After winning everything this season, it’s down to a series decider for India vs Australia

first_imgThe Indian Test team is gearing up for one last hurrah this home season as they face Australia in the series-deciding fourth Test in Dharamsala on Saturday. Virat Kohli’s team hasn’t lost a single series this season and will be aiming to finish the season on a high.Under Kohli the team has won a record six consecutive Test series starting with the victory in Sri Lanka in 2015, followed by sweeping South Africa 3-0 in the same year. The team then outplayed West Indies in their own backyard, outclassed New Zealand, England and Bangladesh on home soil. (Virat Kohli shouldn’t play if he’s not fit: Sourav Ganguly to India Today)But India faced its toughest challenge in the ongoing series against Australia. After losing the first match by a big margin in Pune, Kohli and his boys bounced back in Bengaluru to level the series. The Aussies then managed to hold on to a draw in Ranchi to setup a thrilling final in Dharamsala.India is just one win away from reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar trophy. India have in the past come back from behind to clinch a Test series on three occasions.India winning a series after being 1-0 down: (3 matches or more) Opponent  Season Venue Mts Final Score Sequence England 1972-73 India 5 2-1 Lost, Won, Won, Drawn, Drawn Australia 2000-01 India 3 2-1 Lost, Won, Won Sri Lanka 2015 Sri Lanka 3 2-1 Lost, Won, WonCaptain Kohli would be looking to emulate what Sourav Ganguly did in the historic 2001 Border-Gavaskar series when India lost the first Test in Mumbai but fought back hard to win the next two games in Kolkata and Chennai to clinch the series.advertisementIt wouldn’t be completely wrong to say that the momentum is with India at the moment. They had Australia on the ropes for a better part of the third Test in Ranchi. It was only the partnership between Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh on the last day which helped the Aussies to pull off a draw. (Will play Dharamsala Test only if I’m 100 per cent fit: Virat Kohli)Apart from Kohli, who’s also doubtful to play in the fourth Test, every other Indian batsman is in form while the bowling department is currently being led by No. 1 ranked Ravindra Jadeja, who has taken 21 wickets in the series so far.FIGHTBACK IN SRI LANKAIndia faced a similar situation in Sri Lanka two years back when they lost the first match and then came back to win the remaining two games. That series started India’s outstanding run under Kohli in the longest format and the team has not looked back since then. Indian cricket also saw the emergence of Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin as two of the top Test players in the world. (Australian cricketers get stress-busting tips from Dalai Lama)BOWLERS SHINE AGAINST PROTEASKohli and the rest of the Indian batsmen couldn’t score big runs in the series against South Africa mainly due to the spin friendly conditions on offer on home soil. But Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja sure had a great time as the duo ran through the Proteas’ batting lineup on all three matches. Ajinkya Rahane top-scored in the series with 266 runs in four matches while Ashwin and Jadeja picked up 31 and 23 wickets respectively. India swept the series 3-0 and reclaimed the No. 1 rank as well.KOHLI’S SEASON BEGINSKohli’s pruple patch with the bat started with India’s tour of the West Indies where he scored his maiden double hundred in the first match in North Sound. Kohli ended up with 251 runs in the series to become the highest run-scorer from either side followed by Rahane (243) and KL Rahul (236). Ashwin starred with both bat and ball and was named the Man of the Series for scoring 235 runs and 17 wickets as India won 2-0. Kohli’s team though lost the No. 1 rank as they missed the chance to win the series 3-0 after rain saved the hosts in the final Test. (Test cricket in the foothills of the Himalayas: India, Australia reach their final destination)INDIA RUN THROUGH NEW ZEALAND & ENGLANDThe next two Test series against New Zealand and England saw India perform at their very best. Pujara, Rahane and Kohli led the way with the bat with the captain scoring his second double hundred in Indore while Ashwin (27) and Jadeja (14) were once again the top wicket takers in the series. India face England next and hammered them 4-0 with Kohli amassing 655 runs in the series including a double ton in Mumbai while Ashwin and Jadeja picked up 28 and 26 wickets respectively.advertisementKohli finished the year with 1215 runs in 12 matches at an average of 75.93 with three double hundreds while Ashwin, with a record 72 wickets and 612 runs including two tons, ended the year as the highest wicket taker in Test cricket for the second successive time. Jadeja wasn’t far behind either with 43 wickets in nine matches. (Australia meet Dalai Lama ahead of Dharamsala Test)2017 BEGINS WITH KOHLI’S FOURTH DOUBLE TONKohli started the new year with his fourth double hundred in the one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad where India won by 208 runs. Kohli became the first batsman in the world to score four double tons in consecutive series but unfortunately could not carry forward his form in the Border-Gavaskar series.But even without Kohli and Ashwin struggling for form, Team India has been able to stay in the series and now push for victory in Dharamsala thanks to the amazing form that Jadeja, Pujara and Umesh Yadav are in. A long and gruelling season is finally coming to an end and India will be looking to give it their all one last time at the scenic HPCA stadium and end on a winning note.last_img