Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar stated that the young Indian team have shown the way and they aren't 'afraid' and it holds promising signs of a bright future in Indian cricket. He also added that it's a 'magical' moment and India batsmen didn't go for the draw but the win, which they did.
One of the biggest hallmarks of India's great triumph over Australia was the way youngsters shone through in pressure-cooker situations. Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, and Navdeep Saini, all were simply outstanding and barring Thakur, who had an experience of a lone Test, they were playing their debut series.
Gill, with an average of 51.80, was India's best opener, comfortably out batting established openers like Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal in the way he batted. Mohammed Siraj, with 13 wickets, was India's leading wicket-taker in the series and showcased impeccable control with the ball.
Sundar and Shardul also put up brilliant all-round performances in the only Test they played, which came in series-decider in Brisbane. Sundar made 84 runs and picked up four wickets while Thakur became the first player since Dale Steyn (2008) to take seven-plus wickets and score a half-century in a Test in Australia. Saini and Natarajan also did well in the chances they got. Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar is delighted with the win and felt the youngsters showed the way to the whole team.
“Young India has shown the way. Young India is showing that they are not afraid. What a win, what a magnificent win. Absolutely, this is magic, magical moment for Indian cricket. They were not prepared to just save the game. They were wanting to go out and finish the tour in a blaze of glory. Young India has done it,” Gavaskar told Sony Ten 3, reported HT.
Gill (91) and Pant (89*) played crucial roles in India's historic chase at the Gabba where they hunted down the target of 328 runs with three wickets in hand. Gavaskar, who was the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket, asserted that the chase was orchestrated by a wonderful innings of Gill, followed by Pujara, Rahane and Pant's knocks.
“It starts with Shubman Gill playing such a wonderful innings this morning. Then the old warhorse Cheteshwar Pujara making sure that there were no inroads made by the Australians in that middle session. And then Rishabh Pant coming in, once again promoted up the order at No.5 by this managing to Rahane, who has an unbeaten record now. Two out of the three Test matches here he has captained he has won.
“And before that he has captained India twice, he has won both those Test matches. Natarajan making his debut, what a debut it has been. Prithvi also. But what a tour, what a win,” he said.
Unlike the 2018/19 tour, Australia had their full-strength side while India played the final Test in absence of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, and Hanuma Vihari, the first-choice players. The back-ups Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul had also got injured and were ruled out. Gavaskar remarked that beating a stronger side this time around makes the series win all the more special.
“This series win is even more magnificent because this time Australia had their full-strength team. The ball was turning on the fifth day. Yesterday also some balls kicked off, some kept low when Australia were batting. So, to score on that pitch, and with such ease, the last two-three wickets fell while trying to bring the target down,” Gavaskar said.
He also added that there were not one but many heroes of the remarkable Test series win.
“It felt really nice because this young Indian team has shown something different. In this win, to whom will you give credit? Mohammed Siraj took five wickets, Washington Sundar took three, Natarajan three. Then the way Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur batted. Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, the way they batted. After seeing all this, and they are all young players, I think the future of the Indian cricket is so bright that we can have great anticipation for every upcoming series,” said Gavaskar.