India achieve one of Test cricket’s GREATEST ever victories with a perfectly-timed run chase to win the match – and SERIES – in Australia with just 18 balls left
India pulled off one of the most sensational victories in the history of Test cricket to win an epic series with Australia.
Rishabh Pant’s brilliant 89, following on from opener Shubman Gill’s 91, guided India to their victory target of 328 and inflicted Australia’s first defeat at the Gabba since 1988.
With all outcomes possible on what proved to be a nip and tuck final day of an epic and often controversial series, India seized the initiative in the last session having battled hard all day.
Pant moved into one-day mode and was joined by first Washington Sundar, who made 22 before being bowled by Nathan Lyon, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, to get India home by three wickets amid nerve-shredding tension in Brisbane.
It meant India won the four-Test series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy despite being ravaged by injury, confined by Covid-19 quarantine and without their captain Virat Kohli for the last three Tests.
Rishabh Pant hit a brilliant unbeaten 89 to win the fourth Test and the series for India
Washington Sundar plays a shot as India close in on their victory target on a thrilling last day
Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine reaches out in vain as Rishabh Pant plays a shot
Frustration is etched on the face of Australian quick Pat Cummins as the runs ticked down
Pant waves his bat to the crowd at the Gabba after reaching his half-century on the fifth day
It was a fittingly dramatic finale to a classic series that has ebbed and flowed between two of the best Test cricket teams in the world.
It started with India being thrashed in the first Test in Adelaide after the humiliation of being bowled out for just 36.
Josh Hazlewood picked up five wickets for just eight as Australia’s bowlers ripped through India in their second innings, teeing up an eight-wicket victory.
With their captain Virat Kohli returning home for the birth of his child, prospects of an Indian fightback at Melbourne were diminished.
But the tourists showed great heart to win the Boxing Day Test by eight wickets, with Jasprit Bumrah taking four wickets in Australia’s first innings and debutant Mohammed Siraj enjoying a star-is-born moment with three dismissals in the second.
Ajinkya Rahane’s 112 in the first innings ensured India always had the edge at the MCG and the series was all level.
A rain shower threatened to interrupt play but Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne celebrate taking the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara
Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon drives to grab the ball and prevent a run as Pujara watches on
The third Test at Sydney proved a controversial one that ended in a draw with India digging in despite a number of injuries to the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav leaving them depleted.
Two days of the game at the SCG were marred by alleged racial abuse from the stands, while Australia captain Tim Paine and Ravi Ashwin were involved in a heated sledging battle and Steve Smith became embroiled in a ‘scuffing’ row when he seemed to ruin Rishabh Pant’s guard mark.
Smith hit 131 in Australia’s first innings on their way to 338 and then bowled India out for 244.
Declaring on 312 for six in their second innings, Australia’s bowlers were unable to complete the job as Pant and others dug in impressively to earn a draw.