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Explained: How India turned a draw into a win against Australia at Gabba

India vs Australia at Brisbane: Here are the moments of the Gabba Test when India, after taking guarded steps, decided to sprint in their chase.

Written by Vishal Menon , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 27, 2021 8:53:46 am
Rishabh Pant, Gabba Test, India vs Australia, Gabba Test highlights, India beat Australia, Indian ExpressIndia's Rishabh Pant hits the ball t the boundary during play on the final day of the third cricket test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (AP Photo: Rick Rycroft)

With fickle weather predicted for Brisbane and a cracked-up Day 5 pitch on offer, conventional wisdom suggested that either a draw or a defeat were the only two possible scenarios for Team India. 324 runs from 98 overs in the final day’s play at the Gabba looked like a mountain to climb. Instead, they seized the momentum at crucial junctures to pull off an improbable win on an emotionally-charged, roller-coaster day.

The moments of the match when India, after taking guarded steps, decided to sprint in their chase:

Shubman Gill cuts loose: Rohit Sharma departs for 7, but Gill and a defiant Cheteshwar Pujara take India to lunch at 83/1. Barely 30 minutes into the post-lunch session, Mitchell Starc would begin unleashing a barrage of short-pitched deliveries to Gill. The youngster would respond with a delectable upper-cut, a brace of pulls shots and another uppercut, before dispatching him for a six with another disdainful pull. Starc leaks 20 runs in an over.

Rishabh Pant gets a reprieve: The wicket-keeper batsman walks in at No.5 ahead of Mayank Agarwal at the fall of captain Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket. It ignites hopes amongst fans. Can he conjure another whirlwind knock like the 97 he scored in Sydney on Day 5? Pant moves to 16 off 40 deliveries, before he gets beaten by Lyon. But Tim Paine misses a stumping. India still 135 runs adrift.

Pant-Pujara alliance blossoms: Pant skips down the track to deposit off-spinner Nathan Lyon over the long-on fence for a six. In the subsequent over, he unleashes a ferocious cut against Starc. Pujara brings up his fifty with a boundary against Marnus Labuschagne. India on the ascendancy in the final session.

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Washington Sundar plays his part: With India needing 49 runs from 42 balls, Washington Sundar (22 off 29) swivels and unfurls a wondrous hook shot against Cummins that sails over the square-leg fence for a six. Pant, at the other end, collects consecutive boundaries against Lyon — a scoop, followed by a powerful sweep shot against Lyon. India race past 300.

The winning blow: Pant is unbeaten on 80 and is looking imperious. With 10 runs required, the wicket-keeper batsman pulls Hazlewood past fine-leg for a boundary. The winning moment arrives in the final ball of the 97th over, when Pant drives Hazlewood to the long-off boundary. He stays unbeaten on 89. India win the series 2-1. Fortress Gabba is breached.

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