Rishabh Pant of India celebrates with teammates Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj past Australia's captain Tim Paine after winning on day five of the fourth test match between Australia and India at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, on January 19, 2021. Picture: AAP IMAGE via REUTERS/DARREN ENGLAND
Rishabh Pant of India celebrates with teammates Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj past Australia's captain Tim Paine after winning on day five of the fourth test match between Australia and India at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, on January 19, 2021. Picture: AAP IMAGE via REUTERS/DARREN ENGLAND

In a truly historic moment for Indian cricket, Team India secured an emphatic win on the last day of the fourth Test in the Border-Gavaskar series in Australia earlier this week.

Amazingly, the triumph came at the Gabba in Brisbane — a venue where Australia had been unbeaten since 1988. In fact, the last team to beat the Aussies there was the mighty West Indies under Viv Richards.

India breached this Aussie fortress by chasing down an unprecedented 328 at the venue, succeeding with 18 balls to spare. Plus, this was seen to be a depleted Indian squad with many top players missing due to injuries, among other reasons, while youngsters such as Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar are just cutting their teeth in international Test cricket.

Yet the youngsters showed tremendous grit and determination throughout the series. In fact, Siraj lost his father while he was in Australia. That he went on to pick up 13 wickets in the series shows the kind of character the younger players sport. Fear simply doesn’t seem part of their DNA, best exemplified by Sundar’s “no-look” six at the Gabba against the immensely experienced Nathan Lyon. Credit here should also be given to Rahul Dravid  — who now heads the National Cricket Academy of India — for grooming youngsters and giving them international exposure through the India A tours.

The calm leadership of stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane provided the youngsters with stability and freedom to play to their full potential. Overall, this has been a fantastic Test series and a great advertisement for the longest format of the game. Tests certainly have a future if they are played with such quality and intensity.

For India, bouncing back from their lowest Test total of 36 in Adelaide to actually win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 will certainly go down in cricketing lore. /Mumbai, January 20

Times of India

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