India win historic series: The visitors overcame multiple injuries to exceed expectations

  • India defeated Australia by 3 wickets in an exciting Brisbane Test
  • India win the five-match Test series 2-1 with wins in Melbourne and Brisbane overpowering their loss in Adelaide
  • Rishabh Pant was named 'Player of the Match'
  • Pat Cummins was named 'Player of the Series'
Australia v India Fourth Test
Historic win for India to complete a 2-1 series win over Australia (Getty Images)

Who would have thought it and who have given India a fighting chance in the series! A severely depleted India overpowered obstacles of all types to script a memorable three-wicket win at the Gabba to shatter a 32-year winning record for Australia at the venue.

The situation demanded new heroes and display of immense character. India found multiple heroes in Rishabh Pant, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, and Mohammed Siraj.

Rain threatened to spoil the final day action, but the storms subsided and the clear skies allowed a full day of action. India’s latest batting sensation Shubman Gill (91) took the game to the Aussies keeping India in the hunt for a win. Cheteshwar Pujara (56) braved a number of blows on his body and showed immense grit in keeping his wicket intact. That gave the space and freedom for Pant (89) to express himself.

With Australia struggling to make the fifth day pitch count, Pant kept adding vital runs in crucial partnerships. He added 61 runs for the fourth wicket with Pujara, 37 for the fifth with Mayank Agarwal, and a very vital 53 runs for the sixth wicket with Washington Sundar. The required rate was always within reach as Pant made sure there’s at least one boundary every over. And when he hit the final runs off a straight drive, the Indian contingent and the large section of Indian fans in the stadium erupted in joy.

Australia won the toss and batted first on a spicy Brisbane pitch that had something for the bowlers from the first session. Marnus Labuschagne (108) continued his exemplary series to lead the charge, while captain Tim Paine (50) led the middle-order. However, the Indian bowlers kept taking wickets at regular intervals with T Natarajan, Thakur, and Sundar each picking up three wickets to restrict Australia to 369.

In their reply, the Indian top-order batsmen wasted starts and at 186/6 they looked like conceding a huge first innings lead. However, Washington (62) and Thakur (67) added 123 runs for the seventh-wicket to turn the tables on Australia. India ended their first innings at 336 conceding a mere 33-run lead to leave the match hanging in the balance.

With no choice but to go for a win, Australia was expected to go hard for runs and swell the lead. David Warner (48) and Steve Smith (55) tried their best to keep Australia on the front foot. Once again, the inexperienced Indian bowling attack kept the Aussies on a tight leash. Mohammed Siraj (5/73) picked up his maiden Test five-for, while Thakur (4/61) was impressive with wickets at regular intervals.

Rishabh Pant won the ‘Player of the match’ award while Pat Cummins won the ‘Player of the series’ award. India will be next seen in a four-Test home series against England starting from February 5. Australia will be playing a five-match T20I series in New Zealand starting from February 22.

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01 October 2021

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