Rishabh Pant’s power batting helped India to an incredible three-wicket win in the fourth Test at Brisbane on Tuesday as Ajinkya Rahane’s injury-ravaged tourists humbled Australia with a 2-1 series triumph.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Pant timed his innings to perfection in a 138-ball 89 as India galloped to a record 328-run chase at the Gabba, becoming the first team since the West Indies in 1988 to beat Australia at their Brisbane stronghold.
With regular captain Virat Kohli savouring fatherhood back home, India mowed down 145 runs after tea to claim a win against all odds when Pant smashed Josh Hazlewood to the long-off fence for four with 18 balls to spare.
“This is one of the biggest moments of my life now, and I’m happy that all the support staff and all my team mates supported me even when I wasn’t playing,” lefthander Pant said after being named Man of the Match.
“It’s been a dream series.”
Pant’s stellar innings was only one of a slew of heroic efforts by the Indian side, with opener Shubman Gill (91) and a battered Cheteshwar Pujara (56) helping them mow down the total with defiant half-centuries.
Without a single first-choice bowler in Brisbane, India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, two years after beating Australia in the 2018-19 series Down Under, and also shot to the top of the World Test Championship.
The jubilant scenes at the Gabba were also a far cry from the Adelaide opener when India were bowled out for 36 and suffered a thrashing in three days.
Yet they rallied superbly to win in Melbourne and held Australia to a brave draw in the third Test in Sydney.
“Absolutely disappointed,” said Tim Paine, who was jeered by sections of the crowd at the post-match presentation.
“We were outplayed by a tough Indian side that fully deserves the win.”
“It really means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this victory. I’m just proud of all the boys,” said Rahane.
Australia paceman Pat Cummins was named Player of the Series in a losing cause after taking 21 wickets.