Team India breach the Gabba Fortress
It is the biggest series win ever in Indian cricket history. A team that had 8 players who were not part of the original team defeating the full-fledged strong Australian team can be seen as a miracle for many but not for us.
In my prediction article for the Gabba test, I had predicted either victory for India or a draw. The reasons for calling this the greatest series win are as follows:
Gabba, the impregnable fortress where India had never won and Australia has not lost since 1988 was the right choice to host the decider test. In fact, no Asian team has ever won at Gabba.
In 2018 when India won the historic Test series down for the very first time, the world always questioned its credibility. Yes, India won but if Steve Smith and David Warner would have been there the story may have been different.
The highest successful chase at the Gabba previously was 237 by West Indies in 1951. However, Pakistan made 450 in the 4th innings, India 355, and England 360, which gave me the confidence to predict the Indian chase.
Why India A?
Only Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Mayank Agarwal were part of the original XI and all the bowlers had together taken 13 wickets viz a viz Australian tally of 1033 wickets. Siraj was most experienced with 2 test caps coming into the deciding Test.
I predicted the inclusion of 4 pacers and Pant as Keeper as he has the X factor. Every commentator and expert was surprised at that and Harsha Bhogle even went on to say that If anyone predicted this then he should be charged for insider trading. I gladly accept the compliment.
Washington Sundar and T. Natarajan were not in the original team, they were to be used as net bowlers and today they became architects of the Indian show. I have never seen such events happening in the past.
Australia was desperate to win and it was their game to lose. This desperation ultimately ended in frustration and resulted in India retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Firstly Australia opted to bat knowing well that 2nd and 3rd days are best for batting. The way Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Wade got out by pulling and giving a skier respectively showed their pressure to mount a huge first innings score. Still, 369 was a good score.
but not a formidable one
In reply, Rohit Sharma's innings of 44 at the top was very important as it eased the pressure. Every commentator criticized the shot and ultimately they were proved wrong. It was partnerships for each wicket that built the innings, especially between Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar.
The fourth day belonged to Shardul and Siraj as they restricted Australia to only a paltry score of 294. Australia had to bat till 1 hour after tea as they kept taking wickets and reduced the run flow.
The Kangaroos did not dare to give a target of less than 350 in view of Sydney’s performance. They knew the forecast for rain and they knew that 237 had been the highest chased score at the venue. Still, they did not declare, which shows the fear of this young Indian side.
The pitch played true and even bounce was there in spite of a few cracks in the middle. From the 4th day onwards the cracks had opened up and they started inducing unpredictable bounce, which scalped Marcus Harris, Marnus, and Smith.
Why is it wrong to call this Indian Team inexperienced?
I am extremely proud to say that I trusted the capabilities of this young side. Every channel and their commentators were sympathizing with India. They probably forgot that all these players have been playing in the IPL for years now.
Once they have rubbed shoulders with the best in the world for 2 months and they are mentored by legends, they have the mental toughness to compete at the highest level.
My assessment has been verified by the performance whereas, whoever showed sympathy has to eat their words.
Historic 5th day
It was a revelation the way young Shubman Gill batted. He went for his strokes and gritty Pujara blunted the attack.
People were criticizing Pujara’s slow batting but they probably do not know cricket. Without his innings in Sydney and now in Gabba, India would have lost 3-1. How many players can take so many blows on the body and helmet and still stand tall?
All the Pant critics should be silent now. His mannerism and control while chasing should be part of the cricketing manual. The way he chased bad balls and regained composure and a subdued celebration on his 50 shows his hunger for an Indian win.
I am confident that ultimately Pant’s 4th innings average will be higher than some of the Indian greats like Tendulkar, Dravid, Dhoni, etc.
He was rightly given the Man of the Match award for his 89 *. Pat Cummins also deserved his Man of the Series award for his ebullient performance.
I hope my reads appreciate our style of predicting teams and results as we predicted all 4 matches correctly and we hope to meet you before the start of the England series.
Cover Credits: CricketCountry