MCG Test saw two debutantes from India, namely Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj, both of whom have impressed Mr. Cricket Michael Hussey, who even predicted a bright future for young Gill. He added that while taking the place of Shami wasn't easy, Siraj bowled like a seasoned campaigner.
One of the most riveting aspects of Test cricket or even international cricket is to see promising youngsters graduate and blossom at the top-level. Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj were among the top performers at the domestic and India A level. But the ease with which they took over the international arena was simply amazing to witness, especially for Indian supporters. Shubman Gill in particular, was knocking the doors of selection from a long time. At the 'G', the right-hander from Punjab showed that he belongs to the big stage and was able to take the attack to the Aussies, making 45 and 35* at a strike-rate of 69.23 and 97.22 respectively.
His solid technique and top notch temperament prompted the Aussie great Michael Hussey to make a bold prediction about his career as the legendary southpaw stated that the classy player can play for the next decade for India, which is a big compliment for someone as old as one Test. He also praised Mohammed Siraj, who took five wickets in the game and helped clean Australia's tail today that meant India had to chase below 100 runs in the fourth innings, which they did with ease, winning the game with eight wickets in hand.
“Shubman Gill, what a classy player. Here’s a player who can play for the next 10 years for India. He looks classical and maybe he should have played the first Test in the first place. Losing Mohammed Shami, I thought was going to really hurt India big time, but Siraj has come in and he’s done a really good job; stepped in like he’s been playing Test cricket for a number of years,” Hussey told ESPNCricinfo, reported HT.
India made as many as four changes to their side for the second Test, all of which paid off for them as in addition to Gill and Siraj, even Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant did well. Hussey praised India's excellent fightback post the Adelaide horror show and felt India pulled in the right reigns.
“I think they were worried about the batting a little bit. Obviously, after getting bowled out for 36 but also taking Kohli out of that batting line up. It really does weaken things so that’s probably why they decided to bring in Rishabh Pant ahead of Saha because he can give you that positive impetus with the bat,” Hussey explained.
“It’s been an excellent response, I must admit. I felt as though coming into this Test, there sure will be changes. That’s a lot to be making after. As Rahane said, India played pretty well in the first Test, they just had one bad 90-minutes and it was all over. But over here, I think they have pulled the right reigns. They really have.”
The Border-Gavaskar trophy is now leveled at 1-1 with two Tests to go. The third Test will be played from January 7 at either SCG or MCG depending on the COVID situation in New South Wales.