The contribution of Pujara, one of the most under-feted heroes of the triumph, was lauded by Gideon Haigh in The Australian. He pointed out that it was Pujara‘s marathon efforts that “made the games of others possible”. Greg Baum wrote in Sydney Morning Herald, “Pujara set in, like winter. He was struck 11 times, in head, ribs and hands, and they all hurt, but he was also the fulcrum.” The Daily Telegraph’s Tim Wigmore described the 32-year-old from Rajkot as “perhaps the pre-eminent defensive batsman in the world.”
Describing Pujara batsman as the “great apostle of nonviolence” for his phlegmatic style, Haigh described Pujara’s forward defensive stroke: “At the point of contact, the bat is tight into the body, its face almost withdrawing from the ball as it delays contact as long as possible – Pujara gets beaten on the outside edge from time to time, but very seldom on the inside. The ball is not simply blocked; it is neutralised; it is terminated with extreme prejudice. It drops to the ground heavily, as though it weighs a tonne.”
Contrasting his style with Pant’s, Haigh said, “…Pant played shots like wisecracks: cheeky sweeps, slogs out of the rough, a fall-over ramp, a fall-over pull. If Pujara is India’s centre of gravity, Pant is its centre of levity.”
Baum praised Rahane for his attitude. “Thanks Ajinkya Rahane for that smile. It embodied the spirit of the series. The commentary boxes were reverberating all day with rasping calls for nastiness and aggression from Australia, and Rahane just smiled. And won,” he wrote.
The Guardian pointed out that the two sides have been constantly engaged in a series of compelling contests post-2001. “The conclusion in Brisbane on Tuesday fits this tradition, featuring a couple of teams willing to scrap all the way to the end. It fits the tradition of storylines that are hard to believe, performances that come out of nowhere. At the same time, it also has its own story, one that isn’t a repeat,” wrote Geoff Lemon for the newspaper.
Pakistani newspapers too acknowledged the triumph. “Brilliant India shock Australia at Gabba to clinch series 2-1,” went the Dawn headline. Frontier Post said, “Record-breaking India clinch Test series.” And on social media, former captain Wasim Akram tweeted, “Incredible Test and series win for India…have not seen a bold, brave and boisterous Asian team on a tougher tour of Australia. No adversity could stop them.”
Incredible Test & series win for India have not seen a bold, brave & boisterous Asian team on a tougher tour of Aus… https://t.co/W4DJ7CGMLy
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) 1611071803000