Virat Kohli and Co. turned a page in the history of Indian cricket as they scripted a memorable triumph on Australian soil for the first time ever in crickets’ most traditional form – Test cricket. Having already retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy thanks to their brilliant wins in Adelaide and Melbourne, Team India clinched the four-Test series 2-1 as the fifth day of the fourth and final Test in Sydney concluded in a draw due to persistent rain.
Cheteshwar Pujara has been adjudged the Player of the Series for his splendid 521 runs, which includes three tons at an average of 74. He finished as the leading run-getter for the tourists. In the bowling department, pace ace Jasprit Bumrah tops the list with 21 wickets in the series at an astonishing average of 17. Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon shares the top spot with Bumrah, he claimed 21 scalps in four-match rubber.
Apart from Pujara, Bumrah or Lyon, there are several other records which were broken during the exhilarating Test series between world cricket’s two heavyweights – India and Australia. Here is the detailed list of top 10 records broken during the coveted Border-Gavaskar trophy:
1. Virat Kohli becomes the first Indian as well as the first Asian captain to return victorious from Down Under. This is Kohli’s fourth away Test series win – the joint most for an Indian captain alongside Sourav Ganguly.
Series wins away from home for Virat Kohli:
2-1 in Sri Lanka, 2015
2-0 in West Indies, 2016
3-0 in Sri Lanka, 2017
2-1 in Australia, 2018/19
2. This is Team India’s first series win in Australia in 12 attempts since Lala Amarnath-led India visited the trans-man country back in 1947-48 months after independence to face Sir Don Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’. It is also India’s first victory in 10 years outside Asia or the spin-friendly Caribbean islands.
3. Pujara has now faced the most deliveries (1245) by a visiting batsman during a series in Australia, having played four or fewer Tests. Pujara batted 1868 minutes in four-match Test series; the third most by an Indian in a Test series. Only Sunil Gavaskar (1978 mins vs WI in 1971 and 1976 mins vs ENG in 1981/82) has batted longer in a Test series for India than Pujara.
4. The failure of any Australian batsman to reach three figures marked the first time the hosts had gone through a home four-Test series without scoring a century.
5. Young and dynamic – Rishabh Pant broke the record for the most catches by an Indian wicketkeeper in a Test series with 20 catches in the four Tests versus Australia. The 21-year old Pant had emulated wicket-keeping great Syed Kirmani and Naren Tamhane’s feat with 19 catches but went one step ahead in Sydney as he grabbed his 20th catch, that of Nathan Lyon, to set a new benchmark for Indian wicket-keepers in Test cricket.
*Pant had also equalled a world record of AB de Villiers and Jack Russell for the most number of catches by a wicketkeeper in a Test match, taking 11 catches during India’s 31-run win at the Adelaide Oval.
6. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah surpassed Dileep Doshi to register most wickets for India in his debut year in Test cricket with 45 wickets and counting. With six wickets in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne against Australia, Bumrah set up the new record in Indian cricket.
7. India’s leads: India’s massive leads of 292 and 322 in Melbourne and Sydney respectively were two of their biggest four against Australia.
8. Pujara’s 1258 balls faced were the fourth-most by an Indian in a Test series against Australia, and was second only to Alastair Cook – who had five Tests in 2010-11 – in terms of a tourist in Australia since 1971.
9. India became the first touring side to have the option of making Australia follow-on twice in one summer in Sydney and Melbourne. Their decision to enforce it at the SCG also marked the first time Australia had followed on at home in three decades. India’s back-to-back-to-back declarations in the first two innings in Melbourne and first dig in Sydney marked the first time in history a touring team had declared three times in a row in Australia
10. Marcus’ Harris series-high score of 79 for Australia marked the first time in any Test series of three matches or more that a team had the highest score below 80 since New Zealand’s 1958 tour of England.