India bowled over by cricketers' historic feat

BRISBANE • Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and captain Virat Kohli yesterday led the tributes to India’s cricketers after their stunning fourth Test and away series win over Australia.

India pulled off a record run-chase in a thrilling final session to hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane’s Gabba ground since 1988, clinching the series 2-1.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant starred with a 89 not out as the injury-hit side, also missing Kohli, who was captain in the first Test in Adelaide but returned home for the birth of his child, overhauled the 328-run target with three overs to go to win by three wickets.

Tendulkar described it as “one of the greatest series wins”, tweeting: “Every session, we discovered a new hero. Every time we got hit, we stayed put and stood taller. We pushed boundaries of belief to play fearless but not careless cricket.”

Kohli said on Twitter: “What a win!!! Yessssss. To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. Exemplary performance but the grit and determination was the standout for us. Enjoy this historic feat lads.”

Sourav Ganguly, the head of India’s cricket board, added the victory – India’s second straight series win in Australia – was nothing short of historic.

“To go to Australia and win a test series in this way… will be remembered in the history of Indian cricket forever,” tweeted the cricket chief, who also announced a special bonus for the team of 50 million rupees (S$908,000).

India’s 329 for seven also smashed the 69-year-old record for the biggest run-chase at the Gabba, set by Australia who scored 236 for seven to beat the West Indies in 1951.

Considering India were bowled out for their lowest Test score of 36 to lose the first Test in Adelaide, their comeback despite key absentees is one for the record books.

“It really means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this victory but I’m really proud of all the boys,” said interim skipper Ajinkya Rahane. “They showed character, attitude, especially after the Adelaide Test match.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the country was “overjoyed”, saying: “Their remarkable energy and passion was visible throughout. So was their stellar intent, remarkable grit and determination. Congratulations to the team! Best wishes for your future endeavours.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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