January 2021

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2021

The sensational final innings win by the Indian cricket team in the final Test at the Gabba was an exceptional come-back from adversity after they were convincingly beaten earlier in the summer in Adelaide. Although not everyone is a cricket fan, this was a heart-warming tale of courage and tenacity. While the media has made much of the Australian captaincy problems, this misses the point and takes away from the exceptional resilience by the Indian cricket team to work through harsh quarantine conditions, losing many of their first-string players to injury and winning without their Captain who returned home, not including harsh sledging from the Aussie fans.

Even without a pandemic, it’s very difficult to win away from home in Test cricket. However, if you throw in forced quarantine and strict bio security bubbles, it certainly becomes more complicated. The Indian team began in Adelaide confidently but were decimated in a single innings, bowled out for 36; one of the lowest test innings scores ever recorded. Following this woeful end to the match in Adelaide, their enigmatic captain Virat Kohli went home to welcome a new child to his family. Without one of the best batsmen in the world, Kohli’s absence created great anticipation for an Australian whitewash.

After the Adelaide loss, the squad was hit by numerous injuries to its frontline bowling attack. The following 3 Tests surprised many with an unlikely victory in Melbourne, a courageous draw in Sydney, leading to the final Test in Brisbane at the Gabba…

The final innings of the Brisbane Test, and the series, saw the depleted Indian team face a barrage of knocks including batsman Pujara being struck several times in the body and helmet. Full of inexperienced players, the team was set a massive total on a deteriorating wicket that they expected to at best hold on for a draw. However, they dug in, held their nerve and came through with an unlikely win in the last few overs of play.

What can we take from this? Cricket may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the fact that we were able to fall back on some traditional summer sport was somewhat soothing after a difficult year. The Indian team displayed tremendous courage and resilience to comeback from the demoralising Adelaide loss to win the series. The microcosm that is sport can bring the larger world into perspective and bring some much needed relief and relaxation.

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