Adelaide Test: Virat Kohli and Co create history in Australia after 71 years

Updated: 11 December, 2018 10:35 IST | Gaurav Joshi | Adelaide

Team India create history by winning the opening Test of a series in Australia for the first time in 71 years

India skipper Virat Kohli celebrates victory on Day Five of the first Test match against Australia at Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
India skipper Virat Kohli celebrates victory on Day Five of the first Test match against Australia at Adelaide Oval yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

The sight of Travis Head fending a sharp bouncer from Ishant Sharma and spooning a catch straight to gully on a fifth day pitch was a sight to behold for Indian fans. For as long as one can remember, it has always been the Australian fast bowlers that have been the antagonists, but yesterday the roles were reversed as India recorded a historic 31-run victory in the opening Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Adelaide Oval to take the lead in the four-Test series.

This is the first time in 71 years that India have won the opening Test of a series in Australia. The wicket of Head in the eighth over of the day provided India an ideal start and that gave the Indian fans in the Eastern Stand plenty to smile about. But with the pitch losing its pace, Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine started forging a strong partnership. Marsh raced past his fifty to raise Australia's hopes. But Jasprit Bumrah returned to the bowling crease to kiss the edge of Marsh's willow for 60 as India sensed a comfortable victory.

Slowly, the crowd started to build and every Australian run was greeted with a round of applause as the hosts went to lunch at 187-5, chasing 323 to win. Refreshed after the interval, Bumrah hurled a vicious bouncer at Paine which the Australian captain top-edged to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Virat Kohli was ecstatic and the Bharat Army found its voice again.

However, there was still another twist in the tale as Pat Cummins along with Mitchell Starc added 41 runs for the eighth wicket which was followed by a 31-run stand between Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

Fortunately, Bumrah induced a wild slash from Cummins and Kohli snaffled the catch at first slip. India now needed one wicket for victory while Australia needed 64 runs.

But Lyon kept the Australian spirit high by playing a few audacious shots and even the ever conservative Josh Hazlewood uppercut Bumrah over the slips for a boundary. The tension started to mount. Kohli was restless and the Indian fans went quiet. With Australia inching closer to the target and the tea break looming, Kohli decided to move KL Rahul from midwicket to slips.

Rahul told Fox Sports after play that he urged Hazlewood from close proximity to attempt a shot and finish the game quickly. Few balls later Hazlewood attempted a cover drive off Ashwin and the edge was pouched by Rahul to provide India a historic victory.

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First Published: 11 December, 2018 08:19 IST

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