After historic win at Gabba, Team India move to No. 1 spot; Australia slip to No. 3
After the historic win in the fourth Test against Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, the Indian team reclaimed the top spot in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC) on Tuesday.
India defeated Australia by three wickets in a nail-biting finish in the fourth and final Test at the Gabba to seal the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. Not only did India retain the series but also became the first team to defeat Australia at their fortress of Gabba in 32 long years. Australia's previous Test loss in Brisbane had become back in 1988 against West Indies.
According to the latest update from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Brisbane win has earned India as many as 30 points and as a result, Virat Kohli and Co have climbed back to No. 1, pushing Australia down to No. 3 in the WTC. Notably, India (430 points and 71.7 % PCT) are ahead of Australia (332 points and 69.2 % PCT) on the percentage of points won by them out of the total number of points contested.
The Indian team was without their regular skipper Kohli, who had returned home following the first Test in Adelaide that India had lost by eight wickets. In his absence, Kohli's deputy Ajinkya Rahane took over the charge and finished the job for his side. Having led India in five Tests so far since 2017, stand-in captain Rahane is yet to lose a Test: 4 wins and a draw.
"It means a lot to us. I don't know how to describe this, but our boys showed a lot of character and determination after the Adelaide Test. I'm really proud of each individual. The conversation between Pujara and me was that he would bat normal, and I would take it on. It was all about intent. Credit to Pujara, the way he handled the pressure was magnificent. Rishabh and Washington were very good at the end.
Taking 20 wickets was the key, so we opted for five bowlers. Sundar brought the balance in place of Jadeja. The intention was clear to play five bowlers. Siraj played two Tests, Saini just one, so it was inexperienced but the character shown by the bowlers and everyone else was incredible. We didn't discuss anything about Adelaide. Just played wanted to play the remaining games with good attitude and character without worrying about the result," Rahane said at the post-match presentation after India's Brisbane win on Tuesday.
India resumed their overnight score of four on Tuesday in the final innings and had a huge task ahead of chasing down 339. India suffered an early setback after opening batsman Rohit Sharma departed for just seven runs. However, the following batters stepped up one after the other. The touring party rode on gritty knocks from Shubman Gill (91), Rishabh Pant (89 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (56). The Indian batsmen built crucial partnerships on the final day to ensure their side crossed the line successfully.
Pujara shared a 114-run stand with Gill for the second wicket before he put up 61 runs with Pant for the fourth wicket. Towards the end of the day, Pant and Washington Sundar shared a vital stand of 53 runs as India sealed the Test with a couple of overs to spare.
For his match-winning knock of 89 not out from 138 balls, Pant was named the Man of the Match. While, the Player of the Series award went to Australian pacer Pat Cummins, who finished the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 as the leading wicket taker with as many as 21 scalps.