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PICS: India score incredible win over Aus to win series

Last updated on: January 19, 2021 13:45 IST
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Images from Day 5 of the fourth Test between Australia and India, at the Gabba, on Tuesday.

The Indian team celebrates victory over Australia on Day 5 of the fourth Test at the Gabba, in Brisbane,  on Tuesday.

IMAGE: The Indian team celebrates after pulling off a thrilling victory over Australia on Day 5 of the fourth Test, at the Gabba, in Brisbane, on Tuesday. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

India pulled of an exhilarating three-wicket victory over Australia in the fourth Test to claim the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, at the Gabba, in Brisbane, on Tuesday.

 

Resuming at 4 without loss on the final day, a fearless India, driven by its courageous youngsters, overhauled the target with 18 balls to spare.

Rishabh Pant led the chase with an aggressive, yet mature, unbeaten 89, while Shubman Gill scored 91 as the deciding Test went down to the wire.

Rishab Pant

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant sends the ball over the boundary for a six. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara endured many a painful blow on his body in a dogged 56-run knock from a 211-ball vigil at the crease to lay the ground for the unbelievable victory.

Australia had won the pink-ball Adelaide Test, while India struck back with victory in Melbourne.

The third Test in Sydney ended in a draw.

Washington Sundar

IMAGE: Washington Sundar produced a gritty 22 off 29 balls, which included two fours and a six, at the crunch. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

India won a historic Test series Down Under two years back and now the team will savour this back-to-back series victory.

The visitors lost the ODI series before winning the T20 International series that preceded the Test rubber.

India lost the experienced vice-captain Rohit Sharma (7) early in their second innings, but young Gill rose to the occasion with an impressive knock that kept India in the hunt as Pujara dug heels at the other end.

Rahane did try to build on the good start with his short, but attacking, 24-run knock before his soft dismissal.

With Pant's ability to take on the bowlers, India always had a chance to go for the kill.

The wicketkeeper-batsman pulled off some breath-taking cover drives off Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in the final session though he benefitted from missed stumping chance.

Session 1

India opener Shubman Gill waves to the dressing room after completing a half-century during Day 5 of the fourth Test against Australia, at the Gabba, in Brisbane, on Tuesday.

IMAGE: Opener Shubman Gill waves to the dressing room after completing a half-century in India's second innings on Day 5. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Young Shubman Gill stroked his way to an attractive half-century while Cheteshwar Pujara defended dourly as India reached 83 for 1 at lunch in pursuit of a challenging 328 in the first session.

Senior opener Rohit Sharma (7) got a beauty of a delivery from Pat Cummins (10-6-7-1), which he edged and was taken by a diving Tim Paine in-front of first slip.

Gill (64 off 117 balls), with his easy to the eye batting, repeatedly peppered the off-side field during the 65-run stand with Pujara (8 batting, 90 balls) in which he was the dominant partner.

Australia pace Pat Cummins is congratulated by teammates after dismissing Rohit Sharma early on Day 5.

IMAGE: Australia pacer Pat Cummins is congratulated by teammates after dismissing Rohit Sharma early on Day 5. Photograph: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

India still need 245 runs in the final two sessions (62 overs maximum) but at this point it doesn't look like they will go for the chase as a draw would be enough to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The fifth day pitch at the Gabba seemed pretty flat, with not much help for the Australia pacers, as Gill played a few cut shots and comfortably drove on the up.

When he was given the liberal dose of short balls, the opener was happy to play the pull-shot.

Australia's wicketkeeper Tim Paine reacts as Cheteshwar Pujara makes his ground in time.

IMAGE: Australia's wicketkeeper Tim Paine reacts as Cheteshwar Pujara makes his ground after a quick run. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

With no lateral movement either in the air or off the pitch, Gill looked comfortable with his "playing beside the line of the ball" technique.

Against the '100 Test man' Nathan Lyon, he came down the track to hit a flowing cover drive even as the seasoned off-spinner's tactic of not having close-in fielders on the off-side invited sharp criticism from Shane Warne, who was on air.

The placid nature of the track also did not help the Australians, who kept an attacking field for the better part of the session.

Among Gill's shots, the backfoot cover drive off Josh Hazlewood would stay with any fan for long. He also used Mitchell Starc's bounce to slash him over backward point for a six.

Cheteshwar Pujara ducks to avoid a bouncer.

IMAGE: Cheteshwar Pujara ducks to avoid a bouncer. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

He also smashed five boundaries during the session.

His second half-century came off a double that he got with a back-foot punch through the covers.

Pujara, at the other end, faced a lot of short deliveries from Cummins, against which he ducked and took a few blows on the body. But with Gill scoring freely at one end, the Saurashtra man was happy to be in his zone defending doggedly which was the need of the hour.

Session 2

Nathan Lyon celebrates with Tim Paine after taking the wicket of Shubman Gill.

IMAGE: Nathan Lyon celebrates with Tim Paine after taking the wicket of Shubman Gill. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Shubman Gill announced his arrival on the global stage with a sublime 91 while Cheteshwar Pujara surpassed all pain threshold barriers to keep India on course for a challenging 328-run target, taking the score to 183 for 3 at tea.

Skipper Ajinkya Rahane (24 off 22 balls) looked good before Pat Cummins (2/22 in 17 overs) dismissed him to keep Australia in the hunt during an engrossing second session of a high-quality Test match.

On Tuesday, Gill showed he is there to rule world cricket despite missing out on a hundred as his disdainful treatment of Mitchell Starc will be remembered for a long time.

Ajinkya Rahane reacts after being caught behind by Time Paine off Pat Cummins's bowling.

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane reacts after being caught behind by Time Paine off Pat Cummins's bowling. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Pujara, on the other hand, saw Australian try out a menacing short ball tactic. He took a few on the helmet, a few more on the chest and other parts and a painful one on the knuckles to remain unfazed on 43 off 168 balls as India need to either score 145 runs or bat out another 37 overs to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

With Rishabh Pant (10 batting, 23 balls) for company, India might just take a sneak peek at that target during the final session.

Cheteshwar Pujara receives medical attention after being struck on the hand by a delivery from Josh Hazlewood.

IMAGE: Cheteshwar Pujara receives medical attention after being struck on the hand by a delivery from Josh Hazlewood. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

The first two sessions were about different schools of batsmanship where Gill and Pujara showed that there are multiple ways to skin a cat and no two ways are similar.

If Pujara was ready to duck, sway and cop body blows off Hazlewood and Cummins, showing the art of survival, young Gill, on his first tour of Australia was ready to take the intimidatory tactic head on by bringing the pull shot out of his repertoire.

The duo during its 114-run stand showed that very contrasting styles can co-exist without conflict even as fans of both genres can have a field day on social media arguing which is the more appropriate approach.

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