I'm A Die-Hard Aussie Fan. Here's Why I've Been Cheering For India.
Fine wine, fine cheese, fine chocolate and fine cricket.
These are a few of my favourite things. And while the first three are a matter of individual taste, the latter is a little controversial.
This little Vegemite is a fan of the Indian cricket team.
Yep, you read right. Throughout the Australian summer of Test cricket I’ve been glued to the box barracking for the tourists.
Does that make me un-Australian? Maybe.
I love cricket. More specifically Test cricket -- the oldest, most pure and longest form of the game.
I also love a contest. This series has been far from a contest but boy have I enjoyed watching the No.1 ranked team in full flight. I like the best and that’s what India currently are.
Some people like Meghan and Harry or Kate and Wills. I prefer kings. More specifically King Kohli.
Indian captain, Virat Kohli, stepped off the plane at the start of the series as the ICC’s No.1 batsman and lived up to the hype. Hey, I was riding his masterful 123 in Perth like Australia was closing in on a memorable Ashes win over the old enemy, England.
King Kohli has lived up to his rockstar status by leading his nation to its first ever Boxing Day victory in Melbourne and an historic maiden series win Down Under. He also ticked over 19,000 career runs while here.
You might not be Swiss but that won’t stop you from being in awe of The Fed Express, and even if you don’t support AFL club Sydney you can still appreciate the mercurial forward that is Lance Franklin at work.
This superstar right-hander at the peak of his powers has been an absolute treat to watch.
With Australia’s two best batsmen, Steve Smith and David Warner, sidelined through suspension, this summer presented a chance for a new wave to step up and take their opportunity with the bat.
I was ready to emotionally invest in a star of the future. Follow said talent’s career from day dot. I just didn’t expect it would be Indian wicketkeeper/batsman Rishabh Pant.
The 21-year-old became the first Indian gloveman to score a Test century in Australia and now, after nine matches, boasts an impressive average of 49.71. Equally impressive, he was a good sport in playing along in a social media post with Tim Paine’s wife after copping some cheeky words from the Australian captain.
I will now follow his path and totally roll out the “I remember when” should he go on to dominate world cricket.
Before the first ball was bowled in Adelaide, it was about 13 minutes into the broadcast coverage when I became fed up of hearing the Aussie attack described as the “bowling cartel”.
Well, Indian opening batsman Cheteshwar Pujara must have been too because he put that cartel to the sword, in fact he ground them into the pitch, spending 30 hours at the crease on the way to etching out a series-high 521 runs, including three centuries. Against a former bowling cartel. Fair effort that.
We all love a cult hero, especially in a cricket team. Remember Bay 13 at the MCG mimicking Merv Hughes’ stretches? There was even Brett Lee’s wicket celebrations which were copied by wannabe bowlers at all levels. Now this summer has produced a newbie in the form of Jasprit Bumrah.
Yeah, yeah the fast bowler has been effective and economical, his 20 wickets have come at 16.80 apiece, but what about that run up!? I can report his unique style has hit backyards around the country, I saw so in our Christmas Day backyard battle. Expect to spot copy cats in a beach or park cricket game near you. What a legacy!
India have retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy and shown exactly why they are top of the Test tree.
So long, farewell India, you’ve won a fan in me and I sure do hope Australian cricket takes a leaf out of your playbook as it rebuilds and strives towards becoming a top team once again.