Twitter Erupts As India Breaches Fortress Gabba To Seal The Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Twitter Erupts As India Breaches Fortress Gabba To Seal The Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Rishabh Pant [Image Credits: Twitter]

In a triumph for the ages, Team India, riding on swashbuckling knocks by Shubman Gill [91] and Rishabh Pant [89*], and defiance by Cheteshwar Pujara [56] has breached Australia’s 33-years streak of not losing a Test match at the Gabba and in the process, they have sealed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by a margin of 2-1.

Starting the day at 0/4, India got off to the worst possible start as they lost opener Rohit Sharma (7 off 21 balls) in just the 9th over thanks to that man again- Pat ‘Machine’ Cummins.

Cummins biggest strength is that he angles the ball into the right-hander, constantly probing in the ‘channel of uncertainty’, leaving the batsman confused as to whether the ball with jag back in or will straighten off the seam.

A similar sort of thing happened with Rohit Sharma as he decided to play the ball which straightened off the seam, only to see Tim Paine take a diving catch in front of the first slip.

With Rohit Sharma gone cheaply, the onus fell on Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara to settle the early nerves in the Indian camp and blunt the probing spells of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill (Credits: Twitter)

And, the duo did that in their own diminutive way. While Shubman Gill, en-route to his second half-century of the series, was typically classy in his strokeplay, Cheteshwar Pujara was rock solid as ever, even as he struggled against the short-pitch plot by Pat Cummins.

Pujara survived a few nervy calls in the closing stages of the 1st session as did Gill, who nearly fell into the trap in the last over prior to the trap as he tried an attempted pull off Starc behind the square. But the duo eventually ticked off the objective of staying unbeaten by the end of the session as India went into the Lunch break at 1/83 in 38 overs.

Shubman Gill came out all guns blazing in the post-Lunch session as he took on Australia’s short-pitch ploy, especially against Mitchell Starc. He rode his luck on one occasion when he nearly holed out while trying to pull Starc over backward square-leg but barring that, he looked in total control.

The right-hander carted Starc for disdainful pulls over square-leg and mid-wicket before upper-cutting him over third-man in an over where the left-arm fast bowler went for 20 runs- the most he has conceded in his Test career.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Shane Warne
Cheteshwar Pujara [Image Credit: Twitter]
Cheteshwar Pujara continued to take blows after blows on his helmet, fingers, shoulder but the champion Indian batsman showed immense valor and grit besides upping the tempo of the innings with ferocious square-cuts, upper-cuts, especially against Mitchell Starc.

India motored along after the post-lunch session with Gill leading the way with his masterly strokeplay. The talented Indian opener was looking prime for a much-deserved maiden hundred but Nathan Lyon ensured that it wasn’t the case as he induced an outside edge off his bat.

The intent, however, was clear from the Indian batsmen and it was displayed to the hilt by skipper Ajinkya Rahane as he breezed to 24 off just 22 balls. However, one-shot proved to be too many for Rahane as he misjudged the bumper from Pat Cummins to give an easy catch to Tim Paine.

India scored a total of 100 runs in the afternoon session as Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant, who was promoted ahead of Mayank Agarwal, ensured that they kept the momentum and not lose any more wickets, setting up the game beautifully for the final session of the series.

After the Tea break, the battle between the southpaw and Nathan Lyon ensued with Tim Paine bringing the field up, inviting the swashbuckler to take the off-spinner downtown.

India, Australia, Rishabh Pant, Nathan Lyon
Rishabh Pant [Image Credits: Twitter]
Paine and Lyon nearly succeeded in their plans as Pant danced down the track without getting to the pitch of the ball but he was beaten by the turn and bounce. However, Tim Paine failed to collect the ball missing the chance to stump the southpaw.

Pant survived and then to rub further salt in Nathan Lyon’s wounds, he proceeded to dance down the track once again in the 71st over but this time, he did not miss out, smoking the off-spinner deep into the deep-midwicket stands.

Twitter Erupts As India Breaches Fortress Gabba To Seal The Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Pat Cummins [Image Credit: Twitter]
Pant and Pujara, who scored a defiant half-century, added a valuable 61 runs for the fourth wicket as India chipped away at the target. However, Australia struck back immediately after taking the new ball as Pat Cummins pinned the Indian No.3 LBW.

However, Pant continued to take the charge, driving the likes of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood with disdain. Rishabh Pant soon completed a much-deserved 50 with India needing a further 75 runs in the remaining 16 overs. Cummins continued to keep Australia in the game as he claimed Mayank Agarwal to bring yet another twist in the game.

India, Australia
Rishabh Pant [Image Credits: Twitter]
After a few quiet overs post-Agarwal’s dismissal, Washington Sundar smashed Pat Cummins for a six and a four in the 93rd over to reduce the equation to 39 runs in the last seven overs. Pant followed it up with a reverse-paddle off Lyon before slog-sweeping the off-spinner for yet another boundary. And, to further rub the salt in Australia’s wounds, Tim Paine failed to collect a delivery that turned in viciously to give India yet another boundary.

The wheels eventually came off for Australia even as Washington Sundar got knocked over by Nathan Lyon as Rishabh Pant smashed Hazlewood for two boundaries to ensure that the Gabba was breached.

 

 

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.