In an epic performance by Team India, they beat hosts Australia in the Brisbane Test by four wickets, and pocketed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. This performance has come in a tough situation — after India kept on losing key players throughout the series, that forced them to field a second-rung team. India chased down a mammoth 328 — and breached Aussie fortress, the Gabba after 32 years.
With over 324 runs needed at the start of day five — where a lot of rain was predicted, India could have gone for an easy option of a draw, after they lost opener Rohit Sharma early in the day. But they chose to go for the target, and in style. It all started with Shubman Gill taking the attack to the opposition bowlers, and slammed a 91, while Cheteshwar Pujara kept blocking everything at the other end. In one over of Mitchell Starc, the duo added 20 runs, against the run of play.
But just nine runs short of his maiden Test ton, he was caught brilliant by Steve Smith, off Nathan Lyon. Then came skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who showed the intent, right from the word go. He scored a quickfire 24, and the message to the Aussies was clear. One particular moment in the match could be termed as game-changing — one where Rahane stepped down the track and hit Lyon for a humongous six.
Soon Pujara too reached his fifty and tried to up the ante. But India lost Pujara and Rahane rather quickly that could have sent panic attacks in the Indian dressing-room. But not for Rishabh Pant. The man just played ‘coming off age’ innings for his 89 not out and took India home. What is interesting is that Pujara, during his 200-ball stay at the crease, copped multiple blows on the head and hand.
There came a moment in the game when India lost Mayank Agarwal to Cummins, but Pant did not back out. He battled the pressure of taking the team to the win, also making sure India don’t lose it from there. India still needed over sixty, when Mayank had departed. But from there on, hero of first innings, Washington Sundar, lent a supporting hand to senior partner — Pant.
In the end, he hit a four to Hazlewood to end the match and series.