The entire first session was rained out. Indian fans were tensely searching Google for the weather updates in Melbourne. However, the rain abated. Australia’s heart sank and India could sense history. It took 27 balls for Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma to take the remaining two wickets as India wiped out 37 years of pain to clinch the Boxing Day Test for the first time with a 137-run win on Sunday to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series. This was India’s 150th win in Tests and it was the first time since 1977/78 that India has won two Tests in a series Down Under. With this win, India have retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy and they will be gunning to break their winless series streak Down Under when the final Test will be played in Sydney on January 3.
Melbourne received rain in the morning and there was persistent drizzle which delayed the start. The groundstaff worked hard to mop up the ground and play was scheduled to begin at 5:30 AM IST. However, just before the players could come on to the field, a heavier burst of rain delayed the start even further and an early lunch was taken. On resumption, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon aimed to frustrate India even further after their stand on the fourth day forced the game to be taken to the final day.
Jasprit Bumrah, who took 6/33 in the first innings and had set up the victory push for India, finally broke the stubborn stand when Cummins, on 63, edged a full ball which straightened low to first slip where Cheteshwar Pujara lunged forward and took a good, low catch. Ishant Sharma then wrapped up the innings in style as Lyon, on 7, looked to pull a short ball but got a top edge which was taken by Rishabh Pant, who created a new record by taking his 20th catch of the series, the most by any keeper in a bilateral series.
This was the first time in 40 years that India had won two Tests in a series Down Under. In the 1977/78 series, India had won Tests in Melbourne and Sydney but they lost the series against a weak Australia side 3-2 after losing in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Speaking in the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli said the job was not done yet and India were looking to win the series in the final game in Sydney.
"We will play more positively in Sydney. We want to win last the Test match as well, if an opportunity comes our way. We don't want to be complacent," Kohli said. The series now shifts to Sydney for the New Year's Test and Australia will be desperate to level the series while India will be hoping for a favourable result to finally break their winless series streak Down Under. With this loss, Australia's woeful 2018 has come to an end in which they won just two Tests. With things not looking pretty off the field with the fall-out of the ball-tampering scandal continuing, the future does not look good for Australia.