The Indian team led by Virat Kohli has reached Australia for the upcoming series and are currently placed in quarantine. But the players have already started their training sessions – videos of which are being constantly shared by the BCCI on their social media platforms. India are scheduled to play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is after which the two teams will play the all-important Border-Gavaskar Test series. The four-Test series will begin with the Day-Night Test in Adelaide starting from December 17th.
Here is a look at some of India’s biggest Test wins in Australia.
1977: Gavaskar, Chandra shine at MCG
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Sunil Gavaskar were the stars of India’s big win over Australia in the third Test in Melbourne in 1977. While Chandrasekhar picked up 6/62 to bowl out Australia for 213 in the first innings, in response to India’s 256, Gavaskar, who was dismissed for a duck in the first innings, scored 118 runs to help India set Australia a target of 387. Chandrasekhar picked another six-wicket haul, bundling Australia out for 164.
1978: India level the series in Sydney
Chandrasekhar, in the 4th Test, combined with captain Bishan Bedi as the two combined to pick up 7 wickets to bundled out Australia for 131 in Sydney in the first innings. In response, India saw a 97-run opening partnership between Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan – the best opening partnership of the series. Later, Gundappa Viswanath (79) and Karsan Ghavri (64) helped India take a huge 265-run lead. Erapalli Prasanna starred in the second innings with the ball, picking four wickets as Australia were bowled out for 263, losing by an innings and two runs. India, who were trailing 0-2 in the series, levelled the series with consecutive wins at MCG and SCG. But the hosts had the last laugh, winning the final Test in Adelaide by 47 runs to secure a 3-2 series win.
1981: Gavaskar’s meltdown
The Melbourne Test between India and Australia in 1981 saw a meltdown from Gavaskar. India were not pleased with umpire Rex Whitehead’s decisions throughout the series. In the 2nd innings of the MCG Test, Gavaskar was batting at 70 when he was struck on the pads by Dennis Lillee. The umpire raised his finger, but Gavaskar was convinced he had nicked the ball. Gavaskar stood his ground which led to a confrontation with Lillee, and Gavaskar ordered batting partner Chauhan to leave the field with him. India team manager Shahid Durrani met the pair at the boundary edge to usher Chauhan back to the middle and the match resumed again. India set Australia a target of 143 but Kapil Dev weaved his magic with the ball, picking up 5/28 in 16.4 overs as Australia were bowled out for 83, losing the match by 60 runs.
2003: Dravid-Laxman steal show after Ponting’s epic ton
In the 2003 Adelaide Test, Ricky Ponting smashed 242 runs to lift Australia to 556 in the first innings. But in reply, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman scored 233 and 148 respectively to lead India’s strong reply of 523. Fast bowler Ajit Agarkar stepped up with a lethal spell as he registered figures of 6-41 to bowl out the hosts for 196. Dravid, once, again scored a patient 72 to help India chase down the 230-run target with four wickets to spare.
2008: India end Australia’s 16-match streak
The ‘Monkeygate’ scandal of 2008 had increased the tensions between India and Australia. India had lost the first two Tests, with controversy erupting after the Sydney Test, where Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Andrew Symonds. In the third Test at Perth, India bounced back in the series and ended Australia’s 16-match Test winning streak. With Rahul Dravid scoring 93, India posted 330 in the first innings. RP Singh picked up four wickets as Australia were bowled out for 212, their lowest first innings score in 24 home Tests. India set a target of 413 runs for the hosts to chase, and India seamers weaved their magic again to bowl out Australia for 340, thus winning the match by 72 runs.
2018-19: Virat Kohli’s India create history
The Melbourne Test win in 2018-19 will go down as one of the biggest wins in Virat Kohli’s career as India captain. The 4-match Test series was levelled at 1-1 as India travelled to MCG. On the back of Cheteshwar Pujara’s ton, and Kohli’s 84, India posted 443/7 in the first innings. Jasprit Bumrah stunned the Aussie batting line-up, picking up 6 wickets to bowl out the hosts for 151. India decided not to enforce follow-on and set up a target of 399 for the hosts to chase. India pacers rattled the Aussie batting-line-up once again, bowling them out for 261, and winning the match by 137 runs. The result meant that India had taken 2-1 lead in the series, and needed just a draw in the 4th Test in Sydney to register their first-ever Test series win Down Under. Things worked out well for India as the Sydney Test ended a draw, with which Kohli entered the history books, leading India to their first Test series win in Australia in 71 years.