A day to remember and cherish for the Indian cricket team as they win at Gabba, win series 2–1, and retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy
Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill help India chase down 328 on day 5 at Gabba, creating history.
The scriptures say God is a man, feminists say God is a woman, well after today one thing’s for sure, God is a cricket lover. The way the rains stayed away and allowed for day 5 of this test match to unfold uninterrupted, that had to be divine intervention! India set a target of 328, were 4/0 at the end of day 4, and needed to score 328 in 98 overs. The start wasn’t great as Rohit Sharma departed early, but Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara steadied the innings and slowly started counter punching.
Shubman Gill, the new superstar of Indian cricket
Shubman Gill showed discipline in the beginning and fearlessness as his innings progressed. The way he cut and pulled Mitch Starc was class personified. He left balls outside his off stump well and didn’t hang his bat out, as he had often done in the past. His game against Nathan Lyon was impressive as well. Overall he played an innings that gave India the start and the belief that they could chase the target down. Although he deserved a hundred, he perished chasing a wide one from Lyon. Out for 91 and India were 132/2 in 48 overs.
Cheteshwar Pujara, the working class hero
While Shubman was batting with flair and fire, giving him support and reassurance in the middle was Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara took blows to his helmet, chest, fingers but continued to battle it out there in the middle. He was the pillar around which the other Indian batters built their innings. After the departure of Gill, Pujara stitched a quick 35 run partnership with Rahane. Rahane scored quickly but would be unhappy that he couldn’t score more than 24. India 167/3 after 56.5 overs at this point. After batting and battling for more than half the day, Pujara finally went for 56 in 211 balls. India 228/4 after 80 overs .
Rishabh Pant the maverick
Rishabh has an aura about him, and this Australian team is in some ways scared of him too. With close to 160 runs to get when he came in to join Pujara, it was amply clear that Pant would have to play a special innings, and possibly be there till the end if India wanted to win this. Rishabh took a few balls to settle down aka Sydney but after that he got into his element. The way Pant played Lyon, you had to see it to believe it. The self belief was such that as if he can’t get out to Lyon at all. Everyone wanted a special knock from Rishabh Pant and today was his day. He drove the fast bowlers, cut them, pulled them, and hit them for sixes swivelling on his back foot. In the end his 89* took India home. Possibly playing ‘the' test innings of the last few years, considering the test win and the series win.
In the end, it was a fairytale series win for India. After the debacle in the first test at Adelaide, where they were shot out for 36, lost their skipper Kohli, lost Shami, continued to lose players to injury, a comeback looked unlikely.
But Rahane, the new captain, played a wonderful knock at Melbourne and India started to fight back. Winning that test and squaring the series 1–1. Then Sydney happened, and India fought back again, batting out the last day to draw the test match. The two batters who did it, one batted with a torn hamstring, Vihari, and one with acute back spasms, Ashwin, and couldn’t even take the field in the final test. In the final test India found new heroes, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara all played their parts in India breaching the fortress Gabba. The first team to win in Gabba in 32 years. And needless to say this series win is much more impressive than the one in 2018. You beat a full strength Australian team, with Warner, Smith and Labuschagne, and do it with nine regular first team members of your team missing. Bravo!
Not to forget, with this series win India are on top of the icc world test championship too.