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19 January, 2021

Benchmark Brisbane: Young India Set Record, Prove Gavaskar's 2-1 Prediction Correct





India's batting legend Sunil Gavaskar says he's happy his one prediction that India will win this series 2-1 has come true.

There are several youngsters in this inexperienced Team India, led by stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane who have similar traits to Gavaskar.
The Little Master helped India win their overseas Test series against the West Indies on debut, in 1971. He was 21 then. 

According to him, he blended the positive aspects he learned from his predecessors with the skill and instinct he had honed in India to amass 774 runs at an average of 154.80 in the series.

His exploits, during that period, were compared to Australian Sir Don Bradman, considered the greatest batsman in cricket history.

On Tuesday, 50 years later, another bunch of youngsters have set their own benchmark, in Bradman's country, by chasing down a target of 328, the third highest successful chase against Australia at home.

These youngsters, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, debutants Washington Sundar and Thangarasu Natarajan have emulated Gavaskar with their own brand of fearless cricket.

"Young India has done it. [Young India] has shown the way. Young India is showing that they are not afraid," ESPNCricinfo quoted Gavaskar saying.

It's also the third highest target, in history, chased down by India in the fourth innings of a Test. The other two are: Bradman-led Australia's 404 versus England at Leeds in 1948 and Clive Lloyd-led West Indies' 344 against England at Lord's in 1984. 

Australia had played 31 Tests at the Gabba since 1988, winning 24 and seven drawn. Their previous loss here was to the West Indies.

"The team management always backs me and tells me that you are matchwinner. You always have to go and win the match for the team. That's the only thing I keep on thinking everyday, that I want to win matches for India and I am happy that I did it today," said Pant after receiving his player of the match recognition.

No Hopers To Champions With CIA Qualities

Former Australia and England cricketers had waved alarm signs for Team India after the touring team were defeated in their first two one day internationals. 
Former England Test captain Michael Vaughan had even boldly tweeted a 4-0 Test beating for India. 

Australia's Mark Waugh and few other former stars showed concern for India after learning captain Virat Kohli will return home on paternity leave and the absence of the two Sharmas, Ishant and Rohit.

However, Kohli helped his side win the third one day international and the T20 series only to set another miserable record in Adelaide, a lowest Test innings of 36, allowing the hosts to go 1-0 in the 4-Test series.

Thereafter, the preferred Test players, stand-in captain Rahane and those on the bench began exhibiting their CIA (Character, Intent, Attitude) qualities that ended on Tuesday with a series win as Gavaskar had predicted.

OurDailyMuse's Analysis Holds True

This column and site had hinted, On Monday, at three ways this inexperience India side could eke out a win at the Gabba.

The analysis came about based on the admirable courage, resilience and spunk the players had shown as the series progressed. 

More and more from the definite 11 -- from Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah to Hanuma Vihari -- were added to the injured list, the more rookies stepped up and performed.

To read that story, see: 3 Ways India Can Score At 3.31 An Over, Win At Gabba in 98 Overs

Updated scorecard: ๐Ÿ‘‰ 5th Test 

Here's how former greats reacted: