Pant guides India to historic, series-clinching win at Gabba

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) - Cheteshwar Pujara took the hit and Rishabh Pant countered with an unbeaten 89 as India set a record to win the Border Gavaskar Trophy with three overs and three wickets on the last day of the series.
The low-injury Indian squad played fearlessly and ended Australia's undefeated run at the 1988 Gabba.
India continued without defeat on Tuesday 4th, with 98 overs to pursue a 328 victory target or three full sessions to save the draw it took to keep the Border Gavaskar trophy.
Neither team had scored more than 236-7 in the fourth innings to win a friendly at the gabba. India won by three wickets and now replaces the 1951 Australian team for that record with a total of 329-7.
After India had never won a series of tests on Australian soil until 2018/19, it has now completed them twice on consecutive tours Down Under.
Opener Shubman Gill scored 91, Pujara absorbed no less than 11 hits in his 211-ball 56. The Four-Test was a 1-1 draw, meaning India only needed one tie to keep the trophy.
India battled for a third Test draw in Sydney for the last four sessions, with Pant and Pujara playing key roles. This time, contrary to most expectations, they did even better.
When Paceman Pat Cummins (4-55) sacked Rohit Sharma (7) in game 9, Pujura joined 21-year-old Shubman Gill in a 114-run stand that not only helped thwart the Australian attack, but also to keep India competing for an unlikely victory.
Pujara resumed Ajinkya Rahane, 24 after Gill was caught in Nathan Lyon's slip for 91, and then teamed up with Pant after Cummins struck again to remove India's reserve captain and score the 167-3.
While Pujara hit his helmet, hands and body again and again in a stone-walled inning to publish his 28th half-century test, Pant maintained the hit rate.
He took command when Cummins finally held Pujara lbw prisoner late that evening, and led the partnerships with Mayank Agarwal, 9, and Washington Sundar, 22, who brought India home. The noise of the crowd, only about 4,500 but mostly Indian supporters, increased with each shot on goal.
Pant's 97 on the final day of the third test in Sydney last week was instrumental in India forcing a draw and maintaining the series level.
In Brisbane, India prevented Australia from being able to quickly score and declare on day four when Mohammed Siraj made his first five-wicket move to keep the hosts down to 294 in the second innings.
The rain washed out much of Monday's final session, meaning Sharma and Gill only survived 11 balls in front of stumps on the penultimate day.
India without nearly a dozen front players, including skipper Virat Kohli, who returned home after the first Test in Adelaide to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, born the day India tied Australia in Sydney.
The bowling group lacked their biggest names. Ishant Sharma did not make it on the tour, Mohammed Shami broke his arm while hitting in the first test and his fast bowler colleague Umesh Yadav was excluded after the second test.
Leading weirdo Ravichandran Ashwin played a huge role in helping India in Sydney but did so with a back problem that ultimately meant he couldn't play in the crucial Test. When spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was excluded from the fourth Test, India was left with one of its least experienced bowling attacks in a friendly.
Mohammed Siraj, who made his Melbourne debut last month just weeks after his father died in India, led the attack in just his third friendly. He was assisted by Shardul Thakur in his second test and Thangarasu Natarajan made his test debut at the age of 29. Without the services of Ashwin and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who broke his thumb in Sydney, Sundar made his test debut and performed exceptionally well in racket and ball.
The beleaguered attack on India achieved what the vaunted Australian bowling unit at the Gabba could not. Take 20 wickets.
For the entire series, Australia kept the same bowlers that India bowled 36 times en route to winning the first Test with eight wickets. When they got tired, India's harvest of new recruits maintained an intensity.
All newcomers played with the determination and resilience that brought the Indian roster moral victory on a long, arduous tour in the COVID era.
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Other AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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Cheteshwar Pujara
Rishabh Pant
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