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On This Day in 2021: India Breach Aussie Gabba Fortress to Win Series 2-1

Pant drove Josh Hazelwood to mid-off to bring up the winning runs and conclude one of the most thrilling Test series in recent cricketing history. (Image: Twitter/ICC)

Pant drove Josh Hazelwood to mid-off to bring up the winning runs and conclude one of the most thrilling Test series in recent cricketing history. (Image: Twitter/ICC)

Bouncing strongly from the first match's defeat, India first registered a victory in the second Test at Melbourne and followed it up with a draw which was as good as a win in the third Test in Sydney.

The Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 did not start on a good note for the Indian cricket team. The team faced a complete batting collapse in the first innings of the series opener and got bowled out at just 36 runs. Encashing the pressure built on the visitors, Australia registered a comprehensive win in the first Test to assert their dominance. Making the situation worse for India was the fact that its skipper and the most reliable batter, Virat Kohli had to leave the team due to personal reasons. Odds were definitely in India’s favour and most cricket pundits dismissed the chance of a comeback. But what happened thereafter gave Indian cricket a new turn.

Bouncing strongly from the first match’s defeat, India first registered a victory in the second Test at Melbourne and followed it up with a draw which was as good as a win in the third Test in Sydney.

The series was down to the wire and all eyes were now on the fourth and final Test Gabba in Brisbane, a venue where Australia had been unbeaten since 1988.

Winning the toss, Australia opted to bat first and thanks to a brilliant century by Marnus Labuschagne, the team finished their innings at a total of 369 runs. In reply, India scored 336 runs with Shardul Thakur as the leading scorer with 67 runs.

Building on the 33 run lead, Australians got the things going in their favour before Shardul returned to do his magic with the ball. Giving India the first breakthrough, Shardul dismissed Marcus Harrid at a personal score of 38 runs. Later, Mohammed Siraj delivered an impressive spell to pick a five-wicket haul. Australia scored 294 runs in the second innings before getting bowled out.

India had a target of 328 runs which in any conditions of 4th inning score was not going to be easy.

The final day for India started with the fall of Rohit Sharma but the partnership between Shubhman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara gave some stability to innings. While Shubhman missed out on a richly deserved century and got out at 91, Pujara was dismissed by Cummins at 56. India’s stand0in captain Ajinkya Rahane scored 24 runs before becoming the target of Cummins.

Things were looking tough for the visitors but young Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar were in no mood to give up. Taking their team forward from the score of 265 for 5, the duo batted watchfully. From a point where victory looked like a distant dream, India was now at the brink of it. While Sundar departed for 22, Pant was still there delivering yet another thrilling knock.

And then came the final moment, Pant drove Josh Hazelwood to mid-off to bring up the winning runs and conclude one of the most thrilling Test series in recent cricketing history.

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first published:January 19, 2022, 07:35 IST