The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has hosted 12 Test matches between India and Australia. Team India doesn't boast of a good record at here, having won a solitary Test against the hosts in 1978. India have lost 5 Tests and the remaining 6 have ended in draws.
Team India played their first Test at the SCG in 1947 and there have been a few memorable spells by their bowlers ever since. Here's a look at 5 such memorable spells:
#1. Anil Kumble - 8/141
India's highest wicket taker in international cricket had a memorable outing at the SCG in 2004.
The fourth Test of the 2003-2004 Test series between India and Australia was scheduled at the SCG with the series evenly poised at 1-1.
India batted first on a flat SCG wicket and scored 705 runs for 7. Sachin Tendulkar played a fluent innings of 241 not out and Laxman made an impressive 178.
On a wicket where Australian bowlers struggled to pick up wickets, Anil Kumble ran through a strong Aussie batting line up. He picked up 8 wickets in Australia's first innings and the hosts were bowled out for 474. He picked up wickets of Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Nathan Bracken.
India did not enforce the follow-on and instead, set Australia a target of 442 to win the Test and the series. Kumble once again troubled the Aussie batsmen in the fourth innings of the Test and picked up wickets of Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist. However, Steve Waugh played a match saving innings of 80 before getting out to Kumble. The match ended in a draw.
Apart from Steve Waugh's last Test, the match will be remembered for Kumble's spell on a flat SCG pitch.
#2. Vijay Hazare - 4/29
India toured Australia for the first time in 1947-1948. The second Test of the series was played at Sydney. The match had numerous interruptions due to rain and only 153.2 overs were bowled in the Test.
India were bundled out for 188 in their first innings and had their backs against the wall. However, India bowled out a strong Australian batting line up for a score of 107. An impressive bowling performance in Australia's first innings was the highlight of the tour.
The star of the Indian bowling unit was Vijay Hazare who picked up four wickets for just 29 runs. He picked up the prized wickets of Donald Bradman, Hassett, Lindwall, and Tallon.
The spell of Hazare is one of the best spells by an Indian medium pacer at the SCG.
#3. Kuldeep Yadav- 5/99
India were 2-0 up in the 2018-2019 Border Gavaskar Trophy heading into the SCG Test. India drafted Kuldeep Yadav in the playing 11 for the SCG Test and he did not disappoint.
After India declared their first innings on the score of 622, Yadav, who was playing his first match on the tour, had the Aussie batsmen in his spinning web. He picked up 5 wickets for 99 runs and the Aussies were bowled out for 300.
His victims were Khawaja, Head, Paine, Lyon and Hazlewood. India imposed the follow-on but the match ended in a draw due to bad weather conditions.
India won their first ever Test series on Australian soil in 2018-2019. Kuldeep Yadav impressed one and all with his maiden Test appearance in Australia at the SCG.
It will be interesting to see if the team management will play Yadav as the third spinner in the upcoming Test at the SCG considering his past record on the said ground.
#4. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar- 6/52
Chandrasekhar was one of the architect's of India's only Test victory at the SCG in 1977-1978.
The leg spinner picked up 6 important wickets in Australia's first innings. His victims included Cosier, Serjeant, skipper Simpson, Rixon, Clark and Thompson. The Australian batsmen failed to get going and were bundled out for a score of 213 and India had a lead of 43 runs in the first innings.
Out of the wickets picked up by Chandrasekhar in the first innings, Cosier, Simpson and Thompson were out caught, Rixon and Clark were out leg before wicket and Serjeant was out bowled.
#5. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar- 6/52
After his first innings heroics as mentioned herein above, the leggie once again produced a match-winning spell in the second innings of the 1977-1978 SCG Test. He once again picked up 6 wickets and had identical figures of 6/52 in the second innings too.
The leg-spinner picked up 12 wickets for 104 runs in the SCG Test and bowled India to their solitary victory at the SCG.
In the second innings of the said Test in 1977-1978, Chandrasekhar's first victim was Cosier who was out bowled. The skipper Simpson was his next victim who was trapped leg before wicket. Thereafter the procession of wickets followed and Serjeant, Toohey, Mann and Rixon followed suit. The Australians were bowled out for 164 and India won the Test by 222 runs.
The spell of Chandrasekhar is till date one of the best spells by a spinner on Australian soil.Published 03 Jan 2021, 08:17 IST