India’s Five Best Bowling Performances in Tests in Australia

From the first tour to Australia in 1947-48, Indian bowlers have had some success in their Tour Down Under.

From the likes of BS Chandrasekhar, Bishen Singh Bedi to Anil Kumble, Aussie batters have always found it difficult to work around the Indian spinner.

Kapil Dev was also successful against the Australians in the successive tours of 1980-81 and 1985-86.

As India begin their four-match series against Australia from Thursday, 6 December, here’s a look at the five most memorable bowling performances by Indians that rattled the Australian batting line-up over the years.

BS Chandrasekhar (6/52, 6/52), MCG in 1977-78

File photo of BS Chandrasekhar

India came into this Test match in Melbourne, the third of the five-match series, having lost the first two Tests. India scored a modest 256 in the first innings, courtesy some intelligent batting from Mohinder Amarnath (72), Viswanath (59) and Mankad (44).

When it was Australia's turn to bat, India's BS Chandrasekhar spun a web around the Aussie batsmen to finish with figures of 6/52 in his 14.1 overs.

Chandrasekhar got the important scalps of Gary Cossier, Craig Serjeant & the skipper Bobby Simpson.

In the second innings, too, Chandrasekhar came up with identical figures of 6/52. Chasing 387 runs in the fourth innings, Aussie batsmen again fell victim to Chandrasekhar.

The Australian batters were under pressure, and Chandrasekhar thrived in such situation. He along with Bedi demolished the Australian batting as Cosier was the highest scorer of the innings with 34 runs.

Australia lost by 222 runs and Chandrasekhar played a vital role in scripting India's first Test victory in Australia.

Kapil Dev (5/28), MCG in 1980-81

Chasing a paltry total of 143, Australia were bundled out for 83, courtesy a fifer from Kapil Dev.

Australia had won the first Test in Sydney, and drew the second one in Adelaide. India needed to win in Melbourne to save the series.

After Viswanath, Chetan Chauhan and Gavaskar starred with the bat, it was Kapil's turn to shine with the ball.

Karsan Ghavri and Dilip Doshi put India off to a great start as they rattled the top four Aussie batters. Australia were 40 for 4 when Kapil started his destructive spell.

Kapil's first victim was Bruce Yardley, who was unlucky as the bowl kept low before hitting the stumps. The next victim was Allan Border. A fine deflection on the leg-side carried the bowl to the keeper and Border was on his way to the dressing room. Keeper Rodney Marsh was bowled off his legs. With the wickets of Dennis Lillee and Jim Higgs, Kapil wrapped up the match for India.

Kapil finished with figures of 5/28 in 16.4 overs as India recorded their second victory in Australia and managed to save the Test series.

Kapil Dev (8/106), Adelaide Oval in 1985-86

After his last heroics in Australia with the ball, Kapil Dev followed it up a superlative act immediately in his next Test in Australia five years later.

In the first Test in Adelaide, Kapil single-handedly brought down the Australian batting line-up, taking 8 wickets in the first innings.

Kapil's wickets included the precious scalps of David Boon, Allan Border, Greg Matthews.

Apart from the wicket-taking deliveries, Kapil peppered the Australians with regular bouncers, that made it difficult for batters lower down the order to settle in.

The first one to go was keeper Wayne Philips, who fell to a well-directed bouncer. The next one was the prized wicket of skipper Allan Border, who dragged the ball onto the off-stump while trying to fetch a moving ball.

After cleaning the top order, Kapil dismantled the middle-order, too, with wickets of Greg Mathews and Greg Ritchie.

With the wickets of McDermott, Reid and Hughes, Kapil ended with the best bowling figures by an Indian in a Test innings in Australia.

Ajit Agarkar (6/41), Adelaide Oval in 2003-04

India's famous victory at Adelaide in December 2003 is best remembered for Rahul Dravid's 233 in the first innings. If Dravid's knock gave India an advantage in the Test series, it was Agarkar's match-winning spell in Australia's second innings, which set up the win for India.

Ajit Agarkar finished with a career-best figure of 6/41 in 16.2 overs.

The proceedings started with Justin Langer caught plumb lbw in the second ball of Agarkar's second over with a delivery that nipped back in. The next to go was Ricky Ponting, who had scored a double century in the first innings. However, this time around he went for a duck after he drove straight to the hands of  Akash Chopra, who was standing at gully.

After cleaning up the top-order, Agarkar made sure that the Australian tail didn't wag for too long. He came back for a new spell of 4 overs, in which he picked up a wicket off every over. The first one to go was Simon Katich, who was the last recognised batsman for the home team. The three tailenders – Bichel, Gillespie & MacGill – fell to good-length deliveries. Apart from four wickets, his last four overs yielded only 13 runs, and Australia were bowled out for 196.

With this win, Agarkar redeemed himself. Before this tour Agarkar's only claim to fame in his 18 test matches till then was the nickname of 'Bombay Duck', which was given to him for scoring seven ducks on the trot against Australia in the last tour.

Anil Kumble (8/141), SCG in 2003-04

After Tendulkar’s 241 helped India post a mammoth total of 705/7 in the fourth Test in Sydney in 2003-04 tour to Australia, it was Anil Kumble, who complemented Tendulkar’s effort with the ball.

When Australia came out to bat on the third day, Indian seamers Agarkar and Irfan Pathan failed to give India the early breakthrough. As Hayden and Langer put on a hundred run stand for the opening wicket, captain Sourav Ganguly had to turn towards seasoned campaigner Anil Kumble for the respite.

And Anil ‘Jumbo’ Kumble, didn’t disappoint. He not only removed Hayden, but later he dismissed Langer too. His next victims were Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn, as he rattled through the Australian top-order.

Later, when Simon Katich was going great guns and brought up his century, it was again Kumble who dismissed Katich to stop the run flow. Following this, Kumble cleaned the Australian tail to finish with eight wickets.

Kumble's 8/141 was his best performance overseas.

. Read more on Cricket by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsSri Lankan Crisis: Court Bars Rajapaksa From Acting as PM . Read more on Cricket by The Quint.