‘Didn’t expect that from a player in his first Test’: Australia asst. coach recalls heroics of India youngsters at Gabba
India’s triumph in Australia will be remembered as one of India’s greatest overseas victories. It was a tour that tested the calibre of inexperienced youngsters who left no stone unturned to outclass Tim Paine’s Australia. After getting all-out for 36 in Adelaide Test, India returned stronger and clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.
The tour wasn’t easy for the tourists. They were back to the grind after a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic while the senior players kept on getting ruled out due to injuries, one after the other. In such a difficult scenario, the youngsters came forward. The Aussies were surprised with their skills while the fans were spellbound.
Former Indian cricketer and Australia’s assistant coach Sridharan Sriram recalled the time when Tim Paine and his boys were outfoxed by the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar. While speaking in an interview with CricketNext, Sriram admitted that the Australian side had some idea about Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant but the new faces of the team played an ‘unexpected’ game.
“Shubman Gill played from the Melbourne Test. We knew enough about Gill. Same with Rishabh Pant. He has played in Australia before, got a hundred (159 not out) in Sydney in 2018-19. So, we all knew what Pant was capable of. But Shardul, Washington and Siraj were the standout players,” Sriram was quoted as saying.
“Even in Brisbane, when India were 186/6 in the first innings, Washington and Shardul had that partnership (123) that took India very close to Australian total (Australia 369, India 336). If Australia took a lead of 80 or 100 runs, the second innings would have been easier for us. For India to chase down 328 in the last innings, the first innings partnership for the seventh wicket between Shardul and Washington played a massive part.
“And for Siraj to bowl the way he did in Melbourne, the accuracy he showed, even on a flat pitch in Sydney, to have that discipline and economy, keeping one end tight, we did not expect that from a player who was playing in his first Test,” he added.