After a month of grueling cricket, the four-match Test series between Australia and India came to an end, with the visitors winning the series 2-1 and recording their first-ever series win Down Under.
A lot happened over the past 30 days. Right from some brilliant batting to outstanding bowling to brilliant fielding - some hilarious banter to add to that - the Test series had it all. India won the first Test, but the Aussies fought back in the second. Virat Kohli and co. though, retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy with an all-round performance in the third Test, before saving the best for the last in Sydney.
There were a number of highlights from one of the best series in recent times. Let's take a look at the five of them:
Virat Kohli and his men did what their predecessors and no other Asian could do ever do. The present Indian team became the first team from Asia to win a Test series against Australia in Australia. They did so by beating the Aussies 2-1 in the four-match series, and could easily have made it 3-1 had rain not played spoilsport in Sydney.
Many had predicted Virat Kohli to recreate the brilliance he showed in 2014. But it was India's No.3 who stols the limelight with some unbelievable batting performance. Pujara, the old guard in the young Indian team, scored an astonishing 521 runs in just seven innings at an average of 74.42, which included three centuries. But the stats don't tell the complete story.
More than just his runs, Pujara's influence was how he took his team out of some precarious situations. In the first Test, where all the batters struggled, he scored 123 in the first innings, before following it up with a 71 in the second, helping India eak out a 31-run win. The very fact that India dominated all the matches in which he scored a century proves how the team is revolving around him.
For years, India have been crying for a world class fast bowler for overseas tours. Ever since Zaheer Khan lost his mojo, the team has struggled to replace him. But no more!
In Jasprit Bumrah, India has a bowler who is up there with the best. Despite having made his debut only in 2018, he has taken the world by storm since then. In this series, he ended with a joint-highest 21 wickets, which included a match-winning nine wickets in Melbourne.
For all the action taking place with the ball and the bat, there was equal action taking place with the words. In the Boxing Day Test, things were looking gloom for Australia as they stared at a defeat.
During India's second innings, when Rishabh Pant came out to bat, Australian skipper Tim Paine decided to have a bit of fun with the youngster. In reference to the inclusion of MS Dhoni in India's ODI squad, which saw Pant being dropped, Paine took the opportunity to have a go at the batsman.
"Tell you what big MS is back in the one day squad. Should get this bloke down to Hurricanes. They need a batter. Fancy that extend your Aussie holiday, beautiful town Hobart too... get him a water front apartment," he said before adding, "Have him over for dinner. Do you babysit? I can take my wife to the movies while you watch the kids."
The Indian wicketkeeper did not hold back when Paine came out to bat, and roasted the Aussie skipper with some hilarious comments of his own.
"We've got a special guest today, come on boys. Special appearance today boy, come on. No responsibility there from captain. Running away, always running away. Too difficult, too difficult," he said before adding, "Have you heard of the word, a 'temporary captain', ever? I am seeing it. You don't need anything to get him out. He loves to talk, that's the only thing he can do. Only talking, talking."
In the aftermath of their 2-1 series win over Australia, which was also India's first-ever series win Down Under, the Indian team broke into an impromptu dance during their victory lap at the Sydney stadium. Rishabh Pant led the way with the dance moves, but he made India's No.3 join in the act, though quite unsuccessfully, as Pujara barely managed to move his body.