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January 8, 2019

India win first-ever Test series on Australian soil


January 8, 2019

SYDNEY: Virat Kohli’s dominant India reinforced their status as the world’s number one team by winning a historic first-ever series in Australia on Monday in an achievement the skipper called the biggest of his storied career.

Australia were still 316 in arrears in Sydney when the match was called off due to rain on day five, leaving India with a 2-1 triumph after wins in Adelaide and Melbourne. Australia won in Perth.

It is the first time they have managed the feat since they began touring Australia in 1947-48.“I want to say I’ve never been more proud of being part of a team, than this one right here,” said an overjoyed Kohli, widely considered perhaps the greatest player of his generation. “The boys make the captain look good. By far, this is my biggest achievement. It’s at the top of the pile. The series win will give us a different identity.”

India had ripped through the Australian tail in Sydney on a shortened day four, when bad light and rain allowed only around 100 minutes of play, bowling the hosts out for 300 in reply to their own ominous 622 for seven declared.

Australia then suffered the indignity of being forced to follow on at home for the first time in 30 years.Only four overs of their second innings were possible, with Marcus Harris not out two and Usman Khawaja unbeaten on four before the match was called off.

“Have to tip our hat to India, we know how tough it is to win in Australia so congrats to Virat and (coach) Ravi (Shastri) because it’s a huge achievement,” said Australian skipper Tim Paine. “Disappointed, definitely over the last two Tests. We had our chances in Adelaide, in Perth I thought we played some good cricket, but in Melbourne and Sydney, we’ve been outplayed,” he added.

He said that there were “no illusions” about his team’s shortcomings, particularly their batting. “We need to keep working hard. But cricket’s a funny game and it can turn very quickly.”Aside from man-of-the-series Pujara, a big part of their their success in Australia has been executing their bowling plans to deprive the Australian batsmen of playing their shots.

India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun said the successful strategy stemmed from mistakes made last year in Tests against South Africa and England. “I thought those two tours were a great experience for us and that has helped us immensely to come and do well in Australia,” he said.

India won toss

India 1st Innings 622-7 dec (C Pujara 193, R Pant 159; N Lyon 4-178)

Australia 1st Innings 300 all out (M Harris 79; Yadav 5-99)

Australia 2nd Innings

M Harris not out 2

U Khawaja not out 4

Extras 0

Total (0 wickets, 4 overs) 6

To bat: M Labuschagne, S Marsh, T Head, P Handscomb, *†T Paine, J Hazlewood, P Cummins, N Lyon, M Starc

Bowling: Shami 2-1-4-0, Bumrah 2-1-2-0

Result: Match drawn

Man of the Match: Cheteshwar Pujara (India)

Man of the Series: Cheteshwar Pujara (India)

Series: India won the 4-match series 2-1

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough and Ian Gould (England). TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (South Africa). Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)

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