Five occasions when Indian team defied the odds to script an overseas Test win
Five occasions when Indian Test team defied the odds to script a memorable overseas Test win.
Ever since the Indian Cricket team played its first Test back in 1932, one thing has plagued the cricket frenzy nation, its inability to consistently perform overseas for the better part of seventy years.
A triumph in West Indies in 1971, series win in England (1986), notwithstanding, every Indian overseas tour till the 2000s was met with a sense inevitability by the reluctant Indian fans, with only individual performances to look forward too.
At the turn of the century, Indian cricket was in shambles. Following the match-fixing saga and with Sachin Tendulkar stepping down from captaincy after the home series loss to South Africa in early 2000, Sourav Ganguly was handed over the reins of the team.
His immediate task was to instill a winning attitude and aggression in the team that was vastly considered 'soft' on overseas tours.
On that note, let us today celebrate five such instances when the Indian team defied the odds and scripted a memorable overseas Test win.
#5 Australia vs. India, W.A.CA, Perth 2008
Over the course of the previous decade, India was the only team that consistently challenged the might of the Aussies. From the miraculous Eden Gardens heist to a Rahul Dravid classic at the Adelaide Oval, the rivalry was indeed a highlight for the better part of the 2000s.
In the 2007-08 Border Gavaskar Trophy, amidst the 'monkey-gate' scandal, a plethora of wrong umpiring decisions and a rampaging Australian squad in pursuit of their 17th consecutive Test win, India had their task cut out when they took on the Aussies in the 3rd Test at the WACA in Perth.
Trailing 0-2 in the series, India, powered by gritty batting displays from Rahul Dravid (93) and Sachin Tendulkar (71), posted a respectable 330 in the first innings.
An outstanding spell of swing bowling by the duo of RP Singh (4/68) and Irfan Pathan (2/63) helped India gain a significant first-innings lead of 118 runs.
That lead was further enhanced by a watchful 46 by night-watchman Irfan Pathan and yet another VVS Laxman second innings classic, whose knock ensured Australia needed to chase a world record 413 runs to win their 17th Test in a row.
Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey battled for two and a half hours, and not since Flintoff 2005 has any bowler made the Australian skipper look like such an amateur as Ishant Sharma did during his marathon nine-over spell.
He eventually got Ponting caught at slip to Dravid, and with Symonds (12) and Hussey (0) receiving lbw decisions, and Gilchrist (15) being bowled round his legs by Sehwag (2/24), the clock was ticking on Austalia's 16-match winning streak.
However, Mitchell Johnson (50) led the typical Australian fight, smacking the bowlers all around the WACA, especially Anil Kumble.
As he threatened to take the game away, Kumble turned to his fast bowlers, who quickly polished off the tail to hand India one of their most memorable wins overseas.
India 330 (Rahul Dravid 93, Mitchell Johnson 4/86) & 294 (VVS Laxman 79, Stuart Clarke 4/61) beat Australia 212 (Andrew Symonds 66, RP Singh 4/68) & 340 (Michael Clarke 81, Irfan Pathan 3/54) by 72 runs.