The Indian cricket team crushed Australia by eight wickets to clinch the fourth Test and, with it, they scaled another peak in world cricket – India is now only the third team to hold series titles against all Test nations.
Against the backdrop of the dizzying heights of Dhauladhar range, India crushed Australia to claim a rather acrimonious series 2-1. Australia were first to accomplish this feat when they won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India (2004-05) and again after winning the Ashes in 2006-07. South Africa achieved it after they won in Australia in 2012-13.
It has been a stupendous home run for India. In the 13 Tests during 2016-17, India have beaten New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh in a one-off Test match, and now Australia (2-1). In 2016, India registered an away Test series win against the West Indies (2-0). The visiting South Africans were spun out of contention 3-0 in 2015, while the Sri Lankans were beaten 2-1 in their own backyard.
The last time India played Pakistan, in 2007, they won 1-0, and defeated Zimbabwe 2-0 in 2005. In fact, India have won their last seven series, stretching from the Lankan tour a couple of years ago. The team, under the inspirational leadership of Virat Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble, has developed into a cohesive unit. It showed ample belief and fight in its belly to win the bitter battle against the Australians, both on and off the field.
Despite Kohli missing out, the team found an able stand-in captain in Ajinkya Rahane. It is a rarity to find two excellent captains in one team. Kumble’s quiet and stern guidance, too, is reflected in the team’s performance. Despite missing out on their best batsman in Kohli before the fourth Test, India showed the courage to go in with five bowlers that included debutant Kuldeep Yaday. The rookie went on to play a crucial role in restricting Australia to 300 in the first innings, which laid the foundation for the victory.
Such has been the domination of India on their home soil, that it forced Australian great Shane Warne to tweet on Tuesday: “India is the hardest place to win, only 2 bad sessions cost the young inexperienced Aussie team the series. Congrats again India.” The real challenge for this equally young Indian team now lies in the Tests overseas. India has never won a series in Australia and South Africa. The fact has not escaped Kohli, who has already trained his eyes on foreign shores.