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Tendulkar leads tributes to 'stellar' Indian cricketers

Tendulkar described it as "one of the greatest series wins" after a fearless Rishabh Pant helped the injury-plagued visitors hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane's Gabba ground since 1988.

India's Thangarasu Natarajan (C) celebrates his wicket of Australia's batsman Matthew Wade(L) with teammates on day one of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on 15 January 2021. Picture: David Kapernick/AFP

NEW DELHI, India - Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli led tributes on Tuesday to India's cricketers after their stunning fourth Test and away series win over Australia.

Tendulkar described it as "one of the greatest series wins" after a fearless Rishabh Pant helped the injury-plagued visitors hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane's Gabba ground since 1988.

"EVERY SESSION WE DISCOVERED A NEW HERO. Every time we got hit, we stayed put & stood taller. We pushed boundaries of belief to play fearless but not careless cricket," Tendulkar tweeted.

Virat Kohli, India's captain in the first Test in Adelaide -- when the team were skittled for 36 -- and who returned home for the birth of his child, said: "WHAT A WIN!!! Yessssss."

"To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. Exemplary performance but the grit and determination was the standout for us the whole way. Well done to all the boys and the management. Enjoy this historic feat lads," Kohli said in a tweet.

Sourav Ganguly, the head of India's cricket board, said the 2-1 series victory -- India's second straight series win in Australia -- was nothing short of historic.

"To go to Australia and win a test series in this way... will be remembered in the history of indian cricket forever," Ganguly -- recovering from a heart attack two weeks ago -- tweeted.

He announced a special bonus for the team of 50 million rupees ($680,000).

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said the Gabba ground is "No longer the Gabbatoir. This is history."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the country was "overjoyed".

"Their remarkable energy and passion was visible throughout. So was their stellar intent, remarkable grit and determination. Congratulations to the team! Best wishes for your future endeavours," he said.

Even Google's India-born chief executive Sundar Pichai got in on the act.

"One of the greatest test series wins ever. Congrats India and well played Australia, what a series," Pichai tweeted.

'PLUNDER DOWN UNDER'

The Times of India's headline online was "Plunder Down Under" and the paper was holding a poll to decide whether this was "India's greatest win ever".

"The forecast was for rain... but it rained boundaries and sixes from the bat of the Indian batsmen as they put in a gallant effort to pull off a thrilling win," the Hindustan Times said.

The Indian Express said the day "will go down in the annals of Indian cricket as one of its most glorious days -- when a cobbled-up bunch, missing most of the biggest stars, trumped Australia at its fortress Gabba".

'EGG ON FACE'

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who had predicted a 4-0 clean sweep by Australia, admitted he now had "egg on my face" and was "getting a lot of tweets from #India !!!"

"The Greatest Test series win of all time," Vaughan said, calling Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill "future superstars".

"Well done #India you have just shown the way for England to get back those Ashes back later in the year," he added.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan called it an "absolutely marvellous victory for our team!!!"

"Love to all our boys and greatly admire their resilience to power us through to this win," he tweeted.

Ordinary Indians were also delighted.

"It's turned out great for India," a visibly excited Saurav Shukla, 18, told AFP near Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

"Because when India lost its first match (in Adelaide), everyone said that India will lose the Test series with 3-0, 4-0 or 3-1 but nothing of that happened, and we won with 2-1."

Sunny Ahuja, another cricket fan from Delhi, said it was a "dream win" as "no one expected them to beat Australia".

"Every player proved his worth and it will help shape Indian cricket in future," he said.

"Australia were playing India's B-team on their home ground but the youngsters showed their character and demolished the mighty Australians beautifully," added Rashed Beigh in Kashmir.

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