Big wins at Brisbane and Nagpur

By Kersi Meher-Homji

If I sound delighted, it is because I  am  delighted. Both my countries, India and Australia, won their Tests on the same day, 27 November, by huge margins.

Australia defeated England in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane by 10 wickets to lead 1-0. A few hours later India slaughtered Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs in the second Test in Nagpur to lead 1-0.

In both the Tests, winning captains top scored and were adjudged Men of the Match; Steve Smith after his 141 not out in Brisbane and Virat Kohli   after his brilliant 213 in Nagpur. Captain coincidences continue: England’s captain Joe Root (51 runs) top-scored in the second innings and Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal top-scored in both innings, 57 and 61.

In this Test Sri Lanka could not reach Kohli’s individual score of 213 runs in either innings as they totaled 205 and 166.

It was Kohli’s fifth double century. Among Indians, only Virender Sehwag (six double hundreds in 104 Tests) and Sachin Tendulkar (six in 200) have scored more double centuries than Kohli. Rahul Dravid also registered six double hundreds in 164 Tests.

What makes Kohli’s achievement more remarkable is that his six double tons came in only 62 Tests. So sky is the limit for the pugnacious Indian leader.

After dismissing Sri Lanka for 205 runs Indian batsmen attacked with gusto, smashing 6 for 610 before declaring. Four Indian bats recorded centuries; Murali Vijay 128, Cheteshwar Pujara 143, Kohli 213 and Rohit Sharma 102 not out.

Murali Vijay 128, Cheteshwar Pujara 143, Kohli 213 and Rohit Sharma 102 not out.

It was a welcome comeback for Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma to Test arena as it was for the tall fast bowler Ishant Sharma who bowled with fire.

With off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin taking 4 for 63 and useful support from other bowlers, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 166 to lose by an innings and 239 runs. It equaled India’s best ever Test victory. In 2007, India had also trounced Bangladesh by the same margin in the 2007 Dhaka Test.

This was India’s 32nd  Test victory in 2017. In 2016 they had won 31 Tests. No wonder India is ranked number one Test nation.

During the Nagpur Test, Ashwin took his 300th  Test wicket in his 54th  Test. This is the quickest in Test history. Before this the record was held by Australia’s legendry fast bowler Dennis Lillee, who had captured his 300th  wicket in his 56th  Test.

The third Test in Delhi and the second Ashes Test in Adelaide start on the same day; 2nd  of December. Both will commence at about the same time as in Adelaide it is a Day-Night Test. TV remotes for most Oz-Indian homes will be used every few minutes to switch channels!

Short URL: