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BGT 2022-23 win ranks topmost on India's credit list in 2023: Architects of that victory

Flashback 2023: BGT 2022-23 win ranks topmost on India's credit list in 2023: Architects of that victory. BGT victory led India to WTC 2023 Final.


Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 5_ India win BGT 2022-23 by 2-1 margin as 4th Test ends in draw _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
India win BGT 2022-23 by 2-1 margin (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

The year 2023 ends for Indian cricket with a disheartening Test defeat to South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. With the loss, their long-lasting wait for an away Test series victory in South Africa continues. 


With the amount of dominance, India have had in the home series for quite a few years, their fourth consecutive series victory against Australia by a 2-1 margin in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2022-23 might not sound like the biggest achievement. 


They began the series with two back-to-back wins in Nagpur and Delhi. However, Australia made a brilliant comeback for the third Test match in Indore with a heavy nine-wicket win. The series ended with a boring draw in the high-scoring fourth Test match in Ahmedabad. 


BGT series victory ensured India’s WTC 2021-’23 final qualification

Going into the series, India still had a job in their hand to pocket the series to earn the tickets for their second consecutive World Test Championship (WTC) final. They were expected to get the victory, keeping in mind their home dominance. But, if there were any team that challenged them at home, then they were Australia. 


With a couple of victories in their first two games, the equation for them was to either win another game or draw the series. Australia’s victory in the third Test meant they had to win the last Test. A draw would still take them over the line, but only if Sri Lanka dropped points in their Test series against New Zealand. 


With the defeat of Sri Lanka, India’s drawn result in the fourth Test ensured their qualification for the WTC final against Australia, who eventually went on to win the trophy. 



Let’s talk about the four architects behind India’s BGT 2023 series victory


Ravichandran Ashwin showed his spin quality with 25 wickets in four games

It’s been normal business for Ravichandran Ashwin in home Tests. No matter the opposition, Ashwin deals with them without much hard work; he is almost unplayable in Test matches in the sub-continent. He began the series with a Man of the Match award thanks to a five-wicket haul in the second Australia innings.


In the Delhi Test, he showed why the world puts him above the other off-spinners. He bowled a carrom ball to find Manus Labuschagne plumb before the stumps, and two balls later, his straight delivery was enough to get the faint edge of Steve Smith, who was playing for the spinning delivery. 


Ashwin finished the series as the highest wicket-taker, with 25 scalps in four games at an average of 17.28 including two five-wicket hauls. 



Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2_ Axar Patel's 74 helps India finish the first innings with just 1 run deficit _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Axar Patel made 264 runs in BGT 2022-23 (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Axar Patel saved India with vital 264 lower-order runs

One of the main saviours for India in the series was Axar Patel with the bat, who coming mostly lower down the order scored truck-loaded vital runs. He hardly got any chances with the ball, but whenever required with the stick, Axar showed his character to spend time in the middle and score those runs, especially with the tail-enders. 


In Delhi, India were struggling at 135/6, still 128 runs behind Australia, when Axar strolled into the middle at number 8. He partnered Ashwin for a gritty 114-run stand, to play a 74-run knock decorated with nine fours and three sixes. 


Even in Nagpur, he made 84 runs with 10 fours and one six, besides two fifty-run partnerships for the eighth and ninth wicket stand. He ended the series with 264 runs in four games at an average of 88, including three fifties. 



Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 4_ Virat Kohli raises his bat as he smashes 28th Test century_ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Virat Kohli scored his 28th Test century in BGT 2022-23 (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Virat Kohli ended his Test century drought in Ahmedabad

The biggest question coming into the series was whether Virat Kohli would break his Test century drought. The expectation was high from Kohli, who looked good for his 44-run knock in Delhi, but it wasn’t making him satisfied. 


The flat good batting track in the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad was the best stage for him to end the four-year wait. After two long days in the field, India found themselves in a good position of 187/2 when he walked into the middle. But they were still far behind Australia’s 480 in the first innings. Kohli made a few fifty-run stands with Axar and Shubman Gill. 


Finally, with a single against Nathan Lyon, Kohli threw the monkey off his back as he celebrated his 28th Test century. He stretched it to a 186-run knock, thanks to his 15 boundaries. Kohli finished the series as the second-highest scorer with 297 runs in six innings at an average of 49.50 and a strike rate of 50.94. 



Ravindra Jadeja (22 wickets) gave Ashwin equal support

Ashwin couldn’t have done the incredible job had he not got the support from Ravindra Jadeja from the other end. Jadeja, as he always does, held the other end and didn’t give anything to the batters to free their arms. Additionally, he took wickets. 


In the second innings of the second Test in Delhi, Jadeja went through the batting order of Australia, as he finished with figures of 7/42 in 12.1 overs. Even with the bat in hand, there were instances when Jadeja came into the middle order and scored a few vital knocks to help India recover. 


Jadeja finished the series as the second-highest wicket-taker, with 22 scalps in four games at an average of 18.86 including a couple of five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.

 

India will travel to Australia for Tests in the next edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in December and January 2024-25. 


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