'I threw a bait after India were bowled out cheaply. Then suddenly...': Vaughan recalls 'greatest Test series victory'

Updated on Feb 25, 2022 01:01 PM IST

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had predicted a whitewash after India were “bowled out cheaply” in that game

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Not many believed a comeback win, let alone a series victory from the Indian Test team after the infamous '36 all-out' in the Pink-Ball Test in Adelaide against Australia. Many including former England captain Michael Vaughan had predicted a whitewash. But then, "all of a sudden", as Vaughan recalls, India managed to script a comeback of ages to stun Australia not just in the series, but with a win in Gabba, their fortress. Vaughan labelled the win as the "greatest test series victory".

India, who were playing with a side without most of their Test regulars including Virat Kohli and quite a few fresh faces, were set a target of a mighty 328 on the final day. But a resilient batting saw the visitors pull off the impossible to become the first team to beat Australia at the Gabba in 32 years.

"I like to see the Aussies get a little bit back. And you gave it back by hanging around all day and then to get that draw and then to go to the Gabba – the Aussies don’t lose in Brisbane – and for you guys to beat them with the chase on the last day, I do think it’s the best Test series victory," Vaughan said while in conversation with Indian spinner and member of the match-winning team, R Ashwin, on his YouTube channel.

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"With everything that you had to put up with, all the turmoil, to win that last game in Brisbane where Australia just don’t lose and for Rishabh (Pant) to play the way that he did, it was special. Very, very special, that series victory. Any team that beats Australia, they’re always a good team for me to watch," he added.

Following the Adelaide low, Kohli left for India for the birth of his child while the team lost a few other players to injury. However, a magnificent and inspiring century from Ajinkya Rahane led to a Melbourne turnaround as India beat the Aussies in the Boxing Day Test.

The injury list continued to grow, leaving the management to pick inexperienced cricketers for the next two Tests. An injured Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin then salvaged a draw in Sydney before Rishabh Pant's knock helped India script a memorable Gabba win.

"I kind of threw the bait out there last year when you guys were bowled out cheaply in Adelaide. Then all of a sudden you bounced back incredibly well to win that series. From a position of difficulty, Virat going home, and then obviously Ajinkya in the captaincy, 1-0 down in Australia. Not many teams have come back from that kind of position," Vaughan said.

"That for me, in the last 10 or 15 years, is the greatest Test series victory that I’ve seen because of the turmoil with all players coming and going. It was obviously COVID times; there were injuries; Siraj was unearthed and produced a bit of magic. You hung in there. and had a bit of banter with Tim Paine in Sydney, enjoyed that," he added.

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