IND vs AUS : The IPL 2020 is at its business end with the heat rising for the much-awaited series between two giants Australia and India popularly known as “Border Gavaskar Trophy” starting at the end of this month where teams compete across formats over a period of 8 weeks.
The battle starts with a limited over series followed by a 3-match T20 series. The visitors will play two three-day tour games to get accustomed to conditions after which the real contest starts unfolding with 4 Test Matches between the sides.
The 1st Test will be a day-night game at the Adelaide Oval whereas the famous boxing day test will be at the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Grounds from 26th December to 30th December. The SCG awaits them for the 3rd game whereas the Gabba is ready to host its first game since after a gap of a year and half.
The Indian team has been to Australia so far but has often struggled to keep up with the pace and the extra bounce in one of the fastest pitches of the world. In addition to this, the Indian players are used to dry, flat wickets in contrast to the drop in decks available in Australia.
To support this fact, India took over 70 years to score a Test series victory in Australia which speaks so much about the domination by the home team. In the 48 Test matches that has been played over 7 decades, India has registered just 7 wins with most of those coming in the last 25 years.
The difference was the constant improvement and the support that has been given to the pace department that made the Indian more competitive. This was clearly evident in the previous series when India hailed superior against a distraught home side with a 2-1 victory.
Even when we haven’t really won games, there have been some close contests between bat and ball when top quality teams like India and Australia face-off. Let us take a glimpse at one of the best contests between two teams down under.
INDIA VS AUSTRALIA : Best Test Match Australia vs India, 1st Test from 9th-13th 2014.
It was an emotional scene in the Australian dressing room with the sad demise of their teammate Phil Hughes before the commencement of the Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2014. The hosts won the toss and elected to bat by giving a fitting tribute to Hughes by naming him as 13th man for the game.
The Aussies was off to a blistering start and were 113 for 2 at Lunch with David Warner in the crease at 77. The skipper joined the party with a handy 60 before he was retired hurt due to a back spasm. Warner went on to score a ton before holing it down to the deep fielder. The day ended at 354 for the loss of 6 wickets with Steve Smith batting at 72.
Amidst rain interruptions, both Steve Smith and Michael Clarke reached the three-figure mark with the side declaring at 517 for 7. In response, India were cautious but opened up after getting in to reach 119 for 2 at Lunch on Day 3 with Murali Vijay making a much needed half century. Pujara fell right after lunch, but the captain and vice-captain pair stitched a perfect partnership of 101 runs with both of them reaching their fifties.
Virat Kohli carried on to register his 2nd ton on Australian soil and got out eventually to Mitchell Johnson as the day closed at 369 for 5. The visitors fell apart quickly as they gave a useful lead of 74 runs for the hosts. David Warner never looked like getting out as he scored his 2nd ton of game with Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Watson pitching in with some quick runs that pushed them to a 360+ lead when they decided to declare.
All India had to do was score 364 runs in 90 overs to grab a 1-0 lead. They got to a bad start after losing Shikhar Dhawan quickly but Murali Vijay looked to stabilize the chase by counter attacking with some quality strokes.
At lunch, the team had lost Pujara but Kohli looked in imperious touch with 2 down for 105. In the next session, the pair unleashed themselves as they added 100 runs with no wickets lost as the Indian camp started hoping for a miracle in the last session. It was Nathan Lyon who turned around the match for the team when their pacers were tired after trying everything.
Nathan Lyon had a good day in the office but was unlucky to not get wickets for the team until Murali Vijay was trapped in front batting at 99. Ajinkya Rahane followed Vijay for a duck after an inside edge to short leg fielder. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli was the only one who had attacked Lyon and reached his second ton of the series by playing one to mid-off off Harris.
But things went from bad to worse when Rohit Sharma fell to Lyon with the side requiring close to 90 runs. Kohli started taking risks and kept the scoreboard ticking but it was too much for him as the sweep didn’t connect as he wanted with the ball under the throat of the mid-wicket fielder as the skipper left with one of the best knocks on Australian soil.
The Aussies wrapped up quickly as India fell short of the target by 48 runs in what looked like an achievable at one stage. Nathan Lyon was the pick of the bowlers with 12 wickets in the game as India trailed 0-1 in a thrilling contest.
IND VS AUS : Other notable Test matches in an Australia vs India series:
Australia vs India, 2nd Test at the Adelaide Oval in 2003-04 series – India won by 4 wickets.
Australia vs India, 3rd Test at the WACA in 2007-08 series – India won by 72 runs.
Australia vs India, 4th Test at the Adelaide Oval in 1992 series – Australia won by 38 runs.
Australia vs India, 2nd Test at the MCG in 1985 series – Match Drawn.
Australia vs India, 2nd Test at the Adelaide Oval in 1981 series – Match Drawn.
Australia vs India, 1st Test at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1977 series – Australia won by 16 runs.