January 19th, 2021, will be penned down in the history of Indian cricket as one of the most glorious days. The injury-hit Team India successfully chased down a record 328 in the final few moments of Day 5 at the Gabba to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.
This day was nothing short of goosebumps and the early morning wake-ups finally paid off. India clinched a historic 2-1 series win against the home team Australia. What makes it historic is India won the final test match at a venue where the Australians hadn’t lost since 1988.
What marks it even more commendable is the fact that the team India had more injured players than fit players to play for this match.
From getting all out at their lowest ever test match score of 36, with no Virat Kohli, losing 9 players due to injuries to drawing the 3rd match and clinching the series 2-1 victory, the Indian cricket team stole our hearts this time.
Five takeaways for everyone from this series
Firstly, no matter what the situation is, one should accept it and should know how to bounce back from there. No one knew that from getting all out at 36, India could have won the series. They accepted their defeat, worked on their loopholes, and had the self-belief that they can do it. In the words of Harsha Bhogle, “They thought they can, and, they played as they thought”. According to the head coach Ravi Shastri ‘giving up’ is not a part of his team’s vocabulary. And indeed giving up should not be a part of anyone’s life.
The second big lesson one can learn is how to defy adversities in style – The Siraj way. Before the Test series started, his father died, and due to coronavirus-enforced quarantine regulations in Australia, he could not fly back home. The bruised Mohammed Siraj decided to stay and play the Test series. Further adversities were mounted on him as he dealt with racial abuse at the SCG. However, he let the ball do the talking in Brisbane, taking his maiden five-wicket haul. He finished as the highest wicket-taker in the series. His story would definitely be told to the coming generations, players and general-folk alike.
Thirdly, never take anything for granted. Before the start of the series and after India were down 1-0, many legendary players very confidently predicted that the team India will lose the series 4-0. Fast forward to this day, the Indian cricket team created history. The pride and arrogance of these “legendary” cricketers must have taken a hit and rightfully so, no one ever has gotten away with too much pride, be it the Australian team’s Tim Paine or the mighty Ravana.
The fourth key takeaway is “the art of resilience and determination”. Once again, Cheteshwar Pujara’s resilience stood out. From facing 140Km/h + speed, for countless hours to getting hit all over the body, Pujara stood tall. He had a clear goal in his mind not to throw away his wicket. Similarly, what may come, one should never lose their aim. Once you’re determined to reach your goal, you aren’t stoppable.
You probably would have heard “Can’t wait to see you at Gabba Ash” flashing over the news and social media handles. People will taunt you, no matter wherever you are in your journey, but you have to speak with your actions, not your words. People will try to pull you down, but you have to continue moving. At the end of it, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This is the best learning one can take away from this series.
Also, a special mention for Rishabh Pant, in the trademark fashion of a youngster playing in the Indian cricket team, Rishabh surprised us all when most of us had probably lost hopes of winning and were eyeing for a draw. The way he batted with patience and built his innings is something we should all learn as well, at least when it comes to life.
“It is a process that has taken five to six years. They have had tough tours, they have had losses, but what they have learned now is never to give up. The feeling of being defeated is one thing but giving up is not in our vocabulary.” – Ravi Shastri