What transpired at the Gabba (Brisbane) on Tuesday in the fourth and final Test of this Australia tour was full of suspense. The Aussies play their cricket the hard way – sledging and appealing – at everything. But as in the Sydney Test (3rd Test), the youthful India Team, though battered and bruised, showed ‘steely’ resolve to turn the tide and chase down a daunting 328 runs for victory.
And it was achieved with six of the first choice XI not figuring in the line-up. And again, without the two seniors, Rohit Sharma and skipper Ajinkya Rahane, not making any significant contribution with the bat.
True Cheteshwar Pujara stood in the middle taking ‘body blows’ with a rock like determination in the last two Tests while captain Rahane scored a magnificent century as if to tell his detractors that he is the right man for the job once Virat Kohli left the battlefield to be with his pregnant wife Anushka during childbirth and the disastrous 36 all out in the second innings of the first Test which Australia won on a canter in just three and a half days.
To come back from that defeat in the next fightback and draw the third Test with all its twist and turns and then create history of sorts; ending Australia’s unbeaten streak at the Gabba for 32 years thanks to a match winning unbeaten 89 from the young Rishabh Pant augurs well for cricket in India.
Former batting maestro and legend Sunil Gavaskar compared this victory to the epic Test triumphs of 1971 against West Indies and England under then captain Ajit Wadekar. Well done, Team India!
While Rishab Pant was adjudged Man of the Match ahead of notable performers like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Siraj, there was no taking away the “Man of the Series” award from Pat Cummins who claimed 21 wickets.