India registered a magnificent eight-wicket win in Dharamsala to win the series against Australia 2-1. The series win summed up India’s dominant show at home where they won 10 out of the 13 Tests played across seven months. (Dharamsala Test highlights)
Australia were the only opponent to inflict a defeat on India but Virat Kohli’s team held their nerve to seal victory. Here are the five great moments for India in this series. (Dharamsala Test scorecard)
Ravindra Jadeja causes a brain-fade to Steve Smith
In the third Test at Ranchi, Australia were looking to save the Test. Steve Smith, India’s chief tormentor had notched up his second century of the series and was looking in solid touch. With the pitch having deteriorated on day 5, India were sniffing a chance. Jadeja gave India the opening when he forced an error of judgment from Smith. The left-armer bowled from over the wicket and landed the ball on a rough on leg stump. Smith decided to shoulder arms but the ball spun away and knocked back his off-stump. The lapse in judgment almost gave India a chance but Australia hung on to steal a draw.
Pujara-Saha partnership evokes Eden memories
Australia had taken some quick wickets and were looking to bowl India out and take a lead in Ranchi. However, Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha dented Australia’s chances with a magnificent partnership. The seventh wicket stand yielded 199 runs, the highest in the series with Saha notching up his third ton and Pujara his third double ton. Saha later said the partnership evoked memories of the 376-run stand between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in Kolkata in 2001. The efforts of Pujara and Saha turned the tables on Australia and gave India a chance to win the match.
Ishant Sharma’s Monkey expressions take Twitter by storm
During the Bangalore Test, Australia were making steady progress. However, there was a moment which sparked excitement at the Chinnaswamy stadium. Indian pacer Ishant Sharma made some monkey faces at Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith. The facial expressions were a rage on Twitter, inspiring several memes. There was even a challenge initiated in BCCI for the Ishant #Monkeyfacechallenge. Ishant’s aggression was a sign that India would not hesitate to be aggressive against Australia, considered to be master sledgers.
Ravindra Jadeja’s sword routine in the hills
India were in a precarious position in the Dharamsala Test when they were trailing Australia by 52 runs on the second day with only four wickets remaining. Ravindra Jadeja however turned the course of the match with a vital 63 while sharing a seventh-wicket stand of 96 with Wriddhiman Saha. Amidst all this, Jadeja was getting some lip service from Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. However, when he got to his fifty, he used his bat for the familiar sword routine.
Umesh Yadav hits David Warner on the chest
On day 3 of the Dharamsala Test, there was a unique sight. India’s fast bowlers were troubling Australia with pace and bounce. Suddenly, the Dharamsala pitch had started to resemble the WACA in Perth. It had extra pace and bounce. One delivery was notable for the impact it had on Australia’s psyche. Umesh got a delivery hit a crack and it leapt sharply at Warner. The batsman looked to fend it but the ball brushed his glove and hit him on the chest. It took Warner some time to regain his focus but the damage was done. This was the ball that decided how the series would be decided.