A captain’s character is tested when his team is under pressure. This win was a testimony of Virat Kohli’s infectious never-give-up attitude that rubbed off on Team India on their home turf.
India needed to win this match in order to keep the series alive, and they did so emphatically.
For the most part of the match, India were never in the game. But, just when all hopes dimmed, the Indian eleven sprung back of the dead to deliver one of their most memorable victories in recent times.
So, what worked in India’s favour? Take a look:
Winning the toss: In the subcontinent, the match is half-decided with the spin of the coin. Like in Pune, when Australia winning the toss meant India was left to do the dirty job at the end, battling it out to save the match on a fourth innings minefield was never going to be any easier in Bangalore. Although India conceded a crucial 87-run lead in the first innings, fans knew all along that even a target as paltry as 189 would be quite enough for the visitors.
Home support: More often than not, the crowd in any home game plays a huge role. They keep the energy up for the home team, especially when they are down on the field. They make visiting teams feel even more alienated with their shouts and taunts. Yesteryear captains have always found a way to involve the crowd in the game and this is something Kohli has already excelled at.
The perfect marriage between pacers and spinners: Finally, after a severe drought in Pune, it was raining wickets for the Indian spinners in Bengaluru. Both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin were almost unplayable and derailed the Australian innings every time it tried to gain momentum. The spin duo was supported by Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, who rattled the Aussies with genuine pace.
Not letting the Australian tail wag: Indian bowlers were instrumental in cleaning the Australian tail up cheaply, unlike in the Pune Test, where they let Mitchell Starc and company get away with the game when it had mattered the most.
Not overdependent on Virat Kohli: The Indian captain was not among the runs as he got out cheaply in both innings. However, unlike in Pune, senior players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane stepped up to defy Australia in Bangalore.