It was the day when The Irrepressibles became The Immortals. Take it all India. You deserve it, writes ROBERT CRADDOCK.
It was the day when The Irrepressibles became The Immortals. Take it all India. You deserve it, writes ROBERT CRADDOCK.

'Impossible India: The day bullies became the bullied'


It was the day when The Irrepressibles became The Immortals.

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.

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It's not simply what you did - but how you did it, with a boldness that will inspire the entire cricket world, Australia included.

No team on the planet would dare attempt to do what India did at the Gabba … put a T20 coat of varnish on a Test match.

They did not simply win. They bolted in with Rishabh Pant ramp shots and pulls shots in which he fell over, Shubman Gill hitting 20 off an over off Mitchell Starc and debutant Washington Sundah hooking Pat Cummins for six as if it was over 18 of a Big Bash game.

Australia have been Pantsed!

When all the world thought India was terrified about visiting Fortress Gabba they hatched a cunning plan … to storm it.


Taking the Border-Gavaskar Trophy home with a draw was not enough. They wanted to pull Australia's pants down on their cherished sacred turf where no team had won since Viv Richards' West Indians in 1988.

Be bold. Be confident. Be free. You've got nothing to lose. Everyone expects you to lose. You might just win. That was the message from the coaching staff.

In 32 years of Australian domination there's been teams containing Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and many other superstars have visited the Gabba but none have come with this attitude, never mind one whose bowling attack had a collective experience of three Tests.

And they won, chasing all the way with blissful freedom.


Extraordinary. Amazing. Stunning. Unbelievable. The Gabba could host another 90 years of Tests and see nothing like it.

The Gabba became a microcosm of all of India, dissolving into pure madness as the winning runs came with a Pant off drive that triggered a mass evacuation of the Indian dugout as several numb Australian players fell to their knees.

In the hours beforehand Indian fans were seen galloping up towards the Vulture Street entrance determined not to miss a moment.

This series has change the balance of power of world cricket. Australia are no longer the bully boys of the game. They have been stared down by the implacable, unruffled forces of an Indian team


In 90 years of Gabba Tests no team had scored more than 235 to win in a Test and they skate to 7-329 against a bowling unit three weeks ago called the greatest in Australia history.

At any stage India could have said "let's play for a draw and we will retain the trophy," but they wanted the win

Beating Australia in Brisbane was like taking down Rafael Nadal on clay - the ultimate. They wanted it badly.

India's effort will inspire the rest of the world in so many ways.

It proved the best way to beat Australia is to play the ball and not the man. Attack them. Challenge them.

It proved that classical selection pathways can mean less that pure fighting spirit - outstanding debutant Washington Sundar had not played a game of first class cricket in almost four years before the Gabba Test.

But most of all it proved that Test cricket - grand old girl that she is - has a majesty that leaves all other forms of the game in the shade.

Originally published as Impossible India: the day bullies became the bullied