History was created on Monday, January 8, at Sydney Cricket Ground, when the Indian cricket team clinched a landmark first Test series victory in Australia after the weather-affected fourth match ended in a draw.
Virat Kohli led Indian cricket team had entered the final day with hopes of a 3-1 series victory and also their first win at the Sydney Cricket Ground since 1978, but rain on Monday had forced the umpires to call off the match.
The draw gave India a 2-1 series win over Australia – a cricketing feat that has not only sent millions of Indian cricket fans all around the world, including in New Zealand, in a frenzy – but also creating huge excitement far and beyond in the process.
What is so special about this victory?
Almost every Indian fan and none the least cricket-pundits would know what’s so special about this victory on Australian soil, as it has not only come after a wait of 71 long years since India first became eligible to play test cricket but also because many previous star-studded Indian teams have failed to achieve this accomplishment.
Former Indian team captain Kapil Dev (Image: BCCI Twitter)
The teams led by legendary players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Ravi Shastri and Rahul Dravid had returned empty-handed.
This also included the team led by Saurav Ganguly which comprises of the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, V.V.S Laxman, Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag – players who had individually demolished attacks and succeeded all around the world.
In that respect, the success of this Virat Kohli led unassuming team, which was till recently criticised for being overly reliant upon their captain’s individual batting talents and without boastful performances in South Africa and England – the two destinations that defines the “identity of the Indian cricket teams” – will be etched permanently in the cricketing memory of the nation.
This is why winning captain Virat Kohli was prompted to say, “Test series win in Australia will give this Indian team a different identity.”
First Asian team to win test-series in Australia
However, Indian cricket team’s latest feat deserves far more attention than mere prospects of what it can potentially offer to the Kiwi-cricketing season – the win itself symbolises the first ever test-series win by an Asian cricketing nation on the Australian soil.
The team with the trophy in the dressing room (Image: BCCI Twitter)
Three cricketing nations from the Indian subcontinent including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, each of whom had won the ICC World Cup individually had not been able to conquer Australia in Australia before this recent triumph by India.
What does this Indian victory mean?
The immediate impact of this sensational victory in Down Under will be right here on our doorsteps, with the prospects of galvanising, an otherwise moribund Kiwi-cricketing season so far, where Black Caps are plummeting another fellow Asian rival Sri Lanka, with much ease and disdain.
The Kiwi fans undoubtedly deserve a better and heated cricketing contest to match with the equally hot weather that we are experiencing so far and are assured for the remaining summer season.
An Indian cricket team with a recalibrated self-belief, after their first ever, test-series win Down Under that has come after a 71-year long wait, and Virat Kohli at the helm of affairs would be the perfect contestant needed to galvanise Kiwi-cricketing summer season.
The Indian team is coming to New Zealand in January-February 2019 to participate in five One-Day Internationals and three T-20 international matches.
Is it a sign of the onset of a new era of dominance by Indian cricket team?
There is something special about the cricketing contest between India & Australia, with both teams rating each other as worthy opponents, though in different order of precedence. While Australia still prefers to rate their Ashes rivalry with England as the most important, closely followed by a contest with South Africa and then growing contest with India, there seems that recent successive generations of Indian cricket players accord greater satisfaction with the chances of defeating Australia.
Regardless, of the chronology of how two cricketing giants place on each other, there is no denial from the fact that there is something special between Indian and Australian cricket that keeps the fans and statisticians busy.
Fans at The Sydney Cricket Ground (Image: BCCI Twitter)
The era of Australian dominance of world cricket of not so distant past, first under Steve Waugh and then under Ricky Ponting led teams, is believed to have begun in 2004 series victory in India. That series victory was considered era-defining - which catapulted team’s confidence and self-belief to a different level and beginning an era of dominance – by Australia's greatest generation.
Many enthusiasts are tempted to ask and hope if this victory of the Indian team in Australian soil could begin a similar era of dominance in the cricketing world, and an answer will only come in future.