India needed 328 to win on Tuesday — the final day of the four-test series — as Shubman Gill’s 91 and an unbeaten 89 from Rishabh Pant led the charge for the touring side.
Pant hit the winning runs with just three overs remaining to inflict a first defeat on Australia at the Gabba since 1988 and record the highest fourth innings run chase at the Brisbane fortress.
It comes exactly a month on from India being bowled out for a lackluster 36 in the first Test in Adelaide — the team’s lowest ever score in Test cricket.
Since that defeat, the injury-hit side has rallied to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, winning the second Test in Melbourne and playing out a thrilling draw in Sydney.
“To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice,” Kohli said on Twitter.
“Exemplary performance, but the grit and determination was the standout for us the whole way … Enjoy this historic feat lads.”
Gill’s 91 off 146 balls, including eight fours and two sixes, set the tone for India on the final day, while Cheteshwar Pujara weathered a number of knocks from Australia’s fast bowlers with a resolute 56 off 211 balls.
He eventually fell lbw to Pat Cummins, who finished the day with four wickets for 55 runs, while Gill was caught behind by Steve Smith off Nathan Lyon.
Batting out for the draw would have been a safe option and enough to keep hold of the series trophy, but India kept up the chase.
Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane hit a quickfire 24 off 22 balls before Pant, at the crease with Navdeep Saini to hit the winning runs, steered India nervelessly to a remarkable victory.
“Credit to India, I think they came out and played some really good cricket today,” said Australia captain Smith.
“They absorbed pressure when they needed to, which I thought Pujara did really well, he faced a lot of balls and wore our bowlers down.
“Shubman Gill played a really good innings and I thought obviously Rishabh (Pant) at the end is an exceptional talent as we’ve seen and played a pretty amazing innings on a day five wicket.”
The victory also moves India top of cricket’s World Test Championship points table ahead of New Zealand while Australia drop down to third.
“For all of us in India and across the world, if you ever score 36 or lesser (sic) in life, remember: it isn’t (the) end of the world,” former India captain Sachin Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.
“The spring stretches backward only to propel you forward. And once you succeed, don’t forget to celebrate with those who stood by you when the world wrote you off.”