Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has said that he will not be surprised if India beat Australia at Brisbane’s Gabba, a venue where the hosts have not lost a Test match since 1988. He has reckoned that there is always a first time, adding that a series win will be a “tremendous achievement and will rank as one of India’s best overseas wins”.
On Monday, India scripted a memorable draw on Day 5 of the third Test match at SCG to derail Australia’s chances of taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Rishabh Pant, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin combined to face 612 balls (102 overs) in the second innings as India lost only three wickets on the final day. India’s scorecard read 334 for 5 when the two team’s decided to shake hands and leave the field with an over left.
Experts of the game are saying that India would have chased down the 407-run target had their players been hundred per cent match fit. Notably. Pant, Vihari and Ashwin were injured and taking heavy dosage of pain killers to keep Australia at bay. “I predicted before the series started here on Australian television that India is going to win 2-1. At the moment the series is 1-1. Yes, I know Gabba is Australia’s fortress. But India, in Bumrah, Saini and Siraj, have the ability to take on the Australians.
“That is their fortress, they have not lost there. But there is always a first time. If Ajinkya Rahane and company do it, I won’t be surprised at all,” Sunil Gavaskar told India today.
“Bumrah had terrible luck in Sydney. Lot of luck went against him. He went without taking as many wickets as he should have. Who knows, all those wickets are reserved for him at the Gabba.
“Absolutely, apart from pace for pace, if you look at the Australian opening, they have struggled when India got off to good starts in both the innings at Sydney.
“Apart from Smith and Labuschagne, the other batsmen haven’t got too many runs. Yes, Cameron Green got runs towards the end and Tim Paine was also looking good. But the Indians were not looking to try and take wickets, they were trying to delay the declaration. So the Australian batting is vulnerable. Anything can happen.
“It will probably be the best win because this is a very good Australian attack. With Smith and Labuschagne getting runs, it’s not been easy. So yes, winning this series will be a tremendous achievement and will rank as one of India’s best overseas wins,” Sunil Gavaskar added.
The series is currently leveled at 1-1 and the fourth and final Test between India and Australia will kick start from January 15.