India hailed as ‘Immortals’, Australia under fire after Gabba stunner

BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) – India’s cricketers were hailed as ‘Immortals’ yesterday 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 Rishabh Pant carries the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates after defeating Australia by three wickets on the final day of the fourth cricket test at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia. PHOTO: AP

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.

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.”