It’s already been talked up as the greatest Test series of all time, forget being India’s most memorable triumph. Indeed, when a triumph as famous as the one we witnessed in Brisbane unfolds, it is hard not to get carried away by the romance of sport.
India pulled off a record run-chase in a thrilling final session to hand Australia their first defeat at Gabba since 1988 and clinch the four-Test series 2-1 on Tuesday.
Rishabh Pant starred with a swashbuckling 89 not out as the injury-depleted visitors overhauled the 328-run target with three overs to go, winning by three wickets.
Australia had not been beaten at the Gabba since falling to Viv Richards’ all-conquering West Indies side by nine wickets in November 1988. India’s 329/7 also smashed the 69-year-old record for the biggest run-chase at the ground, set by Australia who scored 236/7 to beat the West Indies in 1951.
The Border-Gavaskar Tropht victory win was a stunning turnaround after India were bowled out for their lowest Test score of 36 to lose the first Test in Adelaide, before bouncing back to win the second in Melbourne.
Here, we take a look at some of the best articles we have come across on India’s win and, consequentially indeed, Australia’s defeat. This isn’t a definitive list by any means. Do share your favourite articles with us on Twitter or in the comments section on Facebook since we might have missed a few.
Sharda Ugra writes in the Hindustan Times in an article titled Ajinkya Rahane’s Unbreakables or the myth of regeneration:
What appeared properly unearthly was what this ensemble cast of “nobodies” were able to pull off. As India’s first-rate bowling attack dissipated, its second line rose, a Phoenix platoon of unimagined properties. The seamless emergence of Mohammed Siraj as spearhead in his third Test. The second highest partnership of the series, also India’s second-highest was between its No. 7 (no first-class cricket for three years) and No. 8 (first-class batting average of 16 pre-Brisbane). The same No. 8 Shardul Thakur’s steepling venom from under 6ft height, armed with 130kph of pace. Or even Navdeep Saini, groin strained, putting in a spell to give others a break and a proper dive to try stop a four on day four. Regeneration from all quarters can be seriously fearsome.— Hindustan Times
Gideon Haigh writes in The Times in an article titled Patient Cheteshwar Pujara outlasts pent-up Australia to win epic series:
It is a hard thing to be hit by a cricket ball; it is harder still to volunteer to let a ball hit you. One lost count of how often Pujara was struck, and consented to be struck: helmet, gloves, ribs, hip. At one point the broadcasters showed a diagram of where each blow had landed, with little cricket balls superimposed on a photograph of the batsman, who was, a little incongruously, smiling.
The smile, however, was not misplaced. By prolonging his resistance into the 81st over and only being dislodged by the new ball, he made the games of others possible — namely Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant.— The Times
Snehal Pradhan writes in the Hindustan Times in an article titled Cheteshwar Pujara v Pat Cummins - Immoveable object vs unstoppable force:
Steve Smith vs R Ashwin was a cat-and-mouse game on a pendulum swing. Rishabh Pant vs Nathan Lyon was a study in denial and destruction. But underneath all the explosive stuff, the main thread of the narrative of this series was the battle between Cummins and Pujara. Immovable object, meet unstoppable force. Seam. Swing. Attack. Defence. Cuts played while in the air. Balls angled in from wide of the stump. Bruised ribs. Bruised feet.— Hindustan Times
Bharat Sundaresan writes in Cricbuzz in an article titled The unlikely script of a Gabba heist:
As the Indian dressing-room emptied on to the vast stretches of the Gabba, we’d also finally reached the credits section of the most fantastical sports movie script ever written. So bizarre that it might even have been rejected by Bollywood, where hyperbole and exaggeration aren’t always looked down upon as excesses to the plot.
