India pulled off a record run-chase in a thrilling final session to hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane’s Gabba ground since 1988 and clinch the four-Test series 2-1, in the dying moments of a tense fifth day.
Australia had not been beaten at the “Fortress,” as Gabba is known, since falling to Viv Richards’ all-conquering West Indies side 33 years ago.
The win has prompted a flurry of congratulatory messages for Team India from across the world.
India started off the day in a steady fashion, with 328 to get. Although Rohit Sharma fell early to a blistering Pat Cummins delivery, Shubman Gill and ‘The Next Wall Of Indian Cricket’ Cheteshhwar Pujara steadied the ship, with Gill’s interspersed shot-making in his spirited 91, showing India were not intending to just save the game with a draw. They were wanting to go out and finish the tour in a blaze of glory.
They did just that. Captain Ajinkya Rahane came in with the intention to up the scoring rate, but fell shortly thereafter. And then it was time for the Rishabh Pant show, once again promoted up the order at No.5, the flamboyant southpaw unleashed his innovative strokeplay under pressure from the experience Aussie attack.
Putting on a crucial 53-run stand, along with the first-innings hero Washington Sundar, Pant did not seem to break a sweat as he mixed singles and doubles with exquisite drives to the fence to get India closer to the target with 10 overs to go for the end of day’s play. Shardul Thakur missed out on stamping his name on the match, on the back of his brilliant batting and bowling in the first innings, when Sundar departed attempting a risky reverse sweep to Nathan Lyon, looking for his 400th scalp in his 100th Test match.
A straight drive down the ground, with 3 to get on the board, made Pant and Saini scramble between the wickets. The ball was going only one place though, over the fence, and Team India were going down in history for easily one of the most memorable match and series victories in Test Cricket.