Brisbane, January 19
At a ground Australians call “Gabbatoir” — the Gabba in the name comes from an aboriginal word for “fighting place” — a young and inexperienced Indian team created history by winning the fourth and final Test against Australia, to take the series 2-1.
- Edit: India tear down fort Gabba
Gabbatoir is the ground where visiting teams are traditionally herded for the first Test on the tour of Australia, to be mauled on a hard, bouncy wicket. This time around, Gabba hosted the last Test of the series, and the mauling was on the other foot, as it were. India chased down the target of 328 for the loss of seven wickets, with only three overs left to be bowled. Two young men and one veteran were the day’s biggest stars — the 21-year-old Shubman Gill made an elegant 91 to put India on the road to victory; the veteran Cheteshwar Pujara, who turns 33 on January 25, was rock-solid as he defied Australian pace bowlers for five hours and 210 balls, giving the other batsmen the freedom to go for their shots; the 23-year-old Rishabh Pant struck a breathtaking 89 not out off 138 balls to take India over the line.
The victory, coming exactly a month after the team was dismissed for 36 runs in the second innings of the first Test at Adelaide, was as sweet as it was unexpected. India, without their best batsman and regular captain Virat Kohli after Adelaide, also lost their first-choice bowling attack due to injuries.
Going into Gabba, their bowling attack had a combined total of 13 Test wickets, while the Australian attack had over 1,000 wickets. Yet, with sheer will and fearlessness, the young Indians matched the Australians.
Pant said it was “one of the biggest moments of my life”. Captain Ajinkya Rahane was left beaming with delight. “I’m just proud of all the boys, each and every individual. We just wanted to give our best, not to think about the result,” he said. — TNS
Wonder down under
328 runs chased by India to end Australia’s 32-yr record at the Gabba
2-1 Test series win for India, second consecutive in Australia
1st time India came back from 0-1 outside subcontinent to win Test series
1988 the last time Australia had lost in Brisbane
20 players used by India due to injuries, a record away from home
1st India’s Test ranking post series win
Shubman’s stellar show
Punjab lad Shubman Gill, who scored 91 off 146 balls in the second innings, announced his arrival on the global stage. The stylish opener played his part and gave India the platform and momentum for the historic chase at the Gabba.