full, angling across to off stump, and he's creamed that to the long-off boundary! To repeat the words of Tony Greig from 20 years ago, India have won the Test match, India have won the series, and this series has been as much of a fairytale as that one. Let me describe briefly. There was no mid-off, just a straight extra-cover, and Pant brought his wrists into play to drive that full one to the left of the fielder. He kept running, Saini kept running, and I guess no one realised there was no fielder near the ball until it dribbled past the rope
6.03pm Rahane hands the trophy to T Natarajan, the juniormost member of the side, as India pose for team photos. It's a bittersweet feeling that this series has ended, for me and I'm sure for all of you as well. We've seen some incredible Test cricket over the years, and this series ranks with anything you might throw at it. Remember also that all this unfolded in the backdrop of a global pandemic, and thank everyone who made this series happen. It's been an absolute privilege bringing it to you, so from myself, Gnasher, Varun, Chandan, and everyone else involved in this series, thank you for following our coverage (there's a lot of post-match stuff to come still), and goodbye.
And if you want to relive all the emotions of this incredible day, and you happen to live in the subcontinent (sorry, everyone else), here are the highlights.
Ajinkya Rahane: "It really means a lot to us. I don't know how to describe this victory. I'm just proud of all the boys, each and every individual. We just wanted to give our best, not to think about the result. When I went in, conversation between me and Pujara was Puji to bat normal and me to go for my shots, because we knew Rishabh and Mayank were there. Credit to Pujara, the way he handled the pressure was magnificent, and Rishabh was brilliant in the end. Taking 20 wickets was the key, that's what we identified, that's why we picked five bowlers. Washington Sundar got that balance for us, intention was to play five bowlers. Siraj had played two Test matches, Saini one, Thakur one, Natarajan also on debut, all credit to them. After Adelaide we didn't discuss about what happened, we just wanted to play our game, show good attitude, show good character on the field. It was all about the team effort. I would also like to thank our fans who came out here and supported us, and the Indian team would like to give Nathan Lyon a signed jersey for his 100th Test match."
Tim Paine: "Absolutely disappointed. We came here to win the Test and win the series, it's been a bit of a trend that we were found wanting in the key moments and completely outplayed by a tough Indian side that fully deserves the win. I think there's lots of things we'll look back at, but what's done is done. We need to look forward now, there's a big series in South Africa coming up, we've been outplayed by the better side in this series. I think we got about what we wanted in the end. We wanted to set a bit over 300, dangle a carrot to win the Test match and win the series. We might have had another 20 overs had it not rained. But India turned up and put their bodies on the line. [Reviews] are part of the job. sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. But all credit to India, our bowlers threw everything at them."
Pat Cummins is the player of the series. "Good hard day of Test cricket today, I thought Rishabh and the whole Indian side played fantastically, took the game on and deserved the win. I would have liked the cracks to play a few more tricks, but it was a pretty good wicket. Once you were in, it was pretty free-flowing, the runs. I thought today and in Sydney the game was ours to win on day five, but we didn't take enough wickets, but overall happy [with my performance]."
Rishabh Pant is the man of the match. "This is one of the biggest moments of my life now, and I'm happy that all the support staff and all my teammates supported me even when I wasn't playing," he says. "It's been a dream series. The team management always backs me and tells me, you are a matchwinner and you have to go win the match for the team. I keep thinking every day that I want to win matches for India, and I did it today. It was a fifth-day pitch and the ball was turning a bit. I thought I have to be disciplined with my shot selection."
5.50pm What a chase. And everything went to plan for India. Cheteshwar Pujara sewed one end up for more than half of the day, and by the time the final hour began, the Australian bowlers had very little left in the tank for a final push. But India were never too far behind the ask, on a strange pitch where the ball misbehaved frequently but also came onto the bat very very well, which meant the bad and marginally bad balls kept disappearing to the boundary. Shubman Gill timed it like he was batting in a dream, and Rishabh Pant, well, batted like only he can. From Australia's perspective, a lot of questions will be raised around Mitchell Starc's performance.
Oswin: ""Wait until you get to Gabba, mate" - ha ha ha!"
Floyd Harrison: "To quote the millions of Indians from overseas and the billions at home; "Wow" "
Sujoy: "Aussies can't fathom what happened in last 90 minutes or so! " -- I'm not sure I can either.
Kausik ghosh: "Miracle repeats after 20 years !"
Raj: "Injuries to key bowlers was a blessing in disguise for India. When it mattered the most in the final test India had a much fresher bowling attack which seems to have mattered a lot. The poor Aussie bowlers were looking too tired on the final day." -- Fresher, but who would have known they'd bowl so well?
DivasK: "AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Sorry I cannot scream at 2:41 AM in my dorm here in Toronto, this will have to do! What a fantastic series, thanks for taking us home, Karthik."
5.38pm Phew, let me collect my thoughts for a minute. Wow. India have won 2-1. They've won the decider with this bowling attack: Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, an injured Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar. They took 20 wickets. At the Gabba. Where Australia hadn't lost in a million years. And what about the batting? Shubman Gill hadn't made his debut before this series, Rishabh Pant wasn't a certainty before this series, and Virat Kohli is watching this from halfway around the planet. The last day at Sydney couldn't be bettered, you might have thought, but here we are, last day in Brisbane, last day of the series. It's unreal, simply unreal.
