The eight-wicket win in the second Test of the series in Melbourne becomes more special when you look at what happened to the visitors coming into this match.
The first Test, which was a day-night encounter saw both teams having the upper hand at different stages of the match. But it ended with what was a morale crushing performance by the Indian team. They were bowled out for their lowest Test innings total of 36 in their second innings and as a result lost the match by eight wickets inside three days.
Also going into the Boxing Day Test, the team was without regulars like talismanic skipper Virat Kohli (on paternity leave), Mohammed Shami (out injured), Ishant Sharma (not in squad due to injury), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (not in squad due to injury), Rohit Sharma (was in quarantine) and Umesh Yadav then got injured during the Melbourne Test. But Ajinkya Rahane & Co didn’t let those things play on their mind.
Instead, led by the calming influence of the new skipper, centurion and Man-of-the-Match Ajinkya Rahane, the team showcased just how tough a team they are to bounce back from a historic low in Adelaide to register a morale-boosting win.
Here are some of the most interesting statistics that are now part of the history books thanks to India’s great comeback win, which will see the visitors end their year on a high and be extra motivated for the third Test, beginning on January 7, 2021:
1. This is now India’s 52nd away-Test win, MCG their best ‘away’ venue
The 8 wicket win at the MCG is Team India’s 52nd away Test win. Interestingly, Melbourne is now India’s best venue in terms of away wins. They have won 4 Tests at the MCG dating back to the 1978 tour.
No other team, except England, have managed to win more than three Tests at the MCG
2. India have become just the third team to come back from being 0-1 down to win the second Test of a series in Australia in the last 50 years
The first team which did this was West Indies in Perth in 1975-76. The second team was New Zealand, who came back after being 0-1 down to win the second Test in Hobart
3. Since the start of this century, India have won more Tests in Australia than Australia have in India
This is a very interesting statistic. Though the difference between the two teams is just one Test win, India now holds the upper hand, with 5 wins in 22 Tests in Australia in this century. The Ausies have 4 wins in 21 Tests on Indian soil in that time period.
4. India is only the third team to win the next Test of the same series after getting out for 50 or less
In the first Test in Adelaide India were bundled out for their all time lowest Test innings total of 36. The other two teams who have managed to bounce back like this are England who have done it twice (vs Australia and WI) and Australia (vs SA).
5. There have been only four previous instances when India have won a series after losing the first Test. They were all in subcontinental conditions. History beckons Team India
– England in India, Test Series, 1972/73 (lost, won, won, draw, draw)
– Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia in India, 2000/01 (lost, won, won)
– India in Sri Lanka, Test Series, 2015 (lost, won, won)
– Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia in India, 2016/17 (lost, won, draw, won)
6. Lasith Malinga is the only bowler who has taken more wickets than Mohammed Siraj, as an overseas debutant bowler in Australia
In 2004, in the first Test in Darwin, Malinga took 6 wickets. Siraj, on debut at the MCG took 5 wickets.
7. For the first time in 32 years no Australian batsman in the playing XI has scored a fifty in a home Test match.
The last time this happened was also at the MCG vs the West Indies
8. Ajinkya Rahane becomes the first recipient of the Mullagh medal
Man-of-the-Match of the second Test Rahane won the inaugural Mullagh Medal. Cricket Australia had announced that the Man of the match of every Boxing Day Test from 2020 onwards will now receive the medal, which is named after Australian Aboriginal all-rounder Johnny Mullagh.
Incidentally, Mullagh, who was part of the Aboriginal team which toured England in 1868, 8 years before the first official Test series was played between England and Australia in 1876-77, was inducted into the Australian Hall of fame on Monday, December 28, 2020 – 152 years after that tour in 1868.