When Virat Kohli Led India To First Test Series Win On Australian Soil

image-lqrl8dopIndia took an unassailable 2-1 lead via their triumph (Twitter)

India's latest tryst with the marquee Boxing Day Test in Centurion may have ended disastrously with a three-day loss against South Africa. Still, fans could recall memories of happier times playing the annual fixture back in 2018 when Virat Kohli's men scripted history at the iconic MCG. 

Team India clinched a memorable victory over Australia in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and bagged an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Kohli & company took a giant leap towards ultimately securing a maiden Test series win on Australian shores with a tremendous all-round performance in Melbourne. 

The win was set up beautifully by India's stoic No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara, who continued his magnum opus series with his second century of the tour, making another critical 106 off 319 deliveries. Backing Pujara, the trio of Mayank Agarwal (76), Rohit Sharma (63) and skipper Virat Kohli (82) struck priceless half-centuries to take India to a mammoth 443/7 dec. 

It was then that India's ace speedster Jasprit Bumrah took the center stage and produced arguably his finest Test match spell 6 for 33 to run through the Australian batting line-up and skittle them out for just 151. India took a massive lead and entered the second half of the contest as firm favourites. 

When India Scripted History At MCG 

India could've enforced the follow-on but skipper Kohli smartly decided to bat briefly as a means to give his bowlers bit of rest before the final act while the dry surface at MCG further worsened for batting. In their quest to score quickly, India lost 8 wickets for just 106 runs but took their third-innings lead to 398 with a day and a half to spare. 

Once again, Bumrah packed the strongest punch with the ball while his team stood on the verge of a historic victory. The unorthodox right-arm backed his six-fer in the first innings with another three-wicket haul for just 53 runs. 

At the other end, the experienced Ishant Sharma (2/40) controlled things brilliantly and maintained the pressure for fellow seamer Mohammad Shami (2/71) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (3/82) to also contribute heavily. 

It was India's first win at the MCG since 1977 and became a springboard to an unprecedented Test series win in Australia. Kohli's men remain the only Asian side to win a Test series Down Under, a feat they repeated remarkably under Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy back in 2020-21.