The important four-match Test series between India and Australia is going to start from December 6. It is going to be India’s best chance to score a series win in tricky Australian conditions as the Kangaroos will be missing out on the services of Steve Smith and David Warner during the whole series.
The Indian team is yet to win a Test series Down Under but there have been many instances when India have dominated the Aussies especially after the 2000s. Who can forget the iconic 2003-2004 Test series where the Sourav Ganguly-led side won the game in Adelaide thanks to Rahul Dravid’s 233 and VVS Laxman’s 148. This famous win in Adelaide will always be considered to be one of the finest overseas victories for India.
India’s tour of Australia in the recent past has rather been one-sided. In 2011-12, the Indian team led by MS Dhoni suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Australians. Meanwhile, in 2014, the Indian team managed to draw the last two Test matches but eventually lost the series 2-0.
Even though the mighty Indians lost the series, Indian skipper Virat Kohli turned out to be the biggest gain from that tour. The boy from Delhi scored four tons and told the world that a legend has arrived in the world of cricket. Similarly, many Indian batsmen have had some great outing in the past.
Let’s take a look at four of the Top innings played by Indian batsmen against the Australian team in their own backyard –
1) Sachin Tendulkar’s 241* at the SCG
The year was 2004 and Sachin Tendulkar was coming into the Sydney Test with the scores of 0, 1, 37, 0, and 44 in five innings that he played on that tour.
Sachin was itching to go out there and do something good for his team. The team was already doing well during the whole series but Sachin did not even have a single half-century in the previous three-Test matches.
India won the toss and decided to bat first. The team lost two wickets quickly and it was time for the ‘Master Blaster’ to arrive at the crease. The rest was history. The legendary batsman got back into his sublime touch and smashed the Australian bowlers all over the park. He refused to score runs on the off-side for the whole innings and scored most of his runs on the leg-side. Even after not scoring runs on the off-side, he had 33 boundaries to his name.
The batsman silenced his critics for batting more than 600 minutes and taking the team to a mammoth 705. He was leaving all the balls that were being bowled outside off but he would hit everything that was being bowled on the stumps.
Never ever in his cricketing career, Sachin scored so many runs between square leg and long on. The ‘Little Master’ remained not out on 241 but the whole SCG stood up to salute the legendary batsman.
2) ‘The Wall’ defies the Australian bowling might in Adelaide
If you are a cricket fanatic, then you can never forget what Rahul Dravid did at Adelaide in the year 2003. Every cricket fan in India cannot forget 16th December because of that famous win in Adelaide.
It was an innings of pure class and sheer determination from one of the best batsmen ever to be a part of the Indian squad and probably one of the most under-rated players in the history of the game as most of the spotlight were given to the Tendulkar and Ganguly.
The special knock took India to a monumental victory after 22 years in Australia. At 85 for the loss of 4 wickets, the Indian team was heading towards another batting collapse. But Dravid had some other plans. The flamboyant cricket batted more than 500 minutes to play a superb knock of 233 off 446 balls, hitting more than 20 boundaries during his inning. Interestingly, he achieved his century by hitting a towering six to pacer Jason Gillespie.
This inning is always regarded as one of the most crucial knocks in the history of the game.
Meanwhile, in the second innings, he took the team to a historic win at Adelaide by remaining unbeaten on 72 runs.
3) Virender Sehwag’s 195 in the Boxing Day Test
The 2003-04 series was one of the most successful series for India. Most of the players were effective during the whole series and gave some amazing performances.
One such performance came from the bat of Virender Sehwag, who scored a magnificent 195, in the third Test match at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in the year 2003. The Aussies were completely boxed out on the first day of the boxing day test match at the MCG.
Even though the pitch looked a little damp, the ‘Sultan of Multan’ left no stone unturned by launching a ferocious attack on the Aussie bowlers and the mighty Australians were made to look like second division players. The whole world knew that Sehwag only played in attack mode. He took on the bowling line-up and struck 25 boundaries and 5 sixes during his inning.
Sehwag reached his half-century and century with a boundary and his 150 came up with a huge six over long-off.
4) Virat Kohli’s 115 at the Adelaide
India was playing the Australian side at the Adelaide and they needed to chase 350+ in the fourth innings. The Indian team had a new leader in the form of Virat Kohli who went on to score a brilliant 115 in the first innings of the crucial Test match.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan perished cheaply as he went back to the pavilion after scoring just 9 runs. Kohli walked in at 57 for the loss of two wickets and this was the time for him to prove his mettle. The boy from Delhi got along with Murali Vijay and built a 185-run stand for the third wicket.
Kohli played like he was possessed which gave a ton of confidence to the team they could chase this gigantic total. But Nathan Lyon turned the match for the hosts while Virat stood tall at the other end.
The explosive batsman told the world how lethal he can be with the bat. The captain scored all around the park with 16 boundaries and one six to his name before getting caught at square leg.
This time he will be looking to make tons of runs again but most importantly he would be looking to lead his team from the front after a dismal performance in the series against England, earlier this year.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar