'They blunted our pace attack, blunted Nathan Lyon': Usman Khawaja says 'no one ever expected' India to win at Gabba
- Successfully chasing down 328 to win on the final day at a venue where Australia hadn't lost in 33 years is not something most visiting teams can boast of doing in Australia, and with the series on the line, India achieved it to win the final Test of the series.
India's historic Test win against Australia at the Gabba earlier this year would go down in the history books as one of their best over. Successfully chasing down 328 to win on the final day with nine wickets in hand at a venue where Australia hadn't lost in 33 years is not something most visiting teams can boast of doing in Australia, and with the series on the line, India achieved it to win the final Test of the series by three wickets to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Usman Khawaja may not have been part of the Australia squad which lost under Tim Paine, but the batsman followed the series closely. The batsman spoke about the amazing series that was played between the two teams and credited India for outplaying the Australian on their home soil for the second straight time. Khawaja feels any team that chases down that many runs 'deserves to win'.
"I don’t know. I just think that in Sydney also we had a game we probably should have won, could have won. Our bowlers couldn’t finish it off unfortunately and the same thing happened in Gabba. I thought we had enough runs to defend but if a team chases that many runs on the final day, it doesn’t matter where it is, they deserve to win. Because it’s not easy to chase runs in the fourth innings, no matter where you are in the world," Khawaja told Cricwick.
"I think at the end of the day, India were the better team. They played our fast bowlers better than we thought they would. They blunted our pace attack, they blunted Nathan Lyon and our bowlers couldn’t finish it off. It’s as simple as that. That can happen. That’s the beauty of cricket. I actually thought that was really good for the game."
What makes the series win even sweeter are the circumstances in which it was achieved. India were rolled over inside three days in the first Test at Adelaide, getting bundled out for their lowest Test total of 36. With Virat Kohli back home and Ajinkya Rahane taking over, India roared back to win the second Test in Melbourne with the captain leading from the front with a century.
In the third Test, with their backs against the wall, India batted out of their skins on the final day to save the Sydney Test. With most of their senior players injured, India played the final Test in Brisbane with whatever resources they had and emerged victorious with youngsters Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant playing a knock for the ages.
"In Australia there was a bit of outrage because obviously, we hadn’t lost in 13 years. But that’s the beauty of the game. What’s the point if you can’t lose somewhere? Both teams can win, right? Obviously, it was disappointing as an Australian fan but it was great for the game. To do it at the Gabba, no one ever expected it, particularly from India," Khawaja added.