How else do you explain what has transpired Down Under over the last five weeks or so. That exactly a month from the day a team reached its nadir, it could bounce back so high that it would surpass its erstwhile zenith. As significant as the achievement was, it was the odds that India had to overcome in getting there that is the fulcrum of this incredible plot.— Cricbuzz
Jarrod Kimber writes on his substack page in an article titled India hit:
[Pujara has] just been hit and is being tended to by India’s physiotherapist, who’s been on screen more this series than most Indian players have been on the field. It didn’t seem to matter what Pujara’s being told, because he’s going to bat. It didn’t matter where he was hit; he will bat. His hand was almost taken off, he will still bat. He was hit in the back of the head, the groin, the elbow, the biceps, the grill, and yet, he would bat. Cheteshwar Pujara was going to be hit again and he was going to bat. The rest of them were going to hit.— Jarrod Kimber's Sports Almanac
Dan Brettig writes in ESPNCricinfo about the questions that the series defeat raise for Tim Paine and Australia:
What will be troubling for Paine, the coach Justin Langer and his fellow selectors Trevor Hohns and George Bailey is that India have made them look like a less seasoned Test team at times this summer, an extraordinary scenario given the number of injuries the tourists have faced. It is a credit to Ajinkya Rahane, India’s captain of quiet words and bold deeds, but a significant mark against Paine, the wartime leader who has tried to hang on.— ESPNCricinfo
Greg Baum writes in the Sydney Morning Herald in an article titled Thank You and Good Night, India:
Thanks for one of the classic series. Thank you for one of the more extraordinary days.
When Washington Sundar, a 21-year-old stripling on Test debut, hooks the best Australian fast bowler of his generation for six to give this match and series its final wrench, what other can you say?
When an Indian team that was unceremoniously sat on its backside in Adelaide a month ago and gutted by injury since inflicts Australia’s first defeat at the Gabba since 1988, what more can you say? Fortress Gabba fell to a Trojan horse. It had looked like such a gift.— Sydney Morning Herald
Osman Samiuddin writes in ESPNCricinfo in an article titled Why this Australia series made India likeable:
[India] still don’t travel as well as they should, but with a full-strength side that status brings an entitlement and expectation of success. And when they don’t win, they put up with a tremendous global outpouring of schadenfreude. It would need, literally, an unparalleled plague of injuries, an epidemic, to weaken them so much that they were considered underdogs. Which is precisely what happened on this tour, leaving them with a combination of a 2nd and 3rd XI, for whom even underdog status felt like an aspiration. (Of course, you could take the fact that they won the series with this side not as extraordinary but as what is to be expected from a country with as much resource and depth, as Justin Langer sort of did, but where’s the romance in that?)— ESPNCricinfo
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan writes in his blog 81 all out in a post titled That momentous feeling…:
I heard some player interviews from Brisbane, listened to Shastri and Rahane in the post-match (online) conference, read some reports, scanned some updates on social media and chuckled at memes doing the rounds. There is so much disbelief, so much jubilation. What does one do when the bold, underline, and ALL CAPS turn into understatements? Perhaps a victory of this magnitude needs some rest. To regain its breath. The journey from news to history cannot occur overnight. It needs participants and witnesses to offer insight, revealing conversations that took place in the breaks, what batsmen said to each other in the middle, their plans for each bowler. Physios, trainers, reserve players, assistant coaches: they need to tell us what they saw and heard. A match turns into a myth partly because of what happened but also because of how it is remembered.— 81 all out
Bonus viewing: Journalists Sharda Ugra and Melinda Farrell speak about the series win in an interview with The Print India.
Read Scroll.in’s coverage of India’s epic series win Down Under here:
- Rishabh Pant, the maddest of them all
- Wanted: A Rahul Dravid (and a robust cricketing structure) for the Indian women’s team too
- Opinion: The Ravi Shastri turnaround – From ‘why him?’ to ‘who can carry forward his legacy?’
- Shubman Gill: One for the future, who arrived in the present
- How Australia’s fortress was dismantled: The method behind India’s miraculous win at Gabba
- A generational phoenix: With historic win in Australia, Indian cricket comes of age. Again