India hero Pant hails 'dream series' after Australia upset

By: AFP      Published: 06:09 PM, 19 Jan, 2021
India hero Pant hails 'dream series' after Australia upset
India's batsman Rishabh Pant (C) gestures as team celebrate victory in the fourth cricket Test match against Australia at The Gabba.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant said he was enjoying one of the "biggest moments" of his life after guiding India to a historic win over Australia with a fearless innings on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old hit an attacking 89, including the winning four, to clinch the four-Test series and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.

Against all odds, injury-weakened India ended Australia's 32-year unbeaten streak at the Gabba with a record run-chase of 328 runs.

"This is one of the biggest moments of my life now," said Pant.

"It's been a dream series. The team management always backs me and tells me, you are a match-winner and you have to go win the match for the team."

Pant had also threatened to inspire an unlikely win in the third Test in Sydney, where he slammed 97 before the tail-enders blocked their way to a vital draw.

"I keep thinking every day that I want to win matches for India, and I did it today," said Pant.

"It was a fifth-day pitch and the ball was turning a bit. I thought I have to be disciplined with my shot selection."

Tendulkar leads tributes to 'stellar' Indian cricketers

Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli led tributes Tuesday to India's cricketers after their stunning fourth Test and away series win over Australia.

Tendulkar described it as "one of the greatest series wins" after a fearless Rishabh Pant helped the injury-plagued visitors hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane's Gabba ground since 1988.

"EVERY SESSION WE DISCOVERED A NEW HERO. Every time we got hit, we stayed put & stood taller. We pushed boundaries of belief to play fearless but not careless cricket," Tendulkar tweeted.

Virat Kohli, India's captain in the first Test in Adelaide -- when the team were skittled for 36 -- and who returned home for the birth of his child, said: "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 the whole way. Well done to all the boys and the management. Enjoy this historic feat lads," Kohli said in a tweet.

Sourav Ganguly, the head of India's cricket board, said the 2-1 series 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," Ganguly -- recovering from a heart attack two weeks ago -- tweeted.

He announced a special bonus for the team of 50 million rupees ($680,000).

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said the Gabba ground is "No longer the Gabbatoir. This is history."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the country was "overjoyed".

"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," he said.

Even Google's India-born chief executive Sundar Pichai got in on the act.

"One of the greatest test series wins ever. Congrats India and well played Australia, what a series," Pichai tweeted.