India batsman Rishabh Pant has described his team’s triumph in Australia as a ‘dream’ after he narrowly got the visitors over the line in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Pant smashed an unbeaten 89 as India pulled off a heroic series victory with only a couple of balls remaining in the final Test.
‘This is one of the biggest moments of my life now, and I’m happy that all the support staff and all my teammates supported me even when I wasn’t playing,’ Pant said after the game.
‘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. I keep thinking every day that I want to win matches for India, and I did it today. It was a fifth-day pitch and the ball was turning a bit. I thought I have to be disciplined with my shot selection.’
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Despite missing out on selection in the first Test, Pant’s contribution to the series proved to be critical, scoring 274 runs at an average of 68.50.
India’s miraculous run chase also defied some long-standing records as they became the first-ever Asian team to win at the Gabba.
It was also the first time the Australians had tasted defeat at the venue since 1988, while they haven’t lost a series on home soil after leading since 1992-93.
Stand-in India captain, Ajinkya Rahane, who played a pivotal part in India’s win, was at a loss for words when he reflected upon what the team had achieved.
‘It really means a lot to us. I don’t know how to describe this victory. I’m just proud of all the boys, each and every individual. We just wanted to give our best, not to think about the result,’ he said.
India suffered a heavy eight-wicket defeat in the opening clash in Adelaide, where they were embarrassingly bowled out for only 36 in the second innings.
But, Rahane spearheaded the team’s revival in the series, winning the second Test in Melbourne to set up a grandstand finish in the final encounter.
‘After Adelaide we didn’t discuss about what happened, we just wanted to play our game, show good attitude, show good character on the field. It was all about the team effort. I would also like to thank our fans who came out here and supported us,’ Rahane added.