In the set of riveting cricket clashes that have surfaced throughout the entirety of the game’s history, a clash between India and Australia is one of the biggest manifestations of a rivalry on the cricket field.
The sheer history of Indo-Aus battles laced with the prowess of modern cricketers ensures a gripping contest when both the teams go head-to-head against each other, especially in the longest format of the game.
Since the first Test series between the two nations in 1947-48, Australia have dominated the battle of the two nations and it was not until the first Border-Gavaskar series in 1996/97 that India started to find a rather large foothold to get the better of their long-time rivals.
One such instance that defined India’s commanding performance against Australia was Sachin Tendulkar’s match-winning 155 not out, a knock that created headlines after the right-hander thrived on his constant practice to make a mockery out of Australia’s best spinner at that time, Shane Warne, in the second innings of the first Test in the 1997-98 season.
Here, we try to turn the clock back in time and re-live the magical performance that turned the series on its head.
The battle for supremacy
Days ahead of the first Test on 6th March in Chennai, the battle between Tendulkar and Warne that was set to take place was seen doing its rounds on national television and newspapers.
Tendulkar, in a bid to hone his skills against the leg-spinner, had summoned ex-Indian leggie Lakshman Sivaramakrishnan to bowl at him. After endless practice sessions and a practice match where he thrashed Warne all over the park, it seemed as if the advantage belonged to Tendulkar ahead of the first Test.