by Kobe Jacobs, ACS Literary Scholar
This is it. This might just be one of the strongest Australian Test sides we have seen in quite some time.
After securing the right to now be named the best Test team on the planet, the Australians will feel a win against India in the World Test Championship is the perfect preparation for what should be an enthralling upcoming Ashes series against England.
The emphatic 209-run victory represented a performance that demonstrated one thing, superiority.
Over the five days, the Australians were the better side, which was first illustrated through the first-innings batting performance of both Travis Head and Steven Smith.
Their knocks of 121 and 163 laid the foundation for Pat Cummins and his bowling attack to pounce on the Indian top order and didn’t they do exactly that?
All four of Australia’s seam bowlers were clinical during India’s first innings, claiming crucial wickets at crucial times.
The main one was the dismissal of Virat Kohli.
It takes a good ball to claim the wicket of one of the world’s best batsmen and it took a peach of a delivery from Mitchell Starc to claim the key wicket of India’s number four.
A ball that leapt off a length and caught Kohli’s outside edge only prompted the Australians to become more ruthless with their bowling.
But it may just have been the delivery to Shubman Gill from Scott Boland that won all Australian cricket fans over, having clean-bowled the opener who didn’t offer a shot.
As a Victorian, it makes me proud to see one of our own dominating on the world stage and given his story, it feels as though all Aussie fans want to see more of the 34 year old this Ashes series.
Once Day 5 hit, the nerves did jangle somewhat when Kohli once again strolled out to the crease.
Knowing what he is capable of in close contests, chasing down what was then 265 runs seemed very doable from an Indian perspective.
But then came that 47th over.
Scott Boland again, the game changer, getting the big fish in Kohli to then dismissing Ravindra Jadeja two balls later, the tone had been set, Australia weren’t going to let this one up.
Watching the game from home, when Smith had stretched to his right to catch the ball to remove Kohli, I couldn’t have been happier.
Being the champions of Test cricket would be a tremendous feeling, but the team still have one more goal in mind.
It’s now time for this group to stamp themselves once again as the real deal and either retain or win one of cricket’s most cherished prizes.
I’d be lying to say that when sandpaper gate initially happened, I was embarrassed to be an Australian cricket supporter.
My love for the team in 2018 had faded and I didn’t know whether I’d fall in love with the team again.
These last four years, however, my respect for the group has changed dramatically.
And now, the Australians have the chance to go from the most laughed at Test nation to the most feared and respected.
Retaining the Ashes in England yet again would mean everything to this group and to all those for whom Australian cricket means something.
Australian Cricket Society’s literary scholar Kobe Jacobs is mentored by writer John Harms. His pieces are also published at www.footyalmanac.com.au .