Melbourne: Hailing the Australian side for winning its first Test in India in 13 years, the media Down Under said Steven Smith’s team is capable of conquering the series itself for the first time in over a decade.
Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe was praised for his “superhero” performance in Australia’s stunning 333-run win inside three days.
“History has been made. Australia has won its first game in India in almost 13 years. Steve O’Keefe has put his name on an honour board among the very best the game has ever seen and India is in shock,” a write-up in ‘The Australian’ newspaper said.
“A billion plus people didn’t see this coming. A good 20 million plus Australians were of the same mind. Nobody outside the camp gave Steve Smith’s men a chance, but they romped it in. The best bit? They beat the Indians at their own game,” it said.
It was Australia’s first Test win in India since 2004 and ended the hosts’ unbeaten streak of 19 Tests.
The ‘Sun-Herald’ hailed O’Keefe’s 12-wicket haul in the match along with skipper Smith’s fighting first century in India and his 10th as Australia’s captain.
“Steve O’Keefe led Australia to one of its greatest Test victories on Indian soil with a superhero performance that rewrote the record books and humiliated the shell-shocked hosts inside three days,” the Sun-Herald said.
“Australia will head to Bangalore for the second Test with genuine belief they can pull off what only a few days ago seemed like mission impossible and win just their second series on these shores since 1969.”
A report in ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ said India’s new-found resolve to use the Decision Review System (DRS) backfired spectacularly in the first Test loss to Australia.
“There were a range of different factors that led to Australia recording their first Test win in India since 2004.
The tourists were much better in the field, while they outperformed the top-ranked Test side with bat and ball,” the newspaper said.
“One of the most stark differences between the two teams was their use of DRS. Intended to remove umpiring howlers, Virat Kohli’s side burned their referrals frivolously throughout the contest that ended on Saturday.
“The most glaring example came when openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul, unhappy with their lbw dismissals, wasted the side’s two reviews in just 5.3 overs of India’s second innings.”
The ‘Sunday Telegraph’ heaped praise on O’Keefe for shattering 84 years of Test history in the sub-continent.
“Written off as the worst Australian team to ever tour cricket’s most imposing fortress, a great sporting upset is now firmly on the cards,” it said.
“O’Keefe’s extraordinary match haul of 12-70 now stands alone as the best individual figures by an overseas spinner ever in the sub-continent since the first match India played way back in 1933.”
Former Australia Test fast bowler Mitchell Johnson tweeted: “And the coach of India says Steve O’Keefe is ‘Steady’. Well done Steady O’Keefe, keep it up.” PTI
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