An exhaustive Australian summer came to an end for team India yesterday. But the day will be etched in every cricket lover’s heart forever. It was perhaps Indian cricket’ most famous victory. The greatest moment of glory of Indian cricket.
After being pinned down so brutally in the first test, it always needed a great character and self belief to bounce back in that fashion and the Indian team did it all. Despite a young bowling attack with no experience, they made us experience what Australia did it for almost two decades. They showed the grit and were more disciplined than their ‘class’ counterparts.
As many as 11 senior players couldn’t render their services to the team and it was said that India will be thrashed hard. After receiving the hammering in the Adelaide test, the critics got even more loud. But then rose the Indian team from the rubble of its dream to defend the Border – Gavaskar trophy. This phoenix styled rise was led by the stand- in captain Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a century in Melbourne and with his intelligent bowling changes and field placement equalled the series 1-1.
Then came the famous SCG, this ground has somehow the history to boost Indians with self belief. And that’s what we witnessed in the 3rd test of the series. India played 131 overs in the 4th innings to play a draw which was a psychological win for the Indians. SCG witnessed the bold Indian character. With two injured players (Vihari and Ashwin) seeing off 289 balls and another injured player (Jadeja) padded up to bat if required, India made a statement of never giving up.
With the morale being high, Indian team travelled to Brisbane, which has been Australia’s den since 1988. A lot was talked about the Indian team and their injuries. A lot was spoken about the Gabbatoir, but all the noises were silenced by a team that has deserved all the respect. To start with, a comparison was made of the bowlers of both the teams and the wicket tally said 1013 -13 wickets in favour of Australia. Indian bowling attack was led by a one match old Mohammad Siraj. Indian SCG heroes Vihari, Jadeja and Ashwin were made to rest due to their injuries. This gave opportunities to Sundar and Shardul for Jadeja and Ashwin.
At one stage, when India were 186/6, it seemed that the ghost of Gabba has come to haunt yet another touring party but then against all the odds Sundar and Thakur stitched a record breaking 7th wicket partnership of 123 runs. This shrank the Australian lead of of first innings to just 33 runs. This partnership also set Australia on back foot. In the Australian second innings, Siraj picked up his maiden fifer and India required 328 runs to become first team to win 2 consecutive test series in Australia. Shubman Gill started it all with his blitzering 91 runs. He passed on the baton to Pujara who once again showed that he is the epitome of perseverance. Pujara faced 211 balls and this gave Pant on the other side some freedom to chance his arms. In one of the most calculatedly daring assault, the 23 year old not only pushing the Australian out of the match but was also creating history. As he drove Josh Hazlewood to long off boundary past the demons of mighty Gabba, the curtain have finally dropped on one of the most astonishing comebacks ever witnessed on the sporting field.
The faces and the emotions in the Indian camp summed up the series perfectly. This victory is enjoyed by all the cricket lovers irrespective of their origin. This series has set a benchmark to all those teams and individuals who have been pushed against the wall. This series taught us what self belief, perseverance and a positive mindset can do.
It did wonders for team India to change the “Gabbatoir” to “Gabbalicious”.