Resilient India win Brisbane Test to clinch Border-Gavaskar Trophy

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Brisbane, Jan 19 (IANS) “I think a drawn series will be worse than the loss a couple of years ago,” former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Monday. However, the Indian team on Tuesday went one step further as they came out with one of the best Day Five batting performances to beat Australia by three wickets in the fourth and final Test at The Gabba, thereby winning the four-match Border-Gavaskar series 2-1.
India now moved to the top of the ICC World Test Championship standings following their remarkable 2-1 series win over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Chasing a mammoth target of 328 on the final day of the match, that too at a venue where Australia had not tasted defeat in last 32 years, India rode on brilliant half centuries of Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara to register one of India’s most historic win in Test cricket.
When India scored the winning runs, Pant remained unbeaten on 89, alongside Navdeep Saini at 0.
Resuming the day at 4/0, Australia entered favorites and gave India an early blow as Rohit Sharma got out after scoring just seven. Sharma edged one behind to Tim Paine off the bowling of Pat Cummins at team’s score of 18.
However, Gill and Pujara then shared a brilliant 114-run partnership during the course of which both collected runs at a brisk pace. While Gill was the more aggressive batsman of the duo, Pujara batted in his usual self, coping numerous blows on his helmet and hands but not giving up.
Gill, who scored his second half century, looked all set to register his maiden, well-deserved Test hundred before he got out for 91 against Nathan Lyon — who was playing his 100th Test.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who came in next, looked positive right from the word go and shared a quick 35-run stand with Pujara.
Rahane, after contributing with 24 off just 22 balls to India’s total, however got out caught behind against Pat Cummins.
India then sent in Pant, instead of Mayank Agarwal, clearly signalling their intentions of going for the win.
Pujara and Pant stitched a 61-run partnership before India’s batting mainstay got out after playing a gritty, magnificent knock of 56 runs, which came off 211 balls.
Agarwal (9 off 15) then added 37 runs and once again put India in the ascendency. However, the right-handed batsman got out at team’s score of 265, with India still needing 63 runs to win.
Washington Sundar, who had scored valuable 62 runs in the first innings, then came out all guns blazing and scored quick-fire 22 runs before getting bowled by Lyon, with India still needing 10.
Shardul Thakur, India’s unlikely batting hero in the first innings having scored 67 runs, then got out after scoring just two.
However, the work was almost done by then and Pant fittingly scored the winning boundary as India became the first team to beat Australia at The Gabba in over 32 years.
India had scored 336 in their first innings in reply to Australia’s 369. The visitors then bowled out Australia for 294 in their second innings, thus setting themselves a target of 328.
The hosts had won the first Test of the series in Adelaide, while bowling out India with the pink ball for their lowest Test total of 36. The Rahane-led side, however, registered a stunning comeback in Melbourne, winning the Boxing Day Test by eight wickets. The third Test then ended in an epic draw in Sydney.
India, under Virat Kohli, in 2018-19 tour of Australia, had become the first Asian team to win a Test series Down Under.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 19 lauded Team India’s historic Test series win in Australia, saying the entire nation is overjoyed at the success of Ajinkya Rahane-led side who showed remarkable energy and passion throughout the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“EVERY SESSION WE DISCOVERED A NEW HERO. Every time we got hit, we stayed put & stood taller. We pushed boundaries of belief to play fearless but not careless cricket. Injuries & uncertainties were countered with poise & confidence. One of the greatest series wins! Congrats India,” said legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
Virat Kohli, team’s regular captain, also lauded the performance of the team and tweeted: “WHAT A WIN!!! Yessssss. To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. Exemplary performance but the grit and determination was the standout for us the whole way. Well done to all the boys and the management. Enjoy this historic feat lads. Cheers.”
Former India batsman VVS Laxman said: “Historic series win for Team India! Youngsters delivered when it mattered, with Gill and Pant in the forefront. Hats off to Ravi Shastri and the support staff for their part in this turnaround! So so proud of this bunch, this is one for the ages.”
“Many congratulations Team India for the fabulous show of character and skill. A wonderful Test series with the perfect result. Hopefully the end of discussion of four-day Tests for a while,” said legendary India skipper Anil Kumble.
Former captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, while congratulating Rahane & Co., also announced a Rs 5 crore bonus for the Indian team.
From Shah Rukh Khan to Ranveer Singh, Bollywood stars expressed their jubilance after the Indian cricket team secured a historic Test series win against Australia. Bollywood stars were mighty impressed with the performance of the Indian team and took to Twitter and Instagram to share their excitement about the victory.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella congratulated the Indian team, following their remarkable 2-1 series win over Australia in the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Nadella tweeted: “Last hour of the last day of the last test. Test series for the ages. Congrats to Team India!”
“One of the greatest test series wins ever. Congrats India and well played Australia, what a series #INDvsAUS,” tweeted Pichai.
Brief scores: India 336 and 329/7 (Shubman Gill 91, Rishabh Pant 89*; Cheteshwar Pujara 56; Pat Cummins 4/55) beat Australia 369 and 294 by three wickets.
The India-England Test series begins February 5 in Chennai.

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