This was India’s first win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) since 1981 and Virat Kohli went on to become the most successful overseas captain for India, equalling the record of Sourav Ganguly who had also led India to 11 overseas Test wins
Melbourne: Virat Kohli continued to set records as India won the third Test of the ongoing series against Australia in Melbourne by 137 runs, and took a 2-1 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
This was India’s first win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) since 1981 and the India skipper went on to become the most successful overseas captain for India, equalling the record of Sourav Ganguly who had also led India to 11 overseas Test wins. Kohli, however, achieved the feat in 24 matches that he led India, while Ganguly did it in four matches more. The second spot belongs to MS Dhoni with six overseas wins to his name.
Cheteshwar Pujara slammed his 17th Test century to give India a solid foundation in Melbourne, from where they could call the shots throughout the match. Jasprit Bumrah was adjugated the Man of the Match for his match haul of nine wickets for 86 runs. His 6/33 in the first innings broke Australia's back and titled the scales overwhelmingly in India's favour, so much so that even a poor second innings batting display could affect their march towards victory.
This win was India's 150th in Tests, and India emulated Australia, England, West Indies and South Africa in doing so. It also ensured India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
While India will finish 2018 as the No 1 Test side, Kohli will be the numero uno batsman in Tests and ODIs. The Indian captain said this win will help them play better in the Sydney Test and stay motivated. Across 14 Test matches in 2018, India’s pacers have accounted for a total of 179 wickets, which is about 50 wickets more than any pace attack from Asia in a year.
The hosts will hope for a strong comeback in Sydney, making amends for their poor performance in Melbourne, which has witnessed several emphatic wins for the home side over the years.
On the other hand, Kohli and Co will be looking to build on the momentum to make it 3-1 at the SCG. The fourth and final Test starts on January 3, 2019.
Last Updated Dec 30, 2018, 1:17 PM IST