OTD in 2021: Gabba crumbles to Rishabh Pant power as India seal epic series win vs Australia

OTD in 2021: Gabba crumbles to Rishabh Pant power as India seal epic series win vs Australia

That famous win was the first time a visiting team had won at the Gabba in 32 years, and that too without the likes of Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, and Jasprit Bumrah in the side.

A day no Indian cricket fan will ever forget. The day when India defeated Australia in their home with virtually no bowling and their skipper Virat Kohli unavailable. When the India cricket team conquered Gabba, becoming the first team to beat Australia at the ground in 32 years!

On this day in 2021, Rishabh Pant took his side home, shattering Australian hopes and helping India win their second successive Test series in Australia. A win which is often labelled as India’s biggest in their 91-year Test cricket history.

Battered and bruised Indian side

The series was perfectly poised at 1-1 before the final test match at the Gabba. The India cricket team was battered and bruised, with Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Hanuma Vihari all unavailable for selection.

Such was the situation that the bowlers India fielded in the final test had a combined experience of 15 matches. In comparison, the Aussies had Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon, who had more than 200 matches between them and over 1000 Test wickets.

Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara: The Song of Fire and Ice

With a depleted bowling lineup, the Indian bowlers did what they could. They restricted Australia to 336 and 294 with Mohammed Siraj picking up his maiden fifer and Shardul Thakur taking 5 wickets in the match.

But it was the experience of Cheteshwar Pujara and the youthful exuberance of Rishabh Pant who guided India to its greatest Test victory. Although they failed to capitalize on their starts in the first inning, when things got tough in the second inning, they stood up like they had throughout the series.

Chasing a mammoth 329, Shubman Gill and Pujara had given India a perfect start. When Gill departed after his glorious 91, India still needed 197 runs with 8 wickets in hand. With Pujara there, everyone had hope. Soon, skipper Ajinkya Rahane departed, and Pant walked in.

The duo started to put pressure back on the Aussies. Pant attacked, and Pujara held things back, which saw him take several hits on his body. His vigil, however, was cut short by Cummins. Now it was all on Pant.

He saw his partners in Mayank Agarwal, Washington Sundar, and Shardul Thakur all go, but he never changed his aggressive approach as he hit every bowler out of the park.

It was a fitting ending when Pant hit the winning runs and India conquered the Gabba.


Editors pick

Stop hiding behind big names, selectors must take brave calls for T20 World Cup success
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