Ajinkya Rahane-led team storms fortress Gabba
Test win caps off one of the greatest series in the modern era between India and Australia
“Test cricket’s heart is beating strongly! (sic)” — this tweet by England cricketer Stuart Broad summed up Team India’s mammoth victory over Australia at the Gabba Test today (January 19, 2021). Beating Australia 2-1, India has retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Test cricket’s heart is beating strongly! That was an extraordinary win @BCCI & a fantastic series to watch. Aussies not lost at The Gabba since 1988. Wow— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) January 19, 2021
A drive past mid-off for four by Rishabh Pant a little after 1pm IST was enough to sink the Australians and ensure that this Test match was right up there in the pantheon of great encounters between the two teams. India got home with three overs to spare, sealing a win that will live long in their memory. Pant played a winning knock of 89 runs from 138 balls, and remained unbeaten till the end. His sensational batting ensured that Team India breached fortress Gabba, where no team had beaten Australia for 33 years. The last time a visiting team won at the Gabba was in 1988, when West Indies had beaten Australia.
If the loss didn’t bruise Australia enough, a tweet by ICC must have ensured that the ignominy of the loss would linger in their minds for a long time to come. The tweet stated the scenarios that were in place the last time Australia lost a Test at Gabba in 1988 — George HW Bush had just won the US Presidential election, Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi had topped the music charts, Virat Kohli was 16 days old and Sachin Tendulkar was yet to make his international debut.
Last time Australia lost a Gabba Test...— ICC (@ICC) January 19, 2021
???????? George H.W. Bush had just won the US Presidential election
???? Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi was charting #1
???? Virat Kohli was 16 days old
???? Sachin Tendulkar was still one year away from making his Test debut pic.twitter.com/87DmsDXDqo
Heading into this Test, India didn’t have anything going for them. The team was beset by injuries. Before the first ball was bowled in this Test, their depleted bowling line-up consisted of five players who, among them, had a combined tally of just 11 Test wickets. Of the five — Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar — two were debutantes. However, during the course of the five days, they bowled Australia out twice, with Siraj picking up his first fifer.
The Test also typified the new India, where self-belief is everything and losing isn’t an option, no matter what the arsenal or who the opposition is. After being skittled for an all-time low of 36 in Adelaide, today, the entire team portrayed a deadly intent. Despite the absence of big names such as Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma among others, Team India stood resolute, refusing to be knocked over by the Aussies.
Road to World Test Championship final
While the Test and series win propelled India to the top of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) points table, the loss clouded Australia’s chances to play the final, scheduled at Lord’s in August this year. In the WTC, nine teams play a total of 27 series. The top two teams will battle it out in the final.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, standings began to be calculated on a percentage basis instead of points. From this victory, India secured 30 points, and overtook Australia to reach the top spot. These 30 points took India’s tally to 430 points (71.66%). Australia dropped to No. 3, with New Zealand now placed at No. 2. England and South Africa are at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Since the launch of the percentage system, India has occupied the top spot for the first time.
Starting February 5, India will take on England in a four-match Test series at home. Australia is slated to play South Africa in a three-match Test series. However, they stand a better chance to qualify for the WTC final if the series is called off. If it doesn’t, Australia will need 89 percentage points to go past New Zealand, which can happen if they win two Tests and draw the third.
Even in the ICC Test rankings, Australia slipped to the third position following the loss. India, meanwhile, moved to the No. 2 slot with 117.65 points, behind New Zealand, who have 118.44 points.
Cricketers, both past and present, took to social media to congratulate Team India for the gritty effort. Former India captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly tweeted that the BCCI had announced a Rs 5 crore bonus for the team.
Just a remarkable win...To go to Australia and win a test series in this way ..will be remembered in the history of indian cricket forever ..Bcci announces a 5 cr bonus for the team ..The value of this win is beyond any number ..well done to every member of the touring party..— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) January 19, 2021
Sachin Tendulkar first tweeted: “EVERY SESSION WE DISCOVERED A NEW HERO. (sic)”, and then followed it up with another tweet that read: “…if you ever score 36 or lesser in life, remember: it isn't end of the world. (sic)”
EVERY SESSION WE DISCOVERED A NEW HERO.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 19, 2021
Every time we got hit, we stayed put & stood taller. We pushed boundaries of belief to play fearless but not careless cricket. Injuries & uncertainties were countered with poise & confidence. One of the greatest series wins!
Congrats India. pic.twitter.com/ZtCChUURLV
For all of us in ???????? & across the world, if you ever score 36 or lesser in life, remember: it isn't end of the world.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 19, 2021
The spring stretches backward only to propel you forward. And once you succeed, don't forget to celebrate with those who stood by you when the world wrote you off. pic.twitter.com/qqaTTAg9uW
Virat Kohli echoed Sachin’s words. He posted: “…To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. (sic)”
WHAT A WIN!!! Yessssss. To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. Exemplary performance but the grit and determination was the standout for us the whole way. Well done to all the boys and the management. Enjoy this historic feat lads. Cheers ???????????????? @BCCI pic.twitter.com/CgWElgOOO1— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 19, 2021
Staying true to character, former swashbuckling India batsman Virender Sehwag wrote: “…This is the new India. Ghar mein ghuskar maarta hai. (sic)”
Khushi ke maare pagal. This is the new India. Ghar mein ghuskar maarta hai.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 19, 2021
From what happened in Adelaide to this, these young guys have given us a joy of a lifetime. There have been World Cup wins but this is special.
And yes,there is a reason Pant is extra special . pic.twitter.com/3CAQIkAuwq
Cricketer-turned-commentator, VVS Laxman applauded the effort put in by Ravi Shastri and the support staff and also the youngsters in the team. “So so proud of this bunch, this is one for the ages (sic)”, Laxman tweeted.
Historic series win for Team India! Youngsters delivered when it mattered, with Gilll and Pant in the forefront. Hats off to Ravi Shastri and the support staff for their part in this turnaround! So so proud of this bunch, this is one for the ages???????????? #AUSvsIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 19, 2021
While congratulating the team on the much-deserved victory, former India captain Anil Kumble sought to throw in a subtle remark on ICC’s proposal to turn Test cricket into a four-day affair. Kumble’s tweet read: “Hopefully the end of discussion of 4 day tests for a while. (sic)”
Many congratulations Team India for the fabulous show of character and skill. A wonderful test series with the perfect result. Hopefully the end of discussion of 4 day tests for a while. #INDvsAUS— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) January 19, 2021
Bollywood, too, couldn’t contain its excitement, with Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh among the first ones to congratulate the Indian team for the historic win.
While SRK tweeted: “…Stayed up all night to watch it unfold ball by ball. Now will sleep peacefully for a bit and savour this historic moment. (sic)”, Ranveer Singh posted a message on Instagram with a photo of the team celebrating the victory.
What an absolutely marvellous victory for our team!!! Stayed up all night to watch it unfold ball by ball. Now will sleep peacefully for a bit and savour this historic moment. Love to all our boys and greatly admire their resilience to power us through to this win. Chak De India!— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) January 19, 2021
Preity Zinta, too, took to Twitter to be a part of this momentous occasion. She tweeted: “… Gabba has been breached & conquered (sic)”
OMG !!! What a WIN ???????? #Gabba has been breached & conquered and with it #TeamIndia moves to the No 1 spot in the World Test ranking ????????What grit, determination & strength of character shown by the boys in Blue ???? #INDvAUS #Champions #JaiHind #Ting ❤️ pic.twitter.com/t8mrpkBmjo— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) January 19, 2021