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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

India vs Australia: Excited Ravi Shastri can’t be quoted as he describes closing stages of Adelaide Test

India vs Australia: Known for his penchant for the dramatic as a speaker, Indian coach Ravi Shastri lost control while describing what he felt during the closing stages of the match.

cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2018 07:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri.
Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri.(REUTERS)
         

It was a thrilling end to a hard fought Test match between India and Australia at Adelaide, with the Aussie tail wagging for long enough to give the Indian dressing room a few jitters. India coach Ravi Shastri, known for his penchant for the dramatic as a speaker, described the moments in words that cannot be quoted here.

In a studio chat with former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, Shastri said in Hindi that he had, well, a certain part of his anatomy “in his mouth” as the match moved towards a close finish. No, not the heart.

India eventually won by 31 runs on the fifth afternoon. But it was much closer than the scoreboard suggests as Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood stitched together a 32-run partnership to take the hosts to almost touching distance of the target of 323 on the final day of the first Test.

Given India’s poor track record in closing out matches outside the sub-continent, as was visible in South Africa and England earlier this year, Shastri can be forgiven for using a few expletives on national television, as his excitement was visible.

Man of the Match Cheteshwar Pujara shone with bat in both innings while the Indian bowlers came to the party to help India beat Australia by 31 runs in the first Test of the four-match series at the Adelaide Oval on Monday. This is India’s second win at the famous venue after Rahul Dravid powered them to a victory in 2003. Moreover, this is the first time in their history that India have won the first match of a Test series Down Under.

It was a thriller that ended with Ashwin taking the edge of Josh Hazlewood’s bat and KL Rahul completing a smart catch at second slip. The 32-run partnership between Nathan Lyon and Hazlewood was starting to bother the Indian bowlers and a sense of frustration was visible on the Indian players’ face, but the fightback ended in the last over before the tea break as the Indian players erupted in joy in what was a well-deserved win. The Australian innings finally ended on 291 with Lyon staying unbeaten on 38.

Credit must be given to all the Indian bowlers who performed as a unit to put the Australian batsmen on the mat. Jasprit Bumrah (3/68) and R Ashwin (3/92) were brilliant as was Mohammed Shami as he finished with figures of 3/65. It was an all-round effort from the Indians on a wicket that stayed true right through the game.

Speaking at the end of the game, Kohli said: “Super proud (of the bowlers), to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets is a great achievement. Something that we haven’t done in the past. Shows us that if the batsmen step up regularly, we will be gunning for a win in every Test match. Collectively we were the better team and deserved to win.”

First Published: Dec 10, 2018 11:43 IST