India went into the fourth test at the Gabba knowing that they had a massive challenge on their hands. With the series tied 1-1, the Gavaskar-Border trophy would go to the side that won the fourth test.
Australia went into the Gabba test as favorites as their last loss at Brisbane was over 30 years ago. India went into the Gabba test severely weakened due to more injuries as R Ashwin, R Jadeja, J Bumrah and H Vihari who played at the SCG were out.
Australia Fail To Seize Big Moments
Australia batted first and got off to a rough start losing their openers cheaply. However, Marnus Labuschagne (108) once again showed why he is one of the best batsmen in Australia. Steve Smith (36), Matthew Wade (45), Cameron Green (47) and captain Tim Paine (50) all got starts but did not kick on to get a big score.
The inexperienced Indian bowling attack kept attacking throughout and managed to break partnerships at regular intervals. T Natarajan, W Sundar and S Thakur all picked up 3 wickets each as they managed to restrict the Australians to 369. Looking back, Australia will be kicking themselves for not being more selective with their shots and getting to 400 in the first innings.
India had a similar batting experience to Australia as a number of their players got starts but failed to go on and make a big score. R Sharma, Rahane, Agarwal and Pujara got out just when they got set.
There was a point where it looked like Australia would bowl India out for less than 200 but a 100 run partnership between W Sundar (62) and S Thakur (67) brought India back into the game and helped them get to a fighting total of 336.
India Show Amazing Fighting Spirit
Australia knew they had to win this test to retain the Border-Gavaskar series since a draw would have been enough for India to take it back home, since they are the current holders.
The Aussies showed an urgency in their batting as Warner, Labuschagne and Smith all had a strike rate above 50.
M Siraj who lost his father at the start of the series in Australia will be really happy with himself. He put in a great bowling effort and took 5 wickets in the second innings to keep India in the game. He received good support from S Thakur who picked up 4 wickets. N Saini had a poor game after being injured in the first innings and bowling just 5 overs in the second innings.
There were some pundits who thought Australia should declare and give India a fighting total to have a chance at taking wickets. However, Tim Paine batted on and set India the challenge of bowling them out, which they did.
India had to chase 328 runs in the fourth innings in a short session on the fourth day and 3 sessions on the final day. Most cricketing pundits expected Australia to win the game or for it to end up in a draw.
However, this India team once again showed immense character as they played the final day session by session. They lost R Sharma early on the fifth day but young S Gill put his head down and played a brilliant knock that kept India in the chase. He got out for 91 just short of a century. Pujara (56) held things up at one end while the other batsmen went for it.
Rahane made 24 of 22 balls but in the end it was R Pant who took the fight to Australia and got India over the finish line scoring an unbeaten 89. This test series win will be extra special for India as they did it against all odds.