Captain Ajinkya Rahane, bowlers shine as depleted India level series 1-1 at MCG

Brief scorecard: Australia 195/10 (Marnus Labuschagne 48, Travis Head 38; Jasprit Bumrah 4/56, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/35) and 200/10 (Cameron Green 45, Matthew Wade 40; Mohammed Siraj 3/37, Ravindra Jadeja 2/28) lost to India 326/10 (Ajinkya Rahane 112, Ravindra Jadeja 57, Shubman Gill 45; Nathan Lyon 3/72, Mitchell Starc 3/78) and 70/2 (Gill 35*, Rahane 27*; Starc 1/20, Pat Cummins 1/22) by 8 wickets

Australia vs India 2nd Test 2020, stats

  • A little more than a week after registering their lowest ever Test score, India, sans regular captain Virat Kohli and two of their frontline pace bowlers, produced a stunning team effort to level the four-match Test series 1-1 with an eight-wicket win at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  • It was India’s fourth Test-match win at MCG (in 14 Tests) and their second consecutive win at the venue after comprehensively beating Australia on the last tour, too.
  • Stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane’s 12th Test century, a 223-ball 112, led India’s strong first-innings batting effort and provided the foundation for the emphatic win halfway into day four. India have never lost when Rahane has made a Test hundred, winning nine and drawing three.
  • Batting at No. 4, in Kohli’s absence, Rahane walked in with India 61 for two, and forged crucial partnerships with Hanuma Vihari (21), Rishabh Pant (29) and Ravindra Jadeja (57) to help the visitors build a 131-run first-innings lead.
  • Rahane won the man-of-the-match award for his match aggregate of 139 runs to go with leading the team to a comprehensive win. He was the inaugural winner of Mullagh Medal, the award given to the player of the match of Boxing Day Test at MCG in honour of Indigenous cricketer Johnny Mullagh.
  • Returning to the side after missing the first Test with a hamstring injury sustained during the T20I series, Jadeja made his 15th Test half-century, a 159-ball 57. He put on a crucial 121-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Rahane and helped stretch India’s lead to more than 100 before a barrage of short balls from Mitchell Starc led to his undoing.
  • Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj became India’s 297th and 298th Test players after being handed their debuts at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Gill replaced Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order, while Siraj replaced the injured Mohammed Shami.
  • It was the 100th Test match between India and Australia, and India’s 50th on Australian soil. It was India’s eighth Test victory Down Under and their 28th overall against Australia.
  • Leading India for the third time in Tests, Rahane maintained his perfect captaincy record with a third straight win and second against Australia. In between, in 2018, he led India to a comprehensive win against Afghanistan on home soil.