While Australia won the Adelaide opener by eight wickets, India came back strongly to clinch the Boxing Day Test by the same margin to draw parity in the series.
However, the visitors do not have a great record at the SCG. In 12 previous meetings at this venue, India’s lone triumph in Sydney came in 1978 when they beat Australia by an innings and two runs. The last two Tests between India and Australia at the SCG in 2015 and 2019 ended in draws.
The upcoming SCG Test between India and Australia will be played with 25% crowd capacity, owing to a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney.
Over the years, many Indian batsmen have flourished at the SCG. On that note, let us have a look at the ones who have scored a Test century at this ground.
List of Indian batsmen with Test centuries at the SCG
Despite India not possessing an impressive record at the SCG, a number of batsmen have come up with excellent performances at the venue. On that note, let us have a look at the Indian players to have notched up hundreds in SCG Tests over the years.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar - 3 hundreds
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar loved batting in Sydney. In five Tests at the SCG, he notched up three hundreds, all of them were unbeaten efforts.
One of Tendulkar’s first Test hundreds came at the SCG in 1992. He made an unbeaten 148 off 213 balls against an attack featuring Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes and Bruce Reid. This match also marked the Test debut of future spin sensation Shane Warne.
Tendulkar’s second hundred at the SCG in 2004 was famous for a unique reason. Struggling for runs, the Mumbai maestro decided to shun the cover drive which had got him into trouble in his previous knocks in that series. The result was an epic unbeaten 241, an innings that lasted 613 minutes.
The legend’s third ton at the SCG came in 2008 during the controversial Monkeygate Test. Tendulkar made an unbeaten 154 off 243 balls as India responded with 532 to Australia’s first-innings total of 463.
The knock went in vain though, as India crumbled to a 122-run defeat.
#2 VVS Laxman - 3 hundreds
The SCG was VVS Laxman’s equivalent of Eden Gardens away from home. In four Tests in Sydney, the stylish Hyderabadi crossed hundred three times.
His first hundred in Sydney was a career-saving 167 off 198 balls in the 2000 Test. Laxman flayed Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne despite India getting blanked 0-3 in that series. That was his maiden Test hundred, and there was no looking back for Laxman from there.
By the time he returned to the SCG in 2004, Laxman was very much a match-winner. He eased his way to 178 in the first innings and featured in a famous 353-run stand with Tendulkar (241 not out) for the fourth wicket, helping India post a mammoth 705 for 7 in a drawn encounter. That game was also Steve Waugh’s farewell Test.
Laxman's 109 in 2008 was a high-quality knock, albeit in a losing cause. Batting at No. 3, he looked in complete command until being dismissed by Brad Hogg. The Test, however, is remembered for more infamous reasons.
#3 Sunil Gavaskar - 1 hundred
Little Master Sunil Gavaskar also has a hundred to his name at the SCG. He scored a magnificent 172 off exactly 400 balls in the 1986 Test in Sydney.
After India batted first in that match, Gavaskar occupied the crease for 513 minutes, hitting 19 fours, sending the Australian fielders on a leather hunt. Gavaskar’s innings eventually ended when he was bowled by Bob Holland.
India amassed 600 for 4 before declaring their innings. However, David Boon’s century and Geoff Marsh’s 92 ensured that the Test was drawn.
#4 Kris Srikkanth - 1 hundred
Opening the innings with Gavaskar in the 1986 SCG Test, Kris Srikkanth also smashed a century.
He made 116 at nearly a run-a-ball and featured in a first-wicket stand of 191 with Gavaskar. Srikkanth blasted 19 fours and a six before he was bowled by Bruce Reid.
#5 Mohinder Amarnath - 1 hundred
Along with Gavaskar and Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath also scored a hundred in the SCG Test of 1986, marking a rare instance of the top three notching up centuries in the same game.
Amarnath made a typically defiant 138 off 312 balls, hitting ten fours in his 382-minute stay at the crease.
Mohammad Azharuddin also helped himself to an unbeaten 59 off 78 balls, helping India touch the magic figure of 600.
#6 Ravi Shastri - 1 hundred
Current India coach Ravi Shastri compiled a magnificent 206 at the SCG during India’s disastrous 1991-92 tour. Opening the innings, the dogged right-hander occupied the crease for 572 minutes and hit 17 fours and two sixes.
He took on debutant Warne, who finished with figures of 1 for 150 from 45 overs, before eventually becoming the leg-spinner’s first Test victim.
With Tendulkar hammering an unbeaten 148 in that game, India posted 483 in response to Australia’s first-innings total of 313 to draw the Test.
#7 Virat Kohli - 1 hundred
After Australia posted a massive 572 for 7 in the 2015 SCG Test, Virat Kohli led India’s response with a magnificent 147 off 230 balls, an innings that included 20 fours.
The visitors managed to respond with an impressive 475, with Kohli’s hundred going a long way in India managing to draw the Test.
#8 KL Rahul - 1 hundred
The 2015 SCG Test also saw KL Rahul notch up his maiden Test hundred, putting behind his horror debut in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne firmly behind him.
Rahul faced 262 balls for his 110 and looked fluent out in the middle, smashing 13 fours and a six.
However, his Test career is at the crossroads at the moment even as he has gone on to become an invaluable member of the limited-overs squads.
#9 Cheteshwar Pujara - 1 hundred
The current India No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara scored an impressive 193 the last time India and Australia met at the SCG. After India batted first in that Test, Pujara controlled the innings brilliantly, as India put up a mammoth 622 for 7 on the board.
Pujara hit 22 fours in his 373-ball stay and looked set for a double ton but ended up lobbing a simple catch to Nathan Lyon while he was seven short of the mark.
The rain-curtailed game ended in a stalemate, but India clinched a historic series 2-1, their fist away in Australia.
#10 Rishabh Pant - 1 hundred
The maverick Rishabh Pant smashed an unbeaten 159 in the 2019 SCG Test. With Pujara’s hundred laying the platform for India, the aggressive left-hander helped himself to three figures.
Pant’s knock came off only 189 balls, and featured 15 fours and a six. That marked the first instance of an Indian wicketkeeper scoring a Test hundred in Australia.
True, there was no pressure on the wicket-keeper bat. However, it was no meat feat against an attack comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.Published 04 Jan 2021, 22:16 IST