In the career of a cricketer, there are a few moments and memories which one can proudly tell their grandchildren about. The third Test played between India and Australia at Perth in 2008 was one such match for the Indian cricketers. It was a match which every member of that Indian team will cherish for their entire lifetime.
The Western Australia Cricket Ground at Perth also known as the W.A.C.A, has been a sacred ground for the Australians. The ground was the Australian team’s fortress, which not many teams have been able to conquer. The fact that they had not lost a Test at the W.A.C.A from February 1997 till this match (they won 8 and drew 2 tests during this period) speaks volumes of their record at this venue.
And playing at the ground, which was once considered the fastest pitch in the world, is a dream for every professional cricketer. Sachin Tendulkar had once famously said that he regarded his century at Perth in 1992 as one of his best innings ever.
In the 2008 Test, the Australians had been unbeaten in 16 Test matches and having won the first two Tests of the series, were already in the driver’s seat even before the start of the match. But the ghosts of the epic 2001 Kolkata Test came back to haunt them and the Indians once again ensured that the Australian winning streak stopped at 16.
Such was the Australian dominance during that time that Michael Hussey had not been part of a losing test team. Sadly for Hussey, along with his first loss, he also got his first duck in this match.
Let’s relive some magic moments from this match which was played exactly 9 years ago on this day.
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Indian skipper Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Virender Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer justified their captain’s decision and put on 57 runs for the first wicket before Sehwag was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson. Jaffer followed him soon, but his wicket brought together two of India’s best ever batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
Over the next 38 overs or so, the two greats treated the crowd to some immaculate display of batting. Dravid, who was returning to his favourite number 3 spot after having opened in the first two Tests, once again proved why he was best suited for that spot.
The 139-run partnership between the two was their 16th-century stand in tests and it equalled the world record held by Desmond Haynes-Gordon Greenidge and Matthew Hayden-Ricky Ponting. In the process, Tendulkar also became the first batsman to make 50 fifty-plus scores in overseas Tests.
However, despite their heroics; India ended the day at 297 runs for the loss of 6 wickets.