India are taking a slow victory lap around the Gabba now. What scenes. Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur are right out in front of it. You could pick anyone and stick them in front and it would be apt.
full, wide of leg stump, looks for the one-arm sweep and misses. Good use of the negative line from Hazlewood
Here's Navdeep Saini. They crossed over, so Pant will be on strike. Hazlewood goes over the wicket to him now.
Arun: "I would like to believe I played a major part with cricinfo partnership in this (possibly) win of India. Ever since the 36 all out session that I saw I have been only seeing the series via cricinfo and that too in a very superstitious way - I have are only scores via the series tab and then frantically read every ball commentary at the end of the day. Boy cricket is superstitious isn't it."
Rama: "Tim Paine : Can't wait to get to the Gabba. So can't we"
Andrew : "Got only respect for the way India has played. Well done and see you at Lords. From New Zealand."
now Thakur lobs one straight in the air. This one falls into square leg's hands, though. India still need 3, and they have three wickets left. Back of a length, angling into off stump, and Thakur looks to work it across the line, only manages a leading edge
back of a length, angles into the pads, clips it away to long leg. The fielder didn't have too much room to cover to his left, but they sprint two anyway. Tired legs all over the field now
Over the wicket to Thakur. Two slips and a gully.
six to win, goes for the glory hit. Fullish, angling into off stump, looks to slog it over midwicket, and ends up slicing it high over the backward point region. Ends up landing away from both deep point rushing in and cover running to his right. It's Pant's day
short, angling down leg, and Pant swivels to pull and find the gap to the right of long leg. He falls onto his backside while doing so as well. He's played the falling scoop, now he's played the falling pull, and he's nailing everything out of the middle
Hazlewood, around the wicket.
Seth: "Now Australia might be wishing for rain. So much for aus white washing India 4-0."
back and across to defend a length ball spinning in from outside off, meets it right under his eyes
Here's Shardul Thakur. He's had an outstanding game so far. Lyon goes over the wicket.
Shelly: "If Lyon is continuing its because of Pujara, who tired all the fast bowlers out of the attack."
bowled him, you might ask if he needed to play that shot. Not much of a reaction from the Australia players, though, because India only need 10. He's played well, and he misjudges the line, possibly, while trying to reverse-sweep this. A little too close for him, and perhaps there's a bottom edge too, onto the stumps
what a shot. That's tossed up very wide of off stump, and Pant somehow gets a big stretch out and uses his bottom hand brilliantly to whack a sweep out well in front of square, making deep square leg run a long way to his right to stop it
short outside off, keeps low and sneaks under the attempted cut
shot. That's full outside off, and Sundar collapses his back knee to create extra room and play a square drive out to deep point
tossed up wide of off, Pant steps out and reaches out for a sliced drive over the point region
Right. Who'll bowl now? Fifteen to get from five overs. Still Nathan Lyon.
and he produces a jaffa in the middle of all this. Length ball, angling in towards off stump and straightening off the pitch. Slices across it slightly in defence, and the ball beats his outside edge
Vidya: "Dear Cricinfo , Pls don't crash your website in this last few overs."
full, angling into off stump, blocked back to the bowler
all the luck is going India's way now. Shortish, angling into off stump, and he steps across to pull, but it keeps a little low, goes under his bat, and pops up off the thigh pad, between slip and gully
Around the wicket to Sundar.
Jose: "If India draws, it'll be because of Pujara. If India wins, it'll also be because of Pujara. But if the difference is less than 10 and no time left, he is going to take a lot of blame."
Madhu: "Hugely disappointed with Lyon and Starc performance in this series and mightily impressed with Sundar and Pant performance in this match"
length ball angling across to off stump, steps across and nudges it towards deep backward square leg
Just a slip and a gully now.
full on middle and leg, clipped away into the gap between long leg and deep backward square leg, and that's an easy two on this large outfield. This is smart cricket, and Australia are struggling to set a field to contain India now
fullish, angling across to off stump, presses forward and pushes to the right of short extra-cover. They take the quick single, and get a second when the underarm flick at the keeper's end runs away for overthrows
A mini drinks break, and you wouldn't grudge these players that. Here's Josh Hazlewood. Can he produce another twist? Starc and Cummins bowl like they hate batsmen. Hazlewood does that, but he also looks like he hates batsmen. Over the wicket.
Paddy: "While it might appear that the slow innings from Pujara means Indian may fall short, the reality is his innings have almost eliminated the risk of collapse allowing India to take a few more risks. Something extraordinary has to happen if we have to lose 5 wickets in 6 overs."
Twenty seven off the last two overs, if my math is right. India now need just - am I saying just? - four an over. Incredible.
tossed up fuller, wide of off stump, big stretch out to get his head over the ball and drive to the left of deep cover point
wow, that went like a doosra, probably wholly unintentionally. Back of a length, outside off, and it's the offbreak but it's hit the outside edge of a crack and spun back the other way to miss off stump and beat the keeper
Vivek: "If a fortune teller would have told me at the start of the series that Sundar is gonna hit the winning runs in the last match with Thakur at the other end I would have laughed to death"
|Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane|
|Toss||Australia, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Player Of The Series|
|Series result||India won the 4-match series 2-1|
|Match number||Test no. 2404|
|Match days||15,16,17,18,19 January 2021 - day (5-day match)|
|Points||India 30, Australia 0|