89* partnership as India declared with 2 sessions to go. Then, the pacers fire in unison as India wreck England for 120.
“Unbelievable performance from India. They were up against it. England were favorites coming into Day 5. Kohli an his men have turned it all around.” Commentary Video
Victory at Lord’s. Another display of fighting it out and not giving up for Team India. Australia tour was not a fluke. This Indian team is on the rise.
Match Summary:India 345 & 234/7 declared; New Zealand 296 & 165/9
Player of the Match: Shreyas Iyer
By Tea on Day 5, the main batters for New Zealand—Latham, Williamson, and Taylor had all departed. Somerville’s 36 (125) delayed what seemed inevitable for India. Little did India know that they would run into Test debutant Rachin (Rahul + Sachin) Ravindra—18* (91) & Ajaz Patel 2* (29) to hold out for a memorable draw.Add bad light to the drama as well.
“For a long period of time, New Zealand have struggled to find wins or draws in this country. There is a lot of respect between these two sides. Lot of respect between the skippers.” Commentary Video
Match Summary:New Zealand 328 & 169; Bangladesh 458 & 42/2
Player of the Match: Ebadot Hossain
After Bangladesh took lead in the first innings, but Will Young-Ross Taylor had taken NZ to 136/2. In the next hour, 136/3, 136/4, 136/5, 154/6, 160/7, 160/8, 161/9, 169/10. The hour that changed it all feat Ebadot Hossain.
“There it is! Finds the gap and Bangladesh have finally conquered the World Test Champions. And have their first ever Test victory over New Zealand, home or away. It has taken 16 attempts against New Zealand but historic ground has now been broken.” Commentary Video
The greatest comeback of all time? World Test Champions, undefeated at home for a few years, against a team not known for winning overseas. The best part of all? Bangladesh dominated the entire Test and new heroes emerging—Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mominul Haque, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Liton Das, Mehdiy Hasan Miraz, Ebadot Hossain. No Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, & Mahmudullah, and Mushfiqur Rahim only scoring 12 & 5.
Match Summary:Australia 416/8 declared & 265/6 declared; England 294 & 270/9
Player of the Match: Usman Khawaja
England 3-0 down in the Ashes series. Very likely the series could have become 5-0. First innings, Australia scored 400+, courtesy Khawaja’s comeback century. England came out with a positive attitude, with Jonny Bairstow recording England’s first ton of the series. Khawaja followed with another ton, which set the Test beautifully for Day 5, fifth session. Last batter to go, Labuschagne and Steve Smith bowling leggies in tandem. Against Stuart Broad & jimmy Anderson. Mouthwatering stuff.
“Last ball…He’s done it! He’s survived it. England have survived it. They’ve batted out the day. They’ve batted a hundred and two overs.
Last shining moment for the Broad-Anderson duo? In terms of Test cricket, this week (starting on January 43rd, 2022) was the peak. NZ vs Bangladesh, Ashes 4th Test, and Ind vs SA 2nd Test, all classic thrillers.
Match Summary:India 202 & 266;South Africa 229 & 243/3
Player of the Match: Dean Elgar
India had won the first Test of the series comfortably. This was India’s best chances to conquer South Africa. Successful overseas victories in Australia and England, an unparalleled depth, and a South Africa team at their lowest point. In a low scoring series, 202 & 266 were decent scores. Day 4, 240 monumental target for SA against a bowling line up of Bumrah-Shami-Thakur-Siraj-Ashwin, and what happens? Elgar takes body blows, does not hesitate, and makes a glorious 96*. No captain Kohli. India succumbs to defeat by 7 wickets.
“That’s it! History has been made at the Wanderers. and South Africa have fought back brilliantly! Take a bow, Dean Elgar….Fantastic effort, leading from the front. He’s worn a few on the body but hasn’t bothered him. Shown character and desire, grit & determination to get his team over the line. And set up the series beautifully.” Commentary Video
A win against India at Wanderers at last. First 200+ chase for SA in a decade. After losing the first Test of a series, this was truly a comeback of the ages. India missed their golden chance due to some tough cricket from the Proteas. Third Test, captain Kohli came back. Rishabh Pant scored 100*, but Keegan Petersen’s 72 & 82 meant that SA chased 212/3 yet again.
Match Summary:Australia 337/9 declared & 216/7 declared; England 297 & 245/9 declared
Player of the Match: Heather Knight
Heather Knight’s Test, but Australia had the upper hand. After they declared for 216/7 in the 2nd innings, England took on the challenge for the chase of 257. At 218/3 with Nat Sciver & Sophia Dunkley, it seemed that England might win this. But Alana King, Beth Mooney’s catch, Sutherland’s bouncers, and a run out ensured England’s collapse. Last ball, full toss, England 245/9. The narrowest of draws.
“And it’s a full toss. It is a drawww! And it is one of the very best Test matches we have seen in women’s Ashes.
In Women’s Test cricket, this was a friendly reminder that Test cricket can flourish if given the chance and plenty of opportunities, both at the domestic and international level. With focus on the 4-day vs 5-day debate, this Test came at hte right time.
Why Are We Seeing Close Test Matches So Frequently?
For an away team to win a Test match, it takes an immense amount of effort and equal amount of fightback from the home team. Hence, winning an away Test usually means going deep into the 4th of 5th Day, which makes for an interesting viewing. On the other hand, home team in friendly bowling conditions mean Test matches can end within 3-4 days (even 2 days).
