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Why Is The Brisbane Test Victory So Important For Indian Cricket?
On the 19th of January 2021 at the Gabba in Brisbane, the dying moments of the final fifth day of the fourth cricket test match between India and Australia, India achieved the most improbable by defeating the shocked hosts by 3 wickets. Having set a daunting target of 328 runs for victory, the visitors replied by 4/0 at stumps on the fourth day which meant that India had to get 324 runs on the last day for victory. The Indian team, already written off by many pundits after the disastrous 36 runs all out in the first test in Sydney to concede an easy win to Australia, had a tough job ahead of them on an unpredictable final day pitch facing arguably the best bowling attack. of the world. Most importantly, the earth is popularly known as Gabbatoir to Australia where the home team did not lose a test match against any cricket team for the last 32 years with an unbelievable total of 24-0 victories. So, at best, most of the cricket experts and fans expected India to save the game by standing out and taking the Series. Against forecasts of rain, the weather cleared in the morning, perhaps to witness one huge fight.
Cricket lovers around the world were to witness one of the most incredible episodes of world test cricket. Mixing caution with aggression, the Indian batsmen launched a campaign for an outright victory, despite losing all-star opener Rohit Sharma very early on. Rock solid Cheteshwar Pujara (56) acted as an anchor at one end while the other opener Subhman Gill (91) and captain Ajinkya Rahane, though short by 24 runs, continued their attack on the Austrian bowlers from the other end. Pujara held the fort until the arrival of player of the match Rishabh Pant whose talent has been widely discussed by cricket pundits and fans for more than a year with almost no concomitant results, delivered after a magnificent run of 97 in the match equal third test in Sydney, the last shot hitting the winning four with only about 2 of the required overs left in his unforgettable solo score of 89 runs not out.
And India broke the Gabbatoir, after 32 years, proves clearly enough that Australia are never invincible even in their favorite fortresses. They had retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy winning the Test Series 2-1 following Virat Kohli’s first Test series win in Australia against Australia in their 2018-19 tour. Shell-shocked, indeed, is the word that described the reactions of the Australian team, the Australian media and their cricket experts. We have already seen the immense importance of this victory for all the stakeholders involved. However, there are several other crucial takeaways from this memorable game that we mention below:
The Gabba win combined with the four-test Series win marks one of the most durable comebacks by any team in the history of world test cricket. All expectations were against India after losing the first test in Sydney and making that 36 runs was all out in their second innings. Then the departure of regular captain Virat Kohli, termed as catastrophic by most Australian commentators/experts, put the team in the tightest possible corners as they had to overcome the ignominy of the 36-run-out syndrome and had to for them to carry. on without their history-defining captain. Defying all predictions Team India regrouped under the calm but aggressive and strategic captain Ajinkya Rahane: he gave the hosts a fitting reply winning the second test in Melbourne convincingly by 8 wickets, and went on to stage the historic save oy the third test in Sydney by keeping the ferocious Aussie bowlers at bay for almost a day and a half.
Before the start of the final test at the Gabba chips it went unsettled for India with almost half of their team members down and out with injuries, mainly from body blows suffered in the Sydney save, which included the main strike bowlers. They drafted in their youngsters, with most of them appearing in one or two test matches earlier and some making their complete debut. And, they break the Gabbatoir.
India have discovered their extremely talented bench strength which would not have emerged without the injuries suffered by their mainstays. This is likely to be a defining moment for the future of Indian Cricket, giving the national selectors a run for their money to pick the ‘best’ team. This would also prove to be very useful considering the fact that players are prone to injuries in fiercely competitive international cricket.
The victory also marks a significant departure from having players in the national team mostly from mega-cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata or others, because most of the talented rookies like Mohammad Siraj, Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and others have come from. small towns or villages with a modest background, often from the grip of poverty.
India have proved time and again that great teams like Australia, England and West Indies are never invincible, even on their home turf, once the team has the determination and self belief in their ability under any circumstances. Especially for Australia, Sourav Ganguly’s India ended a world run of 16 consecutive Test wins by Australian captain Steve Waugh in the Kolkata Test in March 2001 on Australia’s tour of India and Anil Kumble’s India came Aussie captain Ricky Ponting’s streak of 16 wins ended without 16 Test wins in a lone loss in Perth in January, 2008, in their 2007-08 tour of Australia. Not to mention the away test series victories against the West Indies and England in 1971, and stopping the juggernaut known as the West Indies in the 1983 ICC World Cup.
Team India has also suffered episodes of racial abuse from some of the stands during this tour, and a sledgehammer from the winning Australian players. However, they have managed to come out heavily in this regard as well.
It has been proven again how strong the game of cricket is as a unifying force at times of the divisive strategies around the world and the horrors of the year-long pandemic. There is simply not a soul left in the Republic of India who has stopped smiling since that unforgettable day of the 19ed January 2021, and they’re going to be smiling a lot for a long time to come.
Long live the game of cricket! Let the spirit of cricket competition conquer us again and again from the narrow horizons of divisiveness and community!
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