I saw history at the SCG, writes Christine D'Mello
Wait for elusive Test series win in Australia finally ends for thousands of Indian fans Down Under
Despite the overcast skies hovering over the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for two straight days, it has been a brilliant Indian summer. It was a moment 71 years in the making. When Indian skipper Virat Kohli lifted the Border-Gavaskar Trophy yesterday before a smattering of Australian fans, Indian supporters and iconic superfan Sudhir Kumar Gautam, history was created - an Indian touring side had won a Test series in Australia for the first time.
The grey clouds and misty sprays that persisted over the SCG could not stop the sun from shining on the Indian Test team. Even before the presentation at around 2.45pm Sydney time, the vocal group were singing and dancing as the rain fell, livening up an otherwise sombre and sodden SCG.
Virat Kohli with wife Anushka Sharma. Pics/Getty Images, AFP
"I have cheered the visiting Indian teams through wins, painful losses and draws," said long-standing Indian cricket supporter, Michelle Verghis. Watching Indian teams in Australia over the past 19 years has not been easy for me.
After the three-Test hammering of 1999-00, I was lucky to witness
Sachin Tendulkar (241*) and VVS Laxman (178) bat at the SCG during the 2003-2004 tour. Sourav Ganguly had captained the team to a win in Adelaide, but India lost in Melbourne. A series win was so tantalisingly close but, in Steve Waugh's final Test, India just could not get the last few wickets it needed to clinch it.
I was there at the ground when India lost the second Test in Sydney in 2007-08 before going down 1-2 in the series. I was dejected when we lost by an innings and 68 runs in 2011-12. The drawn Sydney Test of 2014-15 was easier to accept.
I never thought I would see this day. Watching India play Tests, one-dayers and T20s at the SCG has been an emotional see-saw for me. But, no matter what, I have cheered on the team through it all, hoping, waiting for that elusive series win - the holy grail of a Test series triumph.
Kohli had told the media after the MCG win: "I can guarantee everyone is obsessed about winning in very difficult conditions… It has to be an obsession. If it's an obsession, it won't stop at one or two games... When you're obsessed about playing good quality cricket and achieving excellence then I don't think as a team you want to stop at two games." Obsessed? I suppose so. Focused? Very much so.
Despite the weather denying Kohli's men a shot at winning the Sydney Test, for me and thousands of Indian fans, January 7, 2019 will be an enduring memory - the day India made history and finally won a Test series (2-1) in Australia. I left the SCG with a feeling of pride and the confidence that this may not be India's one and only Test series win in Australia.
Christine D'Mello is a Sydney-based journalist and Indian cricket supporter, originally from Mumbai
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