⚡️ Get the free App now
Favorites Edit

4 times India nearly won a Test Series in Australia 

Top 5 / Top 10

There should not be victory celebrations until the war ends
There should not be victory celebrations until the war ends

Later this year, India will have a superb chance to win their first Test series in Australia.

India are currently at the top of the ICC's Test Rankings, they have a captain in superb form, and a squad with plenty of depth. Australia, meanwhile, are looking very fragil as they continue to struggle in the wake of the infamous ball-tampering incident.

Yet history is against India. This is because, despite the two sides having one of the fiercest rivalries in cricket, Test series between the pair tend to be dominated by the home side. In addition to India's failure to win in Australia, this is shown by Australia having only won once in India since 1970.

A series win in Australia would, therefore, be particularly momentous for this Indian side.

However, there have been a handful of occasions when India has been painstakingly close to achieving this milestone.

#4 1977-1978, Australia win 3-2

The first time team India came close (Picture Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo)
The first time team India came close (Picture Courtesy: ESPNCricinfo)

This was the first series after Australia's best players had departed from the Test side to be part of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

Because of their departure, Australia was left with a very unproven side, with the only experienced Test level players in the team being Jeff Thompson, and Bob Simpson, who hadn't played for Australia since 1968.

India, meanwhile, had a formidable side. They were led by Bishen Bedi, whose spin partnership with Bhagwat Chandrasekhar proved fruitful despite the unfavourable conditions. They also had a well-stocked batting lineup that was spearheaded by Sunil Gavaskar.


Australia had the advantage of familiar conditions, but there was little doubt India had the stronger side.

In fact, over the five Tests, it could be argued that India proved they were the superior side. Had India won just a few more key moments they could have won the series 5-0.

This may seem a preposterous assertion, but looking into the individual matches suggests otherwise. Not only were India's two victories games they won by significant margins, but in the other three games, they came excruciatingly close.

The first of these games saw Australia win by a poultry 16 runs. Here India started the game by dismissing Australia for just 166, only to be bowled out for 153 themselves. Both sides batted better in their second innings, and had Sunil Gavaskar, the only century-maker of the game, had more support with the bat, India would have almost certainly won.

Nevertheless, the following game they came just as close, only losing by two wickets. In this match, Bedi actually declared in the second innings, albeit with his team already nine wickets down.

However, by either a stroke of luck or a stroke of genius, Australia put Anthony Mann in as nightwatchmen and never looked back. Mann scored a century that propelled Australia to their target of 339, he would never reach 30 again.

India's two wins came after this match and coming into the final Test of the series they certainly seemed to have the momentum. But, despite an admirable fourth innings battle, India fell 47 runs short of their 493 run target.

The India side must have returned home wondering how they hadn't emerged from the series as victors, yet they wouldn't have to wait long for their next chance.

1 / 4 NEXT
Fetching more content...