Former Indian player Vivek Razdan has said that the performances dished out by Team India‘s youngsters in the memorable triumph Down Under did not come as a surprise to him.
Team India seemed down and out after suffering a crushing defeat in the pink-ball Test in Adelaide. But the injury-ravaged visitors unexpectedly rose to the fore to script an unlikely 2-1 series triumph.
During an exclusive interaction with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda Live, Vivek Razdan expressed his satisfaction at the remarkable turnaround scripted by Team India in the absence of Virat Kohli.
The former pacer said that although the series scoreline couldn’t have been predicted, he was confident of Team India performing well in Australia. He also credited the IPL for aiding the emergence of fast bowlers, who helped script the memorable triumph Down Under.
“Absolutely. The result will be 2-1, you could not have predicted that beforehand, but it was known that Indian cricket is going in a great direction. Because the sort of structure that was there in domestic cricket for quite a few years, the way the fast bowlers emerged because of that and the advent of the IPL. In my opinion, the advent of the IPL is a very big achievement, and Indian cricket was definitely going to gain from that,” said Vivek Razdan.
During the interaction, Vivek Razdan also picked out five highlights of Team India’s historic triumph.
He picked Ajinkya Rahane‘s 112-run knock in India’s series-leveling win in Melbourne as one of his most memorable moments.
“The first one for me will be Ajinkya Rahane’s century which he had struck in Melbourne as a captain,” said Razdan.
Razdan then spoke about the 43-over-long stubborn defiance of the Australian attack by Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari to help Team India draw the Sydney Test.
“After that, Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari’s partnership when they saved the Test match. They kept on fighting and struggling, faced difficulties but stood there and didn’t budge. They showed the passion and confidence that is there in Indian players,” observed Vivek Razdan.
Vivek Razdan also spoke in glowing terms about Cheteshwar Pujara‘s dogged knocks in the fourth innings of the Sydney and Brisbane Tests.
“After that Cheteshwar Pujara, the way he played his knocks. He was getting hit on the helmet, but they could not break that wall. You call Rahul Dravid a wall, but there is a new wall that has been erected in the Indian team, whose name is Pujara. A wall which cannot be moved by the best of the best in the coming days,” pointed out Razdan.
The performance of Team India’s youngsters like Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur also elicited special praise from Razdan.
“Then the upcoming new generation. They impressed me a lot, whether you talk about Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, and who can forget the 123-run partnership between Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur,” added Vivek Razdan.
Last but not the least, the 51-year old picked Rishabh Pant‘s match-winning knock in the fourth innings in Brisbane as the ‘defining moment’ of Team India’s series triumph.
“And then the icing on the cake, Rishabh Pant. The way he gave the result to the series, it was 1-1, last Test match, last innings, 5th day, last session and then Rishabh Pant was seen in his elements, and that was the defining moment of the entire series,” concluded Vivek Razdan.
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Team India’s series triumph was indeed a memorable one, as the beleaguered visitors, missing up to six first-team regulars, rose like a phoenix against a near full-strength Australia to take the series.