As expected, India wrapped up victory reasonably early in the first session of the final day. It’s a significant result considering Australia had won the toss and posted 380 in the first innings. To complete an eight-wicket win from that position speaks volumes of the character and the determination of the Indian team.

India had their fair share of heroes, be it Ashwin with the ball or Kohli, Sachin and MS with the bat. But the one person who stood out was the captain. MS had come into this series with a lot at stake, both personally and from a team perspective. His Test form was under question even though he made 99 in the last game against England, and India’s form too was under the microscope after surrendering a proud home record to Alastair Cook’s men.

A gift

But one thing MS has shown time and again is that he is blessed with the gift of remaining calm and composed when under pressure. I call it a gift because this is not something you can develop.

I thought he was simply phenomenal during his 224, not only in the quantum of runs he produced but the manner in which he got his first double hundred in Tests. One of his strengths has been the ability to identify and seize key moments. That’s exactly what he did at Chepauk; my admiration for MS the batsman and the person only keeps growing by the day.

Nathan Lyon was in the middle of a good spell, bowling in great rhythm and with his tail up after getting rid of Sachin. In fact, when Dhoni came in on the third morning, Australia had reason to believe the initiative was with them. The first hour had produced just 21 runs, and another wicket would have exposed the lower order.


MS transferred the pressure back onto them like only he can. The way he counter-attacked and disturbed their rhythm was exceptional. Crucially, he continued to bat in his natural style, which was very important because he is naturally strong, a power-hitter who can change the course of a game in quick time.

His partnership with Virat was a very vital one and he forged a decent stand with Jadeja, but to me, the turning point was the century stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. It was the stand that broke Australian spirits, and put India in a winning position. When Bhuvneshwar came in, the lead was only 26.

Their association ensured that India were up by almost 200 on the first innings and from there, only one team could win the match.

Dhoni led the side well in the second innings, rotating his spinners so that the batsmen didn’t get used to a particular bowler. There was definitely a lot of help for the spinners but except for Phil Hughes, I don’t think any of the other wickets came about due to the vagaries of the pitch. — 360 Corporate Relations


As always, spin has final say at Chepauk February 26, 2013

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