India on Tuesday became the first team to conquer The Gabba in 33 years as they beat Australia by three wickets in the final Test and won the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 2-1.
Chasing 328, India achieved the target with three overs remaining on Day 5. Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pan shone with the bat for visitors on the weary Brisbane wicket against the star-studded Australian bowling attack.
If Pant ensured India’s completion of the chase by remaining unbeaten on 89, opener Gill’s innings of 91 was the kickstart India needed.
Pujara with his marathon 211-ball knock of 56 runs was the steadying force that held India’s fort from end eventually guided the tourists towards history.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led team were comfortably placed after the second session of final day at 183/3, requiring another 145 runs in 37 overs from the post-Tea period.
Earlier, resuming the session at 83/1, talented opener Shubman Gill continued on his development as he went on to play positively and alongside Pujara, collected runs at a brisk rate.
Gill, who looked reasonably comfortable against the Australian pace attack which resorted to short-pitched stuff, looked all set for what would have been a well-deserved century before he got caught in slips by Steve Smith against Nathan Lyon at his individual score of 91.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who came in next, looked positive right from the word go and shared a quick 35-run stand with Pujara.
Rahane, after contributing with 24 off just 22 balls to India’s total, however got out caught behind against Pat Cummins.
India then sent in Pant, instead of Mayank Agarwal, clearly signalling their intentions of going for the win. Pujara and Pant added 61 runs to steady India’s ship after Australia looked to threaten by dismissing Gill and Rahane in a span of 10 overs.
While Pujara was dismissed soon after Tea, Pant showed why he is backed to the tilt by the team management. He scripted a 37-run partnership with Mayan Agarwal (9) before adding another 53 with Washington Sundar (22).
In the meantime, the 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman completed his half-century and anchored the broken ship of India, which was without its main captain and chief sailors, at finishing line after a successful voyage.
Earlier, in the morning session, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma (7) but scored 79 runs as Gill and Pujara didn’t allow Australia to make inroads into the Indian batting line-up
West Indies were the last one to beat Australia at what is considered a fortress for the Australian team.
In all, Australia had won 40 out of the 62 games they played at the venue prior to this match, losing just eight.
Four of those losses have come against England while three came against West Indies, the last of which was in 1988. One came against New Zealand.
India have played seven matches, losing five, drawing one and winning the one in the ongoing series.
This is also the first time Australia have not won at The Gabba since 2012.
Back in November 2012, they had drawn against South Africa. Following that draw, they beat England (twice), India, New Zealand, Pakistan (twice) and Sri Lanka.
With agency inputs