Brisbane: A fearless India, driven by its courageous youngsters, pulled off an exhilarating three-wicket win over Australia in the fourth Test to claim the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy here on Tuesday.
Resuming at four for none on the final day, India overhauled the target with 18 balls to spare in a match that went down to the wire. Rishabh Pant led the chase with his aggressive yet mature unbeaten 89 while Shubman Gill scored 91.
Cheteshwar Pujara enduring many a painful blows on his body in his dogged 56-run knock that he raised with a 211-ball vigil.
Australia had won the pink-ball Adelaide Test while India struck back with victory in Melbourne. The third Test in Sydney had ended in a draw. India had won a historic Test series Down Under two years back and now the team is cherishing back-to-back series victory.
The visitors had lost the ODI series before winning the T20 series that preceded the Test rubber. At the start, India lost experienced vice captain Rohit Sharma (7) early but young Gill rose to the occasion with an impressive knock that kept India in the hunt as Pujara dug heels on the other end.
Rahane did try to build on the good start with his short but attacking 24-run knock before his soft dismissal. With Pant's ability to strike the ball at brisk pace, India always had a chance to go for the kill.
Pant pulled off some breathtaking cover drives off Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in the final session though he benefitted from missed stumping chance. Brief Scores: Australia 369 and 294 India 326 and 329 for 7 in 97 overs (S Gill 91, R Pant 89 not out, C Pujara 56; Pat Cummins 4/55). PTIt a fair idea whether to go for it by lunch on the final day, which is Tuesday.
This was after Siraj and Thakur combined to share nine wickets while dismissing Australia for 294 in their second innings. Siraj (19.5-5-73-5) punched way above his weight with his maiden five-wicket haul but couldn't prevent Australia from posting an imposing target for his team in only 75.5 overs of the second innings batting.
At stumps, India were 4 for no loss with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill at the crease. The highest target chased at Brisbane is 236 and that was seven decades ago which is an indicator why this Australian ground can be equated with Fort Knox. The home team hasn't lost a game here since 1988.
Thakur's dream Test match also got better with figures of 4/61 and a match haul of seven wickets. The most poignant moment was his apparent joy when he took the catch to help Siraj pip him to the coveted five-for landmark....