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India claim epic series win



India has recorded one of the finest series wins by a touring side to Australia in Test cricket history, recording the highest fourth innings chase to win a Test at the Gabba and claim the Border Gavaskar Trophy with a three wicket win on Tuesday.


It ended Australia's dominance at the venue in the process, their first loss at the Gabba since 1988 against a plucky Indian side that was without it's first choice bowling attack and best player Virat Kohli, having been bowled out for a Test low 36 in Adelaide in the first Test of the series.


India resumed on the final day needing 324 runs to win, Australia after ten wickets with India resuming at 0-4.


Pat Cummins claimed the big scalp of Rohit Sharma for seven, drawing an outside edge from the right handers bat with Tim Paine completing a sharp catch behind the stumps.


The rest of the session belonged to talented young opener Shubman Gill, reaching a half century while Cheteshwar Pujara blocked stubbornly, surviving an LBW review off Nathan Lyon by the skin of his teeth, umpires call on leg stump after umpire Paul Wilson initially refuted the shout.


Gill played more expansively after lunch as the skies cleared and the threat of rain disappeared, India playing for victory rather than a drawn Test match and series.


Gill became Test victim 398 for Nathan Lyon on 91 when he edged a drive to Steve Smith at slip, but Ajinkya Rahane kept the scoreboard moving as Tea approached, lofting the off-spinner over the rope in a positive knock.


He fell to Cummins trying to steer a short ball over the slips having made 24, India getting to the final interval of the series at 3-183, still needing 145 runs to win the Test match.


Rishabh Pant again came to the crease at number five, a position higher than scheduled as was the case in the Third Test in Sydney, Pujara reaching his slowest Test fifty in terms of balls faced having copped numerous blows on the body in a gutsy knock.


Pujara and Pant added 61 before the second new ball did the trick for Australia, Cummins winning a leg before verdict on Pujara, just brushing the leg bail after the Indian number three reviewed in vain.


Pant was in control for India though, passing 50 as the overs and time ticked by and a famous victory approached.


Cummins had four when Agarwal chipped a catch to Matthew Wade at mid-off, but debutant Washington Sundar helped Pant add 53 and bring victory within sight, Australian Tim Paine and his bowlers short of answers.


Sundar was bowled trying to reverse sweep Lyon with ten runs needed for victory, Pant easing Indian nerves when he hooked the next ball from Josh Hazlewood for four to bring the target to single figures.


Shardul Thakur fell for two via a leafing edge to mid-on, but Pant sealed a memorable triumph two balls later when he drove the ball to the long off boundary, breaking Australia's 33 year stranglehold on Test cricket at the Gabba in the process.


Pant's unbeaten 89 will go down in cricket folklore, having batted superbly for 97 in Sydney in a heroic draw.


It gave India their greatest series triumph in their history, defeating Australia in their home conditions without as many as eight of their first choice side due to injury or unavailability, Indian captain Virat Kohli returning home after the first Test for the birth of his first child after just one Test.


Ajinkya Rahane thrived in his place, scoring a century in Melbourne to help square the series before injuries in Sydney left the tourists on their knees, escaping with a draw before calling on reinforcements in Brisbane to secure one of the great Test wins, and indeed series triumphs.


It left Australia physically and mentally broken, their home fortress no more and question marks surrounding captain Tim Paine and the performance of top order players Marcus Harris, David Warner and Matthew Wade.


Cummins was crowned player of the series after taking 21 wickets at 20.04, sending down the most overs by a pace bowler in the series in a lion hearted effort from the Australian vice-captain.


India lifted the Border-Gavaskar trophy aloft in Australia for the second time in three years, in a series that will be talked about for many years to come.


IMAGE: DNA India.




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