Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said Virat Kohli and Co will have to fight hard to win their maiden series in Australia. India took a 1-0 lead against Australia on their soil for the first time in 70 years after clinching a 31-run win in the opening Test. Australia’s lower order led by Nathan Lyon had sniffed victory before being eventually bowled out for 291 on the final day. Also Read - Coronavirus Pandemic: No Pay Cut For South African Cricketers For 2020-21 Season Despite Growing Concerns
Congratulating Team India, Ganguly said: “It’s a great win. This will be a hard-fought and highly competitive series. All the matches will be result-oriented.” India’s best finish in Australia has been a 1-1 draw under Ganguly in 2003-04. Also Read - As Captain, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli Never Supported Me The Way Sourav Ganguly Did: Yuvraj Singh
The second Test of the four-match Test series will begin at Perth from December 14. Also Read - Tim Paine on India Series: Presence of Steve Smith And David Warner Will Make Australia Tough to Beat
India gave wings to their quest for a maiden series win in Australia with a 31-run victory in the opening Test, their first in the country since 2008, with Rishabh Pant equalling a world record along the way in Adelaide on Monday. Chasing 323, the hosts were bowled out for 291 in 119.5 overs shortly before tea on day five with Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami taking three wickets each for a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
Pant finished with 11 catches, and equalled the record for most dismissals in a Test by a wicketkeeper, sharing it with England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers. This was the first time India won the opening Test of a series in Australia in 70 years.
Things went too close for comfort for India as Nathan Lyon (38 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (13) put on 42 runs for the last wicket and frustrated the Indian bowling. The sparse crowd at Adelaide Oval cheered every single as the duo edged closer and the odd boundary didn’t help matters.
Finally, things came to a close as Ashwin had Hazlewood caught at second slip in the 120th over to register India’s sixth Test win on Australian soil.
“It’s important to stay calm. The odds were stacked up against them as soon as we got Pat Cummins out. I wouldn’t say I was cool as ice but you try not to show it,” Kohli said at the end of the match.
(With PTI Inputs)