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Boxing Day Test: India claim record as Ajinkya Rahane-led side defeat Australia by 8 wickets at MCG

Ajinkya Rahane
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Ajinkya Rahane

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India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday.

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India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday. With the win in the second Test, India levelled the Border Gavaskar series 1-1 with two more Tests yet to be played.

It was India's fourth win at the iconic MCG in Test cricket, making it their most successful away Test venue. Now, India and England are the only two away sides to have won four or more Tests at the MCG. Before the Boxing Day Test 2020, India were levelled with South Africa and Pakistan with three Test wins at the venue. After sealing the game inside four days, India went to second place with four Test wins at the MCG, while England are way ahead with 20 Test wins at the Melbourne stadium.

The other most successful away Test venues for Team India are Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago), Sabina Park in Kingston (Jamaica) and Singhalese Sports Club in Colombo (Sri Lanka).

India bowled out Australia for 200 before lunch on Day four, meaning Ajinkya Rahane and Co had to chase 71 in the final innings to win the Boxing Day game. India had a poor start in the chase as Mayank Agarwal fell to Mitchell Starc in the fourth over for a 15-ball five. The following over, Pat Cummins removed Cheteshwar Pujara, leaving India at 19 for 2. However, Rahane and Shubman Gill finished the job for Team India as the duo remained unbeaten on 27 and 35 respectively and the touring party chased down the target in 15.5 overs.

Gill and Mohammed Siraj made their Test debut in the second Test at the MCG and both had a memorable outing. Gill finished with an aggregate of 80 runs on debut, which put him second in the list of Indian players who made their Test debuts Down Under. Agarwal is the leader with 118 runs, who also had played his maiden Test at the MCG in 2018.

Meanwhile, Siraj finished the Boxing Day Test with figures of 3 for 37 and 2 for 40, thereby picking up five wickets across two innings as Australia were bowled out for 195 and 200. In the absence of Umesh Yadav, who had limped off earlier in the Test, Siraj stepped up as he complimented Jasprit Bumrah quite well. Siraj conceded at less than two runs in the second innings and less than three in the first innings.

With the five-wicket haul, Sirah joined Lasith Malinga in the list of visiting fast bowlers taking five or more wicket on debut on Australian soil in the last five decades. Malinga, who made his Test debut in 2004 against Australia in Darwin, had claimed 6 for 92.

India's stand-in-skipper Rahane was the Player of the Match for 112 he had scored in India's first innings off 223 deliveries.

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