Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21: Triumph to remember for the debutants and young guns
The series victory against Australia Down Under was a special series triumph for India in many ways. Sealing the series while being in a bio bubble for almost 6 months in absence of some key performers including the skipper, Virat Kohli. But, what impact was made on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by the debutants and young stars?
And, who were the players that made the impact?
1. Mohammed Siraj:
Prior to the series, Mohammed Siraj had shown how much it meant to him to represent the country, by staying back in Australia after the death of his father’s demise in November.
In absence of Ishant Sharma, Siraj had a chance to start the series but, Umesh Yadav being the senior-pro got a nod ahead of him. However, after the first Test, the youngster was picked in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as the first among many debutants.
The 26 year old straightaway made an impact, bowling in discipline and scalping 2/40 in his first outing as a Test player including a priced wicket of Marnus Labuschagne.
The right arm pacer kept impressing and finished the series as India’s top wicket taker (13) in the series with economy of 2.85. He also took his maiden five wicket haul in the final innings of the series.
At The Gabba, he destroyed the Aussie middle order and recorded the figures of 5/73. The young man also finished as the only Indian bowler to take a fifer in the series.
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2. Shubman Gill:
The other to make his debut in the second Test at The MCG, was 21 year old, Shubman Gill. After a horrendous show by Indian batting in the second innings of the Adelaide Test, Prithvi Shaw made way for his teammate from 2018 U19 World Cup.
Gill also managed to grab everyone’s attention from all go with a flawless art of leaving balls outside off. He hit 45 (65) in his first innings before losing focus and edging one outside off to the slips.
He continued to impress throughout the series with scores of 45, 35*, 50, 31, 7 and 91. The Punjab opener finished the series as fourth highest run-scorer for India with 259 runs at an average of 51.80 behind Pant, Pujara and Rahane.
Outscoring all the other openers who played in the series, Gill rightfully justified his selection over KL Rahul who later returned to India with an injury. The opening batsman amongst the Border-Gavaskar Trophy debutants could now keep his place long-term.
3. Shardul Thakur:
Test cap number 294, Thakur made his come back to the Test side after his debut in 2018 lasting just 10 balls amid injury to Bumrah in the third Test. Coming back after 2½ years, the Mumbai paceman grabbed the opportunity of one single Test with both the hands.
The 29 year old added 7 wickets to his name including a four-fer in the second innings. He finished the Gabba Test with figures of 7/155. He also contributed with the bat being India’s top run-getter in first innings scoring 67(115).
When he came in to bat in the first innings, India were struggling at 6 down for 186, being 183 runs behind Australia’s first inning total. Adding 123 runs with Sundar, he also scored his maiden Test fifty and brought India back into the game.
4. Washington Sundar:
Another among the Border-Gavaskar Trophy debutants, Sundar had last played a first-class game in 2017. He stayed back with the team as a net bowler due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ashwin’s injury turned as a blessing in disguise for the youngster who got a chance to make his first impression in the longest format.
The 21 year old did a fair holding job and took 4 wickets in the game including the wickets of Smith and Warner. He finished the game with the figures of 4/169.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder also made a mark with the bat in both the innings. He Stitched a game changing partnership with Thakur in the first innings, where they reduced the Aussie lead to 32 runs.
In the second innings, where Pant was batting brilliantly and India was on a cusp of victory, Sundar with his cameo made sure that the game does not go down to the wire. In the two innings, he scored 62 and 22 and helped India seal the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
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5. Hanuma Vihari:
After a tough game for Indian batting unit, missing out on good starts in MCG and an unfortunate run out in the first inning, Vihari came in to bat under pressure after a good foundation laid by Pant’s 97 and well set Pujara, India still needed 157 runs to win.
India unfortunately lost the wicket of Pujara and Vihari tore his hamstring with Ashwin struggling with his back and Jadeja with a dislocated thumb to follow. India seemed to be in deep trouble at the SCG.
The 27 year old somehow managed and stood at the crease as a rock for four hours alongside Ravi Ashwin. The duo batted for around four hours adding 62*(262) while Vihari scored 23*(161), struggling with a grade 2 hamstring tear.
India ultimately drew the Test and everyone was all praise for the youngster and regarded it as the best knock of his short career.
6. Rishabh Pant:
Losing his spot in limited overs to KL Rahul and missing out on the first Test even after scoring a hundred in a practice game, Pant got his opportunity in the second Test post the Adelaide disaster. He played a good cameo in the first innings of the MCG Test and subsequently kept his place in the XI.
While India had to chase 406 in the fourth innings of Sydney Test, being promoted ahead of Vihari, Pant justified the promotion and played one of the best 4th innings knocks by an Indian batsman for a long time – scoring 97(118).
Again, in the final test of the series at the Gabba, while India were chasing 328, Pant played another exceptional fourth inning knock and scored the winning runs – returning 89*(138).
He finished the series as India’s top run-scorer with 274 runs at an average of 68.50. He was also adjudged player of the match for the run-chase at ‘Fortress Gabba.’
We hope you enjoyed our article exploring the impact made on the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy by India’s debutants and young guns.
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