The home season for the Indian cricket team has been an exhausting experience, but it has finally come to an end with the 2-1 test match series win over Australia. The home season for India began back in September 2016, when the kiwis toured India for a 3 match test series, followed by 5 ODI’s. The kiwis were convincingly thrashed in both the formats (3-0 in the test and 3-2 in the ODI’s). Ten days after the tiring series win over New Zealand, the Indian team was at it again. The English cricket team had come to india for a 5 match test series followed by 3 ODI’s and 3 t20’s, but there were no signs of fatigue as the Indian team ran past the England team, recording a 4-0 test match series win without even breaking a sweat. The good form continued in the ODI’s and the t20’s as well, as team India defeated England in all three formats. Kohli’s men had no time to rest, as just 8 days later the Bangladesh cricket team toured India for a one off test match. Team India had no intentions to drop their guard, and it showed in their performance as they eased past Bangladesh, beating them by 208 runs.
However, the real challenge for team India was still to come. They still had to defeat Australia to prove that they were worthy of being the number 1 test nation in the world. India got off to the worst start possible in a 4 match test series, losing the first match by 333 runs. Virat Kohli’s men were taken a back by the defeat at Pune, but it did not crumble their confidence as they reacted positively, and bounced back right away in the second test match, winning it by 75 runs and leveling the series at 1-1. The 3rd test match was a hard fought battle, but ended in a draw and gave a blow to all the Indian fans as Virat Kohli was ruled out of the 4th test match following a shoulder injury. Now, all eyes were on the 4th and final test match. India, led by Ajinkya Rahane were on the front foot since day 1 as they managed to bowl out Australia for 300 runs on a good batting pitch, and the person responsible for this was the young debutant Kuldeep Yadav, who took 4 important wickets on day 1. The good bowling performance was met by an equally good batting performance by Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha, and their 96 run partnership gave India a valuable lead of 32 runs. India were again on the front foot as they managed to take early wickets and put pressure on the middle order. A good bowling performance by the indians saw the Australians crumble to a small total of 137 runs, with a lead of only 105 runs. India managed it with quite ease as they won the match and the series (2-1) by 8 wickets on the 4th day of the test match.
It can be rightly said that team India were invincible this home season. However, the test series against Australia was the most challenging one. It was full of controversies, be it the Steve Smith’s DRS controversy, or Australian players making fun of Virat Kohli’s injury. Virat Kohli described it as the best test series win for India.
“Unbelievable. This is our best series win so far. I thought England was intense, but the way Australia gave us a fight, it was amazing on their part but our guys kept bouncing back,” Kohli said. Overall, this season has been outstanding. All these home series have been challenging one way or the other. “