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India's 5 biggest defeats in Test cricket

India's 333-run defeat at Pune was one of their five biggest defeats in Test cricket in terms of runs.

Carrying the ‘poor travellers’ tag with them, the Indian team of the 1990s had to go through several embarrassing tours overseas, but they managed to create a fortress at home over the next decade and half, hardly giving an inch to the opposition. Yet, three of their five biggest Test defeats have come at home, all in the last two decades. It highlights the tendency of the team to lose its guard and fall flat on its face, missing the plot either to complacency or lack of application.

Their 333-run defeat to Australia found place in the following list of biggest defeats for them in Test cricket:

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South Africa (329 runs), Kolkata 1996

Lance Klusener picked up eight wickets in the second innings of his debut Test

After a convincing 64-run win in the first Test at Motera in 1996, the Indian team flew to Kolkata (Calcutta then) to try and notch up another win and clinch the series before the final Test at Kanpur. Their plans went for a total spin when a poor batting display in the final innings saw them lose by a massive margin of 329 runs, their biggest defeat in terms of runs at that time.

To start with, Andrew Hudson and Gary Kirsten, with a strong opening foundation, laid the platform for a huge first innings total. In reply, the Indian team didn’t fare badly, yet, despite a century from captain Azharuddin, and a fighting 88 from Kumble, fell more than a 100 runs short. Kirsten, now with Darryl Cullinan for company, compiled another big century, giving the hosts a massive 467 runs to play for. The Indians crumbled, falling miserably short. Yet, they came back in style and clinched the series at Kanpur.

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