36-all out certainly seems a distant memory now. We may not even remember that down the line. India were written off after that horror session in Adelaide. But despite being battered and bruised by injury concerns, the Asian giants have pulled off a spectacular result, retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by winning the series 2-1.
In the absence of Virat Kohli and their first-choice bowling attack, India have pulled off what will be remembered as one of their greatest, if not the greatest result in Test cricket history. India won their first-ever Test series on Australian soil in 2018-19 under Kohli and the second win didn't take too long.
With the win, India also continued their unbeaten run in Australia for 6 years. Their last series defeat Down Under came in 2014-15 -- a record that other sides will be envious of.
Indian fans had kept their eyes on the weather forecast after Australia set a target of 328 with the previous highest successful chase at the Gabba having been 236. It was Austrlaia's fortress but India breached it and in some style. The rain gods showed mercy and India made the most of it by scripting history and handing Australia their first defeat in Brisbane since 1988/89.
Rishabh Pant remained unbeaten on 85 as he played one of his best knocks to lead India to a stunning win after Cheteshwar Pujara's fifty and young Shubman Gill's 91. India began the 5th day on a horror note, losing Rohit Sharma early but Gill and Pujara stitched a 114-run stand to put India in the driver's seat.
Gill looked like taking the game away from Australia but he fell for 91 in the second session. India still needed a little less than 200 on a wearing Gabba wicket but they didn't give up hope. Ajinkya Rahane went after the bowling attack and got a quickfire 24 but his dismissal once again threw open the contest.
Rishabh Pant steps up and delivers a special
India showed intent when they promoted Rishabh Pant ahaed of Mayank Agarwal. Pant showed why he is one of the most dangerous batsmen, never letting the intensity drop and keeping the pressure on Australia who needed nothing less than a win to stop India from retaining the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Pant smashed 89 not out, stitching a crucial 61-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara. Washington Sundar, on debut, played a blinder hitting 22 before Pant gave the finishing touches.
Siraj, Sundar lead young guns' super show Mohammed Siraj, playing his 3rd Test, picked up a 5-wicket haul. Washington Sundar, on debut, hit a fifty and came up with an all-round performance. Shardul Thakur picked up 7 wickets and hit a first-innings fifty as India cut down Australia's lead to 33 after being 186 for 6. T Natarajan picked up 3 crucial first innings wicket as youngsters stepped up in the absence of the old guards. Not many gave India a chance after the Adelaide hammering and some even predicted a 4-0 result in favour of India but Ajinkya Rahane led the team from the front in the absence of Virat Kohli with a match-winning hundred in Australia. A heroic draw in Sydney followed and the dream just got better with a spectacular win in Gabba. As Harsha Bhogle quipped on air, this fantastic series has beaten the troubles of Covid-19.
2nd Test, Kandy, 29 Apr 29- 03 May
28th Match (D/N), Delhi, 02 May 2021
29th Match (N), Ahmedabad, 02 May 2021
1st Test, Harare, 29 Apr - 01 May