India hailed as ‘Immortals’, Oz under fire after loss; ex-Pakistani players praise Men in Blue - GulfToday

India hailed as ‘Immortals’, Oz under fire after loss; ex-Pakistani players praise Men in Blue


Indian fans celebrate after their team’s victory over Australia in the fourth Test in Brisbane on Tuesday. Associated Press

India’s Cricketers were hailed as ‘Immortals’ on Wednesday following their record-breaking win in Brisbane, but some former greats called for chastened Australia to make changes.

India thrillingly achieved their 328 target with just 18 balls left on the final day to win the four-Test series 2-1, the highest successful run chase at Australia’s “Fortress Gabba”, where the hosts had been unbeaten for 32 years.

“It was the day when The Irrepressibles became The Immortals,” declared News Corp’s veteran Cricket writer Robert Craddock.

“The day when Fortress Gabba was stormed by a group of cavalier raiders who kicked down the draw bridge, stole the crown jewels and raced off into the late afternoon sunshine towards hysterical fans who will cherish the memory forever.

“Take it all India. You deserve it.”

India’s refusal to play for a draw, which would have been enough for them to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, was lauded.

“The outcome was a revelation: Australia pressed for victory because they had to, India because they wanted to, and the result was a fitting climax to one of the most extraordinary series of all time,” wrote Gideon Haigh in The Australian newspaper.

‘Huge fallout’: Most were united in their praise of India, but there was also criticism of Australia.

“I think there’ll be a huge fallout from this,” said leg-spinning great Shane Warne, commentating on TV, noting that India had been without their entire frontline bowling attack through injury.

“There’s not too many times that you lose to the second or third side,” he said.

“Tactics will come into question. Bowlers will come into question. People’s spots in the team will come into question.”

Mitchell Starc, who bowled 16 wicketless overs for 75 on the final day, came in for particular criticism after taking just 11 wickets in the series.

“I know that your impact bowlers are meant to come in and have a little burst, but there just doesn’t seem to have been the trust that Mitchell Starc’s going to do the job,” said Adam Gilchrist.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor said: “You can have Starc when he’s bowling at his best, but I think we need some subtlety in our bowling.

“We need someone who can swing the ball a bit, someone who can ask questions around lbw or bowled, not always looking to bounce batsmen out or get them caught behind,” Taylor said.

Some said that Australia should be thanking India for their skill and courage in coming to play the series at all during a global coronavirus pandemic.

“We mightn’t be thanking you in five years when you’re still whisking away matches from under our noses, but thanks for now, and take a bow,” said the Sydney Morning Herald’s Greg Baum.

‘No adversity could stop them’: Former Pakistan players, including the likes of Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi, have lavished rich praise on the Indian team.

“Incredible Test & series win for India. Have not seen a bold, brave & boisterous Asian team on a tougher tour of Australia. No adversity could stop them, frontline players injured, & won after a remarkable turnaround from the depths of 36 all out, inspiring for others. Kudos India,” Akram said in a tweet.

“Incredible performance India! Despite so many injuries and setbacks, India have pulled off an astonishing series win. Congratulations to Indian team, this series will be remembered for a long time,” tweeted Shahid Afridi.

“From 36 all out in the same series to winning it on Australia soil. Wow,” tweeted Shoaib Akhtar.

India, under Kohli, in 2018-19 tour of Australia, had become the first Asian team to win a Test series Down Under.


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