Guts & glory at Gabba: From a no-look six to dogged defence, how Sundar & Shardul defied odds

Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur came in to bat when the Indian scoreboard was reading – 186/6. With India’s innings teetering Washington Sundar (62) and Shardul Thakur (60) combined for an invaluable 123-run partnership to close the deficit to 36 runs on Day 3.

This was just the 12th time in Test history that India’s No.7 and No.8 registered half-centuries in the same innings, and just the third time it’s happened outside of Asia.

What followed was a rearguard action like no other as the duo stitched the highest partnership for the 7th wicket to frustrate the Australian attack.

Thakur, in his second test, got off the mark with a six and raised his maiden test half-century with another six off Nathan Lyon and topped India’s scoring with a 115-ball 67.

Sundar, who had a lifeline early on when he edged Mitchell Starc between second slip and gully, scored 62 from 144 deliveries in his debut test innings.

India’s Shardul Thakur left, and teammate Washington Sundar talk during play on day three of the fourth cricket Test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane. (AP Photo)

In between the boundaries, the lower middle-order batters dodged, ducked, and were hit by short balls peppered at them by the Australian fast bowlers.

But what was most impressive was the nonchalance with which the duo took on the Aussie attack. One particular shot that stood out was the no-look six off Lyon who tossed it generously as Sundar went down on his knees and launched it over mid-on and did not even bother looking at the shot. Such was the confidence!

Thakur was not behind either as he stood tall to Aussie fire. His authoritative shot off Mitchell Starc where he slapped it through extra cover was a sign of confidence, guts, and glory.

Quite naturally their efforts drew praise from across the globe. From Virat Kohli to Virender Sehwag, the applause simply weren’t enough–

The series is level at 1-1 with two days remaining and it appears that India is on track to at least force a draw that would ensure it retains the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

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