JADEJA, THE TEST ALL-ROUNDER
For the longest time, Ravindra Jadeja remained Ravichandran Ashwin’s understudy and assumed the role of the support cast. His six wickets in the first innings of the second Test and again a five-wicket haul in the first innings of Ranchi finally brought him out of Ashwin’s shadow.
Taking wickets in the first innings of a Test match requires a lot of skills and guile because the pitch isn’t as responsive. Accuracy has always been Jadeja’s best friend but in this home season, he also acquainted himself to subtle variations in pace and spin.
The Saurashtra spinner has started bowling a lot closer to the stumps and also, a little slower from time to time, which in turn has made him an all-weather bowler.
In addition to his bowling, this home season saw him arrive and mature as a Test batsman. His innings of 63 in Dharamshala turned the Test and the series in India’s favour.
UMESH EXPRESS HAS ARRIVED
It’s not often that you see an Indian seamer outpace and outbowl his Australian counterparts but the spell that sealed the deal for India in Dharamshala did just that.
Umesh Yadav bowled with a lot of steam on the third-day pitch and removed both openers before half the lead was wiped out. There are certain spells in Test matches that leave an indelible mark on one’s memory and his spell in Dharamshala will go down as one of them.
Considering that it was the last match of a long home season (Umesh played 12 out of the 13 Tests), it was incredible to see that he had enough fuel left in the tank to bowl a fiery spell.
Umesh has arrived at the international stage and once Mohammed Shami is fit, will form a bowling pair to fear in the future.
LOST TOSSES, LOST THE CAPTAIN BUT WON THE SERIES
The highlight of this series was the fact that India lost three tosses, captain Virat Kohli lost his form and then India lost him due to an injury and still the scoreline read 2-1 in the end.
In fact, not just Kohli, but Rahane and Karun Nair also didn’t find their groove until the end and that didn’t dent India’s belief and resolve. Pujara, KL Rahul, and Wriddhiman Saha stood up on multiple occasions and won crucial sessions-moments.
The sign of a good team is that it’s not reliant on one or two individuals to perform all the time, for it’s a collection of match-winners, and this home season has illustrated that this team has what it takes to remain at the top for a long time.
Now that the trophy is won and the dust is settled, I hope that both the players and fans remember this series for the exhilarating cricket it produced over the four Test matches.
There hasn’t been a single Test in the series that didn’t provide opportunities to both sides and in the end, it was only a matter of India seizing a few more opportunities than the Australians.
In the era of home domination, this series will go a long way in reigniting the love for Test cricket.