5 best knocks by Indian batters in Border Gavaskar trophy
India will take on Australia in their upcoming Test match in Nagpur to begin yet another enticing chapter in the thrilling history of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
The two cricketing giants have produced great moments of passion and magic over the years and their head-to-head tussles in Test cricket has added plenty of spice to the game.
There have been phenomenal performances in the history of this series and while India has had the upper hand in recent years, Australia seems to be well-prepared ahead of the upcoming clash.
Bowlers have done well on good pitches, but it has been more about the batters who have scored big in challenging circumstances as well. On that note, let's take a look at the five best Indian batters' knocks in the Border Gavaskar trophy:
#5 Sachin Tendulkar - 214 in Bangalore
VVS Laxman was the hero in the first Test back in 2010 in Mohali as India took an early lead in the series. However, the second Test in Bengaluru belonged to Sachin Tendulkar.
Batting first, Australia scored 478 runs. Sachin Tendulkar took guard and dominated proceedings from the word go on Day 3. He notched up a sensational 214 runs off 363 balls. Murali Vijay too chipped in with 139. India ended with a lead of 17 runs at the end of their first innings.
Australia were then bowled out 223 in the second innings and once again, Sachin took charge of the chase and led India to a win with an unbeaten 53.
#4 Rahul Dravid – 233 runs in Adelaide
One of the most important knocks as far as Indian cricket is concerned. Rahul Dravid was an immovable force against Australia back in 2003. India drew their first match of the series in Brisbane and had momentum coming into Adelaide.
However, Australia scored 556 in their first innings on the back of a superb double ton by Ricky Ponting. In excellent batting conditions, India responded with 523 runs, thanks primarily to a stellar 233-runs knock by Rahul Dravid. He faced 446 deliveries and hit 23 boundaries and ran the Australian team ragged.
Ajit Agarkar then stepped up with the ball and picked up six wickets to bundle out Australia for 196. Chasing a target of 230 runs, Dravid took charge once again as India scripted a historic win.
#3 Ajinkya Rahane – 112 runs in Melbourne
India were bundled out for 36 runs in their second innings in Adelaide. They had lost the match, their captain Virat Kohli had to fly home and all odds were stacked against the visitors. This was when Ajinkya Rahane, their stand-in captain, stood tall and laid the foundation for what was going to be one of the greatest comebacks of all time in the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
The Indian bowlers bundled out Australia for just 195 in their first innings. India’s innings was then led by their captain who played a controlled inning and notched up a ton to give India a crucial lead. India’s innings ended at 326 and this lead was enough for the side to script a superb win and draw level in the series.
#2 Rishabh Pant – 89 runs in Brisbane
The fightback that started in Melbourne saw a fitting finale in Brisbane. India were battered with a slew of injured players, but their young bowlers who came into the side stepped up. However, it was still an arduous task for the side as they needed to chase down 328 to win the series.
The spotlight was on Rishabh Pant, who had already played a heroic knock in the last Test in Sydney to guide India to a draw. He walked in to bat at number 5 when India’s score read 167 for 3.
He took his time to settle down and then went after Nathan Lyon. He slowly opened his shoulders, kept attacking the Australian bowlers, and finished off the chase with a drive down the ground to hand Australia their first defeat in a Test match in Brisbane since 1989.
#1 VVS Laxman – 281 in Kolkata
Arguably the greatest Test knock played by an India batter – VVS Laxman single-handedly stopped the Australian juggernaut back in 2001 at Eden Gardens. India were beaten in the first Test in Mumbai, and had been asked to follow in this second Test in Kolkata. This was when Laxman stamped his class. He found a great ally in Rahul Dravid as the duo tormented Australia on day 4 without being separated. The Border Gavaskar trophy changed course for Indian cricket on Day 4 in 2001.
Laxman was eventually dismissed for 281 on Day 5 as India ended their second innings at 657. Australia needed to chase down 384 for an unlikely win, but Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar combined to dismiss them for 212.
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