Indian off-spinner R Ashwin and fielding coach R Sridhar talked about how Team India turnaround the inadequate 36 all out in Adelaide in the first Test.
After the embarrassing score, it looked like Team India rotated their magic wand and in the absence of key players, including captain Virat Kohli, to clinch the series 2-1.
First, the turnaround was in Melbourne. Sridhar opened up about how leaders, including Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, decided to outline India's rise with critical strategic moves.
"(After the Adelaide Test) Virat just came to all of us and said, 'Boys, I'm returning home.' It was like a chat that happens at a college farewell. I thought in my mind, 'Bro, don't go, we've just been bowled out for 36, we need you'(in jest)," said R Ashwin on his YouTube video.
Sridhar shared how Kohli called a midnight meeting to plan the way.
"It was midnight, around 12.30 am, the night we lost the Adelaide Test. Virat Kohli messaged me: 'What are you doing?' I was shocked. I thought, 'why is he messaging at this time?' I told him, 'head coach (Ravi Shastri), myself, Bharat Arun, and Vikram Rathour are sitting together.'
"He said, 'I'll also join you.' I said, 'no problem, come over.' He came there, and all of us started discussing. That's where 'Mission Melbourne' began. Shastri made a point there: 'This 36, wear it like a badge! This 36 is what will make this team great'.
"We were slightly confused, but then we started talking about the decisions we'd have to take. Then Virat called Ajinkya the next morning, and we had a very good discussion. After a 36 all-out, usually, teams would strengthen their batting. But Ravi Shastri, Virat, and Ajinkya decided to strengthen the bowling. That's how we replaced Virat with Ravindra Jadeja, and it was a masterstroke.
"Shastri wanted to have more left-handers. He felt because of the presence of only right-handers, the Australians kept bowling at that one spot, so if we bring in a left-hander, their lines may vary, and it may work for us tactically. So, most of the decisions were taken there, and it was decided that we'll go in with five of our best bowlers.
"We also decided not to over practice, so we gave the boys an off day and called for a team dinner. We arranged some games because negativity will creep in when you're alone at the room."
Ashwin added: "Yes, we played dumb charades - Bollywood movies, Hollywood movies, and cricketers. The culmination of that event was Ravi Shastri enacting a player's name and the entire team burst out in laughter. Everyone left in good spirits."
(With Agency Inputs)