Mighty India might be the LA Lakers of cricket. Filthy rich and boasting the most talent – just like those glitzy NBA defending champs – can make them easily cast as villains. India are cricket’s goliath and pretty much run the sport through their governing body’s stranglehold. But after their miraculous three-wicket victory on Tuesday over a stunned Australia to overhaul the 329-run target and win the series 2-1 in one of the great upsets, India are the toast of the cricket world. You just can’t dislike this group of warriors who play with so much spirit and skill. A group of mostly young, fringe players who overcame adversity and a full-strength Australia. They did it without their captain and best batsman Virat Kohli, who was just 16 days old the last time Australia lost a Test at the Gabba in Brisbane. It’s simply India’s greatest ever Test series triumph. This unforgettable series between cricket superpowers India and Australia was an all-timer. This remarkably gallant India – a touring team that will be remembered for the ages - emerged as victors but perhaps even more startlingly won the hearts of a hard-bitten Australian public. Fittingly, it came down to the last hour of the series decider with all four results a possibility. Rarely do Tests these days thrillingly go down to the wire in Australia but somehow we had two in succession. An increasingly confident India – perhaps fueled by youthful exuberance – were undaunted even though no team had successfully chased more than 236 at the Gabba, a ground Australia had not lost a Test since 1988. They sensed a flagging Australia – which boasted the same attack all series – were wilting and had been left frustrated after being unable to bury India’s resistance. Experienced spinner Nathan Lyon had been effectively blunted, while mercurial left-armer Mitchell Starc just couldn’t get it together as often his bane. It was left to the indefatigable Pat Cummins, who bowled unwavering in the shadows to ensure a nerve-jangling finish but the audacious Rishabh Pant – who signifies so much about this cavalier Indian team – proved too good and fittingly finished it off with a boundary to spark memorable celebrations. The recriminations for a patchy Australia – marked by Tim Paine’s uninspired captaincy on the final day – will come in a country that demands success but this is India’s crowning moment. An inexperienced and injury-ravaged India were not meant to be competing against home-strong Australia but they never stopped believing – as cliché as that sounds, it’s entirely true. Their resolve and passion makes you fall in love with Test cricket all over again, even though it is so easy to be dismissive of a product where the big countries of India, England and Australia mainly just want to play each other on a loop. It can feel almost condescending when traditionalists exult Test cricket endlessly but they might have a point after this never-ending drama. This was genuine and visceral, so compelling that you couldn’t turn away. There were a treasure trove of memories in a four-match series that has been compared to such classics as India-Australia 2001 and the ultimate – Ashes 2005. But this was India’s summer and far exceeded their historic victory in 2018-19 and a drawn series in 2003-04 against Steve Waugh’s impregnable men. Both those Australian teams were weakened and the dreaded asterisk is often affixed in the record books. Certainly not this time. Somehow, someway India just kept fighting against favored Australia, who are so difficult to beat on home terrain. No one will ever forget Mohammed Siraj relentlessly bounding in, playing with so much heart. He missed his father’s funeral while on tour and had to endure alleged crowd racism in Sydney but continued to play with enthusiasm and superbly led a second-string attack in Brisbane. Ajinkya Rahane’s composed captaincy – a contrast to Kohli’s firebrand leadership – will live on but he also summoned the necessary steel to ensure India kept believing. Who needs Kohli after all? One wonders what cricket’s richest and most influential player was thinking watching it all unfold. The exuberance of precocious Pant and Shubman Gill – who thrillingly counterattacked after lunch on day 5 to fuel India’s victory – demonstrated the brashness of a new generation weaned on the crash and bash of the Indian Premier League – cricket’s biggest and richest spectacle. In Brisbane, a shorthanded India overcame Australia against all the odds. It spoke of India’s reservoir of talent and perhaps foreshadowed their inevitable dominance of international cricket. With their huge populace, sheer fandom and deep resources, India should really dominate cricket across the formats something akin to the U.S. in basketball. Through professionalism, pathways and financial heft, India has steadily become the undisputed force off-field but not quite on-field despite varying degrees of success in the last two decades. This could well prove a harbinger moment for India. Forget about the future. Right now, India have won over a cynical cricket world by playing with passion and panache. It was beautiful to watch. A cricket-mad nation of a billion will celebrate for a long time to come.