NEW DELHI: Words are not enough to describe just what Team India have pulled off in Brisbane.
Imagine this – the Gabba in Brisbane is a venue where Australia had been unbeaten since 1988. The last team to beat the Aussies in their fortress were the West Indies led by Sir Viv Richards. Now, Ajinkya Rahane, whose century in the Boxing Day Test was a huge catalyst that spurred the team on can proudly take his place alongside the West Indian legend.
India did the unimaginable at the Gabba on Tuesday to register a historic three-wicket win against Australia on the fifth day of the series -deciding Test. Chasing a record target of 328 at the venue, a severely depleted Indian team went past the finishing line with 18 balls to spare on the final day.
With the win, India also claimed the 4-Test series 2-1, and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Victory scenes at the Gabba.#AUSvIND https://t.co/Z5nB9MyPwh
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1611042645000
Champions 👏#AUSvIND https://t.co/3DUysQ9rgd
— ICC (@ICC) 1611043446000
The incredible resilience shown by this young, largely inexperienced Indian team, which was missing a plethora of first pick players will be talked about and celebrated for a very very long time.
India have now won back to back Test series on Australian soil. They won the 2018-19 series 2-1 and now the 2020-21 series by the same margin.
Rishabh Pant who made an unbeaten 89 and fittingly hit the winning runs was declared the Man of the match.
Pat Cummins, who took 21 wickets in the 4 Tests and finished as the highest wicket taker was adjudged the Man of the series.
Shubman Gill (91), Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara (56) were the batting architects of the famous win for India at the Gabba. In the bowling department Md. Siraj and Shardul Thakur took as many as 9 Australian wickets between them in the Aussie second innings as India got the better of the Tim Paine led-side on the final day of the tour.
Australia had not been beaten at the Gabba since falling to Viv Richards’ all-conquering West Indies side by nine wickets in November 1988.
India’s 329 for seven also smashed the 69-year-old record for the biggest run-chase at the Gabba, set by Australia who scored 236 for seven to beat the West Indies in 1951.
The series win was a remarkable achievement considering India were bowled out for their lowest Test score of 36 to lose the first Test in Adelaide, before bouncing back to win the second in Melbourne.
01:34Record-breaking India clinch Australia Test series in Gabba thriller
The visitors, ravaged by injuries and captain Virat Kohli’s absence for paternity leave, then batted throughout the final day to draw the third Test in Sydney.
“It really means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this victory but I’m really proud of all the boys,” said India’s interim skipper Ajinkya Rahane.
“They showed character, attitude, especially after the Adelaide Test match. We decided we’re going to fight really hard… and we just wanted to give our best.”
IN PICS: India win Gabba thriller, claim Test series 2-1
Rishabh Pant unleashed a Twenty20-style batting assault to blast India to an incredible three-wicket win in the fourth Test decider on Tuesday. (Getty Images)
“I’m absolutely disappointed, no doubt about that. We’ve come here to win the Test and win the series,” said Australia captain Tim Paine.
“It’s probably a little bit of a trend the whole series — I think in the key moments we were found wanting and completely outplayed by a really disciplined, really tough Indian side who fully deserved the series win.”
Despite Australia’s fearsome record at the Gabba, the Indian batsmen showed no fear and never looked interested in playing for a draw, even after losing the wickets of Pujara and Mayank Agarwal after tea.
Overall, there are multiple big talking points from this series. The way the youngsters stepped up to the plate, the way Ajinkya Rahane captained the side, the way the team did not give up despite missing key players, multiple injuries, racial abuse, quarantine, foreign conditions, coming back from being bowled out for their lowest ever Test innings total of 36 in Adelaide and more will be talked about for a very very long time.