Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar paid a rich tribute to the Indian team for its extraordinary display in the Test series against Australia. The Indian team produced remarkable performances throughout the series despite losing key first-team players due to injuries, as well as sustaining the absence of captain Virat Kohli, who returned to India after the first Test to attend the birth of his child.
The Indian team, which was bowled out on the side's lowest-ever Test score (36) in the Pink Ball Test in Adelaide, made a splendid comeback in the series to defeat Australia in the second Test in Melbourne, despite the side losing its two first-team players in Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami (injury).
The side, then, defied the odds to hold Australia to a draw in Sydney, as India lost only three wickets throughout the final day of the Test. During this Test, India faced injuries to some of the key players like Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Vihari and Ashwin sustained body-blows for the entirety of the third session but continued to play, ensuring India draw the Test.
In the Brisbane Test, debutant Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, who was only making his second Test appearance, forged a 123-run partnership for the seventh-wicket to steer India out of trouble in the first innings, taking the side's score from 186/6 to 336.
Gavaskar, in his tribute, lauded India's tough spirit throughout the series.
"It doesn't matter what happens here at The Gabba over these final two days. We Indians can, and will be truly proud of our cricketers," Gavaskar said in the video.
"I've led the Indian team to the tours of Australia and know first-hand how challenging it can be, but what we have witnessed in this series is something extraordinary. The resolve, fortitude, and spirit displayed by these players is inspiring.
"Most have been away from home and in quarantine for over five months. They've been routed in the most crushing way with the world watching. They've seen friends battered and broken, they've been tested to their cricketing and mental limits at every turn, and every limit. And even under the most intense strain, they never stopped fighting, and they may still somehow manage to take the trophy home. The trophy that was named to honour myself and the great, Allan Border, the captain who embodied everything we've seen in the series - mental toughness and skill.
"I know you Australians respect that most of all in yourselves and your opponents. And I know you will always remember what these Indians have achieved this summer."