More away victories or draws means more close Test matches.
What do you remember about Test cricket in the 2010s? Mitchell Johnson 2013, the advent of the Day-Night Test, Smith-Warner saga, South Africa’s blockathon in Delhi, and excellence from the South African team, Dale Steyn, Anderson-Broad, Boult-Southee, Starc-Hazlewood-Lyon-Cummins, Jadeja-Ashwin, Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith, and Kane Williamson.
Above all, though, I remember disproportionate margins by which home teams won. India losing in England 0-4 (with RP Singh flying from Miami due to excessive injury list) & Australia 0-4 (2011). India came back to England with 1-3 (2014), and 1-4 (2018). Their record in South Africa and New Zealand, remains disastrous till today. England and Australia were either swept apart or struggled to make a mark in India or Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Pakistan had made UAE their fortress under Misbah-ul-Haq.
Post the 2010-12 England generation (think Alastair Cook Ashes 2010 & England victory 2-1 in India), except for South Africa, no other team seemed competitive overseas. Only Faf du Plessis’ Adelaide debut & England’s defiance via Matt Prior against New Zealand (2013) stretched to the end of Day 5.
From the list above, we can see that the tide is finally turning. Even in England’s disaster tour of India earlier this year (1-3), they won the first Test in Chennai.
Rise of Away Wins, Sporting Declarations, and Pakistan/West Indies
So why have we seen a resurgence of overseas victory?
It can be attributed to 4 factors – (1) Increase depth in cricket teams in general, (2) sporting declarations (#1, #2, #5, #8, #13, #15, #17), (3) captains like Virat Kohli focusing their resources and energy on Test cricket, (4) the rise of the West Indies/Pakistan.
One might argue that West Indies still have a dismal Test record. However, we can see that they made it in this list 3 times. They have definitely become a competitive force under Jason Holder although consistency is now needed. ‘Second tier Test’ teams like West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka punching above their weights and winning overseas matches adds to the excitement (A Relegation-Promotion System in the World Test Championship might help out).
Anyway, here is to more great Test matches. Yes, live audience in Test cricket is decreasing and overkill of cricket/new formats might threaten Test Cricket, but as long as the cricket is good, Test matches will remain alive.
The IPL is full of surprises and memorable moments. Here are my moments of today:
Faf Du Plessis-Ruturaj Gaikwad set the platform. Looks like Ruturaj Gaikwad gets in and out of form every three games. Last IPL, he was dropped after 3 no-shows and came back with 3 fifties. Credit to CSK for keeping faith with Gaikwad (5, 5, 10 prior to this match) – 64 (42) with some amazing pull shots. Also, Faf is class. That’s all. Knows how to play second fiddle in a 115 (77) run partnership and accelerate accordingly. Faf’s scoop has to be one of my favorite shots.
The Deepak Chahar show. Chahar might have become a T20 specialist, but swing his still his forte. Back into form again in IPL 2021. His 4/29 reduced KKR to 5-31 in 5.2 overs. His spell almost finished the game then and there for KKR.
Almost being the key phrase. Andre Russell-Dinesh Karthik-Pat Cummins show their worth. KKR’s last two season have been disappointing because their so-called strength, Morgan-Russell-Karthik-Cummins, have never performed together. Partnerships of 81 (39) Russell-DK & 34 (22) DK-Cummins partnership almost brought KKR brought into the game today, but the 30 run-over of Pat Cummins against Sam Curran sent shivers in the CSK dressing room. The hitting from Andre Russell & Pat Cummins. Brute force.
The KKR began to dream. Before it came crashing down in iconic KKR fashion—a silly bowled, nonsensical shot, and two run-outs.
Honorable Mention: Lungi Ngidi’s 4-0-28-3 the turning spell; MS Dhoni turns back the clock with 17 (8) including a six
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Discipline in the Field & Russell’s Bowled
Wides, No balls, 5 Wides, Dropped catch for six, Nagarkoti’s ill-timed shot, run-outs…the list goes on. Discipline in the field was lacking on both sides. KKR lost around 20-30 runs in the field, which probably cost KKR the game. Sam Curran conceded 51 in his first 3 overs (58 overall), while Thakur conceded 47. Have to be better than that.
We now know that 200 is probably par in Mumbai, and 220 is just about safe. KKR should think about bringing in Tim Seifert andLockie Ferguson for Mumbai. Will give them the edge they are missing thus far.
The broken cricket dream of the day goes to Andre Russell’s bowled.He left the ball, and Sam Curran’s bowl smashed the stumps behind his hip. He was so disappointed, he sat on the stairs for quite a while. With no expression. Had he stayed for a couple more overs, KKR might have just reached the target.
IPL 2021 Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap Leaders
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap. We will keep updating it in every article!
Shikhar Dhawan – 231 runs (DC, 4 matches)
Harshal Patel – 12 wickets (RCB, 4 matches)
Net Run Rate
1. Royal Challengers Bangalore
2. Chennai Super Kings
3. Delhi Capitals
4. Mumbai Indians
5. Sunrisers Hyderabad
6. Kolkata Knight Riders
7. Punjab Kings
8. Rajasthan Royals
IPL 2021 Points Table
Tomorrow is the first double header!
MI takes on DC tomorrow. What are your thoughts?
Also, if you have not yet read our IPL Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:
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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