Team India, led by Virat Kohli, are currently in Australia for a full tour featuring three one-dayers, as many T20Is, and four Tests. The series kicks-off on November 27 with the first ODI at Sydney.
The Test series, referred to as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, has been the main attraction during Team India’s visits to Australia over the last few years, as India have begun to compete away from home.
Team India have played a total of 12 Test series’ in Australia, with the first one being in 1947-48 and the most recent one being in 2018-19.
India created history in Australia during their last visit, winning a Test series Down Under for the first time ever. Across the 12 Test series’, Team India have played 48 Test matches, out of which they have lost 29 and drawn 12. But, do you know how many Test matches Team India have won in Australia? The answer is only 7.
Looking back at Team India’s seven Test wins in Australia
#1. Melbourne (Dec 30, 1977 - Jan 4, 1978)
Team India registered their maiden Test triumph in Australia at Melbourne in 1977-78. Led by Bishen Singh Bedi, India batted first after winning the toss. But they only managed to post 256 on the board. Mohinder Amarnath and Gundappa Viswanath were the batting stars with 72 and 59 respectively. Wayne Clark picked up four wickets for Australia and Jeff Thomson three.
In response, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar’s leggies kept the Aussies to 213 despite Craig Serjeant’s 85 and opener Gary Cosier’s 67. A second-innings century from Sunil Gavaskar and another half-century from Viswanath saw Team India set Australia a tough target of 387.
Another unbelievable spell of bowling from Chandrasekhar saw Australia sink to their first-ever Test defeat against India at home. Chandrasekhar claimed 6 for 52 in the second innings, to go with his six-for in the first innings, while skipper Bishen Bedi chipped in with four. Chandrasekhar dismissed Cosier, Serjeant and opposition skipper Bob Simpson in both innings.
#2. Sydney (Jan 7 - Jan 12, 1978)
One of Team India’s most comprehensive Test triumphs came during the Sydney Test of 1978. Australia batted first but were rolled over for 131. Chandrasekhar and Bedi again combined to claim seven wickets between themselves.
Team India responded with an impressive 396 for 8 declared despite Thomson’s four-for. Viswanath top-scored for Team India for 79 while Karsan Ghavri chipped in with 64, batting at number eight. Further, Gavaskar, Chetan Chauhan, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Syed Kirmani all contributed the 40s.
Inspite of Peter Toohey’s defiant 85, Australia managed just 263 in their second innings to hand Team India a memorable triumph by an innings and two runs. This time, off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna stood out with 4 for 51, while Chandrasekhar, Bedi, and Ghavri claimed two wickets each.
India, however, lost the final Test at Adelaide to lose the series 2-3.
#3. Melbourne (Feb 7 - Feb 11, 1981)
Team India’s third Test triumph in Australia came at Melbourne in 1981 and remains, to date, one of their most famous wins ever. This Test had everything -- Viswanath’s brilliant first-innings hundred against bowling attack comprising Dennis Lillee, Len Pascoe and Bruce Yardley, Gavaskar’s in-famous walkout after being declared lbw, and, above all, Kapil Dev’s second-innings five-for, bowling with an injured hamstring.
Although Australia ended Day 4 on 24 for 3 in their second innings, they only needed 143 to win the Test, and the series. After Dilip Doshi got Kim Hughes, Kapil began his demolition job by cleaning up Bruce Yardley. India’s hopes were raised further as he then dismissed Allan Border caught behind for 9.
At 55 for 6, Team India’s hopes of the improbable were very much alive. Kapil made it a reality by running through the lower order, sending back Rod Marsh, Lillee and Lim Higgs to roll over the hosts for 83, finishing with 5 for 28.
Apart from Kapil and Viswanath , other memorable performances in the game included a first-innings century from Border and Gavaskar-Chauhan’s opening wicket stand of 165 in the second innings.
#4. Adelaide (Dec 12 - Dec 16, 2003)
Following the Melbourne heroics, it was another 22 years before Team India won another Test in Australia. The heroes of this encounter were Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and an unlikely name in Ajit Agarkar.
Australia had posted a mammoth 556 on the board, batting first, courtesy Ricky Ponting’s 242. India, however, responded by making an impressive 523. Dravid played a marathon knock of 233 from 446 balls. He featured in a mammoth stand of 303 with Laxman (148) to rescue Team India from 85 for 4.
Agarkar then came up with the best bowling display of his career to restrict the Aussies to 196 in their second innings. The medium pacer sent back Justin Langer, Ponting (for a duck) and Simon Katich, before running through the lower order.
Dravid was again the star with an unconquered 72 in the second innings, with important contributions from Virender Sehwag (47), Sachin Tendulkar (37) and Laxman (32 from 34), as India got home by four wickets in a tense chase. It wouldn’t be wrong to call this Dravid’s Test.
#5. Perth (Jan 16 - Jan 19, 2008)
Down 0-2, and in the midst of the Monkeygate scandal, Team India produced one of their finest all-round efforts. Batting first after winning the toss, Dravid's 93 and Tendulkar's 71 lifted India to a competitive 330.
Having chipped in with a crucial 28 lower down the order, Irfan Pathan proceeded to send back the Aussie openers Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers cheaply. Ishant Sharma bowled that unplayable spell to Ricky Ponting while RP Singh claimed 4 for 68 as the Aussies were restricted to 212.
In the second innings, Laxman’s 79 combined with 40s from Sehwag and Pathan and 30s from MS Dhoni and RP Singh saw India set Australia an improbable target of 413.
Despite Michael Clarke’s 81 and Mitchell Johnson’s sparkling 50, Team India clinched the Test by 72 runs as Pathan claimed three, and RP Singh, Anil Kumble and Sehwag two each.
#6. Adelaide (Dec 26 - Dec 30, 2018)
Team India registered their second win at Adelaide during their previous tour Down Under. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, India folded up for 250 despite Cheteshwar Pujara’s spirited 123.
The Indian bowlers, however, hit back to restrict the Aussies to 235. Travis Head top-scored for Australia with 72. However, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three wickets each while Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma claimed two scalps apiece.
In the second innings, Pujara’s 71 and Ajinkya Rahane’s 70 saw Team India post a competitive second-innings total of 307. Chasing 323, the Aussies crumbled to 187 for 7, with Shaun Marsh’s 60 providing the only piece of resistance.
The lower order fought hard with Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon all chipping in. Bumrah, Ashwin, and Shami, however, claimed three wickets each as India won the Test by 31 runs.
#7. Melbourne (Dec 26 - Dec 10, 2018)
Team India’s most recent Test win in Australia came at Melbourne during the Boxing Day Test of 2018-19. Team India put up an excellent batting effort to post 443 for 7 before declaring their innings.
Pujara hit yet another hundred, compiling 106 in 319 balls. Skipper Kohli and Rohit Sharma also contributed half-centuries. However, the match is most remembered for Mayank Agarwal’s belated Test debut, which saw him make a memorable 76.
In Australia’s response, Bumrah’s 6-for rolled over the Aussies for 151. India batted for a second time, and put up a quick 106 for 8, leaving the hosts 399 to chase.
Bumrah and Jadeja claimed three scalps each this time and Ishant and Shami two apiece as Australia folded up for 261. Cummins’ resistance of 63 was in vain as Team India went 2-1 up in the series, eventually claiming it following the draw at Sydney.