He was taking body blows and standing like the Rock of Gibraltar: Ashwin hails Pujara’s heroics at Gabba

India had defeated Australia by three wickets at Gabba to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Cheteshwar Pujara copping body blows during the Gabba Test I GettyTeam India's Test win against Australia last year at the Gabba is one of the greatest moments in Indian cricket history.

India were not a full-strengthen side ahead of the Brisbane Test match, having lost their key players due to injury. The series was levelled at 1-1 and Australia, being the host and a terrific record in Brisbane, were expected to take the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

However, the team led by Ajinkya Rahane was not ready to bow down so easily. India needed 328 runs in the fourth innings in 97 overs to register a memorable victory.

Riding on Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 89, Shubman Gill’s 91 and vital contributions from Cheteshwar Pujara (56) and Washington Sundar (22), the visitors chased down the target with three wickets in hand and also clinched the four-match Test series 2-1.

Recalling the historic victory, India off-spinner R Ashwin, who also played a major role in the series win, hailed Pujara for his defiant knock which lasted 211 balls.

Ashwin said Pujara stood like the Rock of Gibraltar and took the blows on his body for the team’s cause.

"A lot of incidents happened outside the field. Jinx was saying that the families were extremely supportive during that Australia tour. After we had won this Melbourne Test, there was this whole talk of the Indian team breaching the bio-bubble.

“It was around Cheteshwar Pujara that the likes of Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant expressed themselves and took the attack on the Australian bowlers. Pujara took at least 10 blows to his body, including nasty ones on his fingers and his helmet, but nothing took away his grit and determination.

"One moment that was really inspirational happened in the Gabba. Even though I was not playing the Gabba Test, I could see Cheteshwar Pujara getting hit, taking those body blows and standing like The Rock of Gibraltar. He was intentionally getting hit for the right cause," Ashwin said in an Instagram live session with Voot.

Pujara may not have been at his absolute best, but he played a key role in India’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2021-22 triumph. Batting at No. 3, he made sure that the Australian bowlers were fatigued as he faced 928 balls in the four-Test series and returned with 271 runs.


By Salman Anjum - 12 Jun, 2022

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