Seven lessons brave Indians taught Australia
India got what they deserved … and what they planned for.
India's defeat of Australia in the Border-Gavaskar series was the result of many hours of plotting by their coach staff and a collective mindset to play bold, free-spirited cricket.
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1. Wicked wickets?
When India arrived at the Gabba they were not thinking about the fortress in front of them, only how they were going to storm it.
When they were bowled out for 36 on a lively deck in Adelaide they could have had a whinge. They didn't.
Whatever conditions were tossed up on tour they simply got on with the job. There was never any sense the nuances of any conditions here affected them in any way.
2. The dinosaur
Cheteshwar Pujara, India's iron-willed, slow-moving batting barnacle, is the type of Test match warrior many nations try not to pick.
You would not want six Pujara's in your top order but if you have not got one of them the main batting meal just seems to lack starch. Australia has no player like Pujara.
3. Fit and hard
There was a time when Indian cricket sides were among the least fit international outfits in the world.
Not any more. Players are not even allowed to tour unless they reach a specified standard on the beep test. They seem sharper and more alert. Their reserves exploded into action from the bench because they were well prepared for battle.
4 Tough calls
India doesn't get overly sentimental about selections and loyalty.
They have no issues about changing a side if they feel it can be improved.
They like young opener Prithvi Shaw but when he failed in the first Test he was shunted out of the team and the outstanding Shubman Gill was promoted.
5. Be bold
Many touring teams to Australia have dug their own graves through negative batting so India, when conditions allowed, attacked.
Whether it be using their feet to Nathan Lyon or Shubman Gill taking 20 off a Mitchell Starc over, they had a solid blend of "solids'' and sparks in their batting with Pujura providing the cement and others around him lifting the tempo.
6. Tough love
India did not relish facing short balls on tour - but they were well prepared for them.
They again brought their throwdown specialist Raghu, who spent hours hurling head high thunderbolts to his batsmen in the nets via his metal "whanger.'' It conditioned them well for the ruthless battering they faced in the middle. They confronted their weakness where it mattered least - in the nets.
7. Style over stats
India chose their touring party well, sometimes picking players on character as much as statistics.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar had not played a first class game for almost four years before his excellent Gabba debut yet he is a cool type who team management felt would handle the stresses of Test cricket.
Originally published as Seven lessons brave Indians taught Australia