India have pulled off one of their greatest Test wins, chasing down Australia’s fourth-innings target of 70 to secure victory by eight wickets at the MCG.
The tourists responded from a horror start to the Border-Gavaskar series when they were skittled for a record-low of 36 in Adelaide 10 days ago.
Even without star captain Virat Kohli, India levelled the series at one-all to become the first touring side to win consecutive Boxing Day Tests in Melbourne since England in 1982 and 1986.
Australia’s lower-order, spearheaded by young allrounder Cameron Green, added 67 runs in the first session on day four after resuming on 133-6 to be all-out for 200.
India suffered some anxious moments in the tiny chase, falling to 19-2, but rookie opener Shubman Gill (35 not out) and stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane (27 not out) guided them home in the 16th over.
Led superbly by Rahane, who made a courageous 112 in the first-innings, India controlled the contest from day one when they rolled Australia for 195.
While Rahane’s 12th Test century – which Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar hailed as one of the most important innings in the country’s history – was vital, it was the bowlers who set the game up.
Australia’s batting problems were exposed by a disciplined Indian bowling unit that never allowed the batsmen to settle.
It was the first time since 1988 Australia have had a home Test without any batsman posting a half-century – Marnus Labuschagne’s first-innings 48 was the hosts top-score.