Over the years, an India-Australia series has come to assume the status of a marquee clash. While the cricket in itself has been riveting on most occasions, the undercurrent have always provided a touch of drama when the two powerhouses of the game lock horns.
After being drubbed 4-0 on Indian soil in 2013, the visitors had a point to prove coming into this four-Test series. Steve Smith’s men have begun with a massive 333-run win in Pune, making a mockery of pre-series predictions. The focus now shifts to the second Test in Bengaluru and DH takes a look at the previous five Tests contests between the two teams at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
September 19-24 (1979)
Rain plays spoilsport
Centuries from Dilip Vengsarkar and home favourite Gundappa Viswanath notwithstanding, India had to settle for a draw in the second of the six-match Test series after rain played spoilsport. Electing to bat, Australia had could muster 333 all out with debutant Shivlal Yadav picking four for 49. Vengsarkar (112) and Viswanath (161) then steadied India’s innings with a 159-run fourth-wicket stand. However, rain intervened to rob most of the third day’s play, forcing India to bat the entire fourth day. After their declaration at 457/5 in the first session on the final day, Indian bowlers did go hard at their opponents but Australia hung on and at 77/3, rain hindered proceedings again.
Brief scores: Australia: 333 all out in 114.5 overs (Andrew Hiilditch 62, Kim Hughes 86; Kapil Dev 2-89, Karsan Gharvi 2-68) and 77/3 in 37.4 overs (Graeme Wood 30; Shivlal Yadav 3-32) drew with India: 457/5 decl in 144 overs (Dilip Vengsarkar 112, Gundappa Viswanath 161 n.o., Kapil Dev 38; Bruce Yardley 4-107).
March 25-28 (1998)
Tendulkar’s ton in vain
A second-innings batting collapse from India undid a brilliant century by Sachin Tendulkar as the hosts crashed to an eight-wicket defeat in the third and final Test. However, India had clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by the Bengaluru Test having the won the first two Tests. The visitors’ consolation victory was fuelled by pacer Michael Kasprowicz, who rattled the Indian batsmen with 5/28 in their second hit. After Navjot Singh Sidhu’s 74, Tendulkar then essayed a sublime knock, smashing 29 fours and three sixes, helping Mohammad Azharuddin’s men post 424 all out. Australia missed regular skipper Steve Waugh due to injury but his younger brother Mark’s unbeaten 153 helped them post 400 all out. With a slender lead of 24, India were skittled for 169 on the fourth day. On the back of Mark Taylor’s unbeaten 102, Australia knocked down the 194-run target with ease.
Brief scores: India: 424 all out in 123.2 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 177, Mohammad Azharuddin 40; Adam Dale 3-71, Shane Warne 3-106) and 169 all out in 61 overs (Navjot Singh Sidhu 44; Michael Kasprowicz 5-28, Gavin Robertson 3-28) lt to Australia: 400 all out in 111.3 overs (Michael Slater 91, Mark Waugh 153 n.o., Darren Lehmann 52; Anil Kumble 6-98) and 195/2 in 58 overs (Mark Taylor 102 n.o., Michael Slater 42).
October 6-10 (2004)
Clarke shines on debut
Michael Clarke struck a century on debut as a superior Australian side outplayed India to post a massive 217-run victory in the first Test. Clarke justified stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist’s decision to bat first with a fine 151. Gilchrist too slammed 104, guiding the visitors to 474 all out. Australia bowled out India for 246 to gain a 228-run lead with Glenn McGrath picking wickets at regular intervals (4/55). Despite bowling out their opponents for 228 in the second innings, Sourav Ganguly’s men expectedly failed to chase an improbable target of 456 and were all out for 239.
Brief scores: Australia: 474 all out in 130 overs (Michael Clarke 151, Adam Gilchrist 104; Harbhajan Singh 5-146, Anil Kumble 3-157) and 228 all out in 78.1 overs (Simon Katich 39, Damien Martyn 45, Shane Warne 31; Harbhajan Singh 6-78) bt India: 246 all out in 89.2 overs (Virender Sehwag 39, Sourav Ganguly 45, Parthiv Patel 46, Anil Kumble 26; Glenn McGrath 4-55, Jason Gillespie 2-63, Shane Warne 2-78, Michael Kasprowicz 2-43) and 239 all out in 87.4 overs (Rahul Dravid 60, Yuvraj Singh 27, Irfan Pathan 55, Harbhajan Singh 42; Glenn McGrath 2-39, Jason Gillespie 3-33, Michael Kasprowicz 2-23, Shane Warne 2-115).
October 9-13 (2008)
Gutsy India force draw
Pinned to the wall at 232/7 in pursuit of Australia’s first-innings total of 430 all out, India fought back through Harbhajan Singh (54) and Zaheer Khan (57) to post 360 all out that deflated Australia’s spirits. The tourists then declared their second innings at 228/6 to set India target of 299 in 83 overs. Veterans Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman survived a strong challenge on the final day to deny Australia a possible victory in the first Test with a 61-run stand between them.
Brief scores: Australia: 430 (Ricky Ponting 123, Mike Hussey 146, Simon Katich 66; Zaheer Khan 5-91, Ishant Sharma 4-77) and 228/6 decl in 73 overs (Simon Katich 34, Shane Watson 41; Ishant Sharma 3-40, Harbhajan Singh 2-76) drew with India: 360 all out in 119 overs (Virender Sehwag 45, Rahul Dravid 51, Harbhajan Singh 54, Zaheer Khan 57; Mitchell Johnson 4-70, Shane Watson 3-45) and 177/4 in 73 overs (Gautam Gambhir 29, Sachin Tendulkar 49, VVS Laxman 42 not out, Sourav Ganguly 26 not out).
October 9-13 (2010)
If it was a nervy one-wicket win in the first Test in Mohali for India, they scripted a thumping seven-wicket victory in the second and final Test at the Chinnaswamy. Wth scores of 214 and 53, Sachin Tendulkar led India’s charge while youngsters Murali Vijay (139 in the first innings) and debutant Cheteshwar Pujara (72 in the second hit) played their part. Electing to bat first, Australia rode on Marcus North’s 128 to post a formidable 478. India did well to gain a 17-run lead. Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha bagged three wickets apiece to bowl out Ricky Ponting’s men for 223 in the second innings. Steady half-centuries from Tendulkar and Pujara then sealed the win for India on the final day.
Brief scores: Australia: 478 all out in 141 overs (Shane Watson 57, Simon Katich 43, Ricky Ponting 77, Mike Hussey 34, Marcus North 128, Time Paine 59; Pragyan Ojha 3-120, Harbhajan Singh 4-148) and 223 all out in 75.2 overs (Shane Watson 32, Ricky Ponting 72; Zaheer Khan 3-41, S Sreesanth 2-48, Pragyan Ojha 3-57, Harbhajan Singh 2-63) lt to India: 495 all out in 144.5 overs (Murali Vijay 139, Sachin Tendulkar 214, Suresh Raina 32, MS Dhoni 30; Mitchell Johnson 3-105, Peter George 2-48, Nathan Hauritz 2-153) and 207/3 in 45 overs (Murali Vijay 37, Cheteshwar Pujara 72, Sachin Tendulkar 53).