Before India came to Melbourne, there has been a bit of chopping and changing.
It came at the expense after their 2nd Test loss v Australia last week in Perth.
Ravi Jadeja came in for Umesh Yadav.
Plus both Openers of KL Rahul & Murali Vijay didn’t fire off well as expected last week.
So they’re both dropped in favor of Hanuma Vihari & Mayank Agarwal.
Although, Hanuma Vihari didn’t fire off with the runs he wanted.
But Mayank Agarwal backed up his proven first-class record by scoring runs quickly mainly off a straight bat.
One simple attacking approach Agarwal used in the middle helped him stay longer in the middle in which is why he scored a first half-ton in the 1st Innings.
Don’t forget Agarwal demonstrated a quickfire 42 in the 3rd Innings when India chose not to enforce the follow-on.
The same went with Cheteshwar Pujara when he got his 100 a bit later during the same spell as Agarwal’s.
Plus whenever their Top 3 leave the crease, the rest of their batting armor can make up lost time by scoring runs quickly as you’re looking at the likes of:
- Virat Kohli, 82 in the 1st Innings
- Ajinkya Rahane, 34 in the 1st Innings
- Rohit Sharma, 63* in the 1st Innings
- Rishabh Pant, 39 in the 1st & 33 in the 3rd Innings
At least the Top 7’s able to wait for the ball to come to them and play late.
It doesn’t matter what shots they play whether it’s from a straight or cross bat.
As long as they doesn’t take too much risk such as reaching out or not moving with the feet, they will control the innings for a long time.
Moving onto the bowling attack, Jasprit Bumrah set the world alight with the change of pace & variation in hand.
Don’t forget Ishant Sharma who’s active with the short ball plus bowling that excellent yorker at one time when he got rid of Travis Head.
And last to complete their quality seam attack, Mohammed Shami.
Shami’s good with the old ball when I.Sharma & Bumrah takes a rest.
His shape and the change of variation through the bounce and pace still maintained Shami’s game.
Then you move to the lone spinning department of Ravi Jadeja.
Jadeja did very well when he’s capable of the use of bowling straight and targeting the stumps.
The way Jadeja pitched may have gone a bit wide.
But at least the area Jadeja wanted had helped when some batsmen made a mistake whacking/defending from the off-stump.
India kept the attacking faith throughout the five days both batting and bowling.
The key term of keeping their game simple allowed Virat Kohli to move on and get the job done as India won by 137 runs.
Although, their 2nd Innings batting performance may have turned down the volume a bit, unlike the 1st Innings.
But at least they’ve carried a massive advantage ahead of the home team where they didn’t put a foot wrong when you look all of their bowling/fielding performances in the 2nd & 4th Innings.
And the rewards they’ve achieved in the 3rd Test helped India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the first time in Australia.
Though, they’ve yet to win a series v Australia on their home turf.
For now, We’ll see if they can carry their tremendous performances heading into Sydney on four days.