Team India overcame all the obstacles and defied all the odds to beat Australia by three wickets in the fourth Test to win the series by 2-1. No team had defeated the hosts at the Gabba since 1988 but then again character and bravery has been the hallmark of the Indian team in this series and they showed it once again on Tuesday.
Rishabh Pant starred with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 89 as he led the charge with the bat. Apart from Pant, Shubman Gill (91) and Cheteshwar Pujara (56) impressed with the bat too. Chasing 328, India started the day on 4 for no loss with openers Rohit Sharma and Gill starting the proceedings with the bat. India’s start was not an ideal one as their openers could add only 14 runs to the overnight score before Pat Cummins sent back Rohit for 14. But before Australia could make further inroads in the game, Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara steadied the ship.
The duo did not let the hosts take any more wicket in the first session and put India in a solid position. As usual, Pujara looked rock solid while also coping several painful blows on his body while Gill mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard ticking at a good rate. The partnership was ended in the second session when Nathan Lyon dismissed Gill for 91 to end the 114-run stand and give his side a much-needed breakthrough.
India lost one more wicket in the second session when their skipper Ajinkya Rahane edged a Pat Cummins delivery to Tim Paine behind the stumps. In the third session, Pujara reached his fifty but failed to capitalise on it as Cummins sent him back for 56 to end the 61-run stand between him and Rishabh Pant.
#TeamIndia win the Gabba Test by 3 wickets. Rishabh Pant shines with a match-winning 89*.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 19, 2021
Mayank Agarwal departed cheaply too but Pant remained firm at the other hand. He and Washington Sundar shared a decisive 53 run stand to all but seal the game before the latter and Shardul Thakur departed in quick succession. But before the game could take another turn, Pant sealed the game with a four.
Here is what Ajinkya Rahane said after the match:
Speaking at the end of the game, India skipper Ajinkya Rahane started by saying how much the win means to the team. The right-handed batsman was all praise for the way his team fought in the series after the humiliating defeat in Adelaide. He also spoke on his dismissal before speaking about his teammates.
“It means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this, but our boys showed a lot of character and determination after the Adelaide Test. I’m really proud if each individual. The conversation between Pujara and me was that he would bat normal, and I would take it on,” said Ajinkya Rahane.
“Credit to Pujara, the way he handled the pressure was magnificent. Rishabh and Washington were very good at the end. Taking 20 wickets was the key, so we opted for 5 bowlers. Sundar brought the balance in place of Jadeja. The intention was clear to play five bowlers. Siraj played two Tests, Saini just one, so it was inexperienced but the character shown by the bowlers and everyone else was incredible,” he added.
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