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Test Victories over Australia which changed the mindset of Indian Cricket

India claimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 4-0 whitewash
India claimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 4-0 whitewash

India vs Australia, This has been a saga of fierce competition, at times, which has gone beyond the on-field game. Both the sides have been lethally dominant at home, and have always aspired to conquer the series in foreign soil. India has been the more successful side in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, winning it nine times, and has pulled off some sensational, unreal wins over the Aussies, many of which signified the start of a new era in Indian cricket.

Let's have a recap to such wins, which signified a change in the mindset of Indian cricket:


#6 4-0 whitewash in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2013

Australia were the holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy before the tour, having whitewashed India 4-0 back in 2011-12. However, this time around, it proved to be sweet revenge for the Indians, as a spirited side under MS Dhoni returned the favour in a similar fashion.

In the first Test, it was MS Dhoni who rescued India from a precarious situation, playing an innings of a lifetime, as he smashed the Australian bowlers all around the park in the scorching heat of Chennai. He scored a thunderous 224, recording the highest score by an Indian captain back then.

The second game saw Australia becoming the first team to lose the match by an innings after having declared in the first innings. The third game was about the sheer audacity of Shikhar Dhawan, who raced to the fastest century on debut, as India pocketed the match after the play was abandoned on the first day. The fourth game saw India complete a historic whitewash over the Aussies.

The most special thing about the victory was that the fightbacks in the matches were led by then youngsters Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja. India inflicted a whitewash on the Kangaroos, their first in the red ball format in 43 years.

#5 Kapil Dev bowls India to victory at Melbourne

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India locked horns with a formidable Australian side at the MCG, considered to be their bastion. A stoic knock from Gundappa Viswanath was the only silver lining for the visitors, as the other batsmen faltered. The knock was met with another innings of the same intensity by Allan Border, who enabled the hosts to run away with a 182-run lead. India then posted a not so daunting target of 143.

A fine century from G Viswanath, the walkout threat of Gavaskar, the match had everything but the match is remembered for the grit and mettle of the Indian bowlers. With a less glaring target on the board, all the three frontline bowlers of India were injured, Kapil Dev's hamstring injury did not allow him to bowl on day 4, Shivlal Yadav had seven painkiller injections to nurse his toe that broken while batting, while Dilip Doshi had not recovered from a similar injury prior to the series.

When the road seemed to have ended, Kapil Dev bowled what was probably one of the finest spells of the era, forcing the Australian batsmen to crumble on their home ground, not having much for the bowlers. He ran through the middle and lower order to end with figures of 5-28, bowling out the hosts for a mere 83, handing a 59-run victory for India.

This victory at the start of the decade was a significant boost for the Indian mindset, which paved the way for many glories, with the zenith being the World Cup of 1983.

#4 The bounce back at Perth in 2008

India became the first Asian side to beat the Aussies at The WACA, Perth
India became the first Asian side to beat the Aussies at The WACA, Perth

The series had taken an ugly turn after the Monkey Gate incident and the poor umpiring of Steve Bucknor in Sydney. The Indian media, fans and cricket fraternity were animated, and the onus was on team India to give a befitting reply on the ground.

And the team fittingly did so, on a ground known for its vicious pace. The senior pros Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman rose to the occasion, batting beautifully to post a formidable 412 run-target for the home side. Captain Anil Kumble claimed his 600th Test wicket in the form of Andrew Symonds. RP Singh and Irfan Pathan bowled beautifully to hand India a 72-run victory.

It was more of a moral victory for the Indians, as they denied the Australians a potential world record 17th consecutive victory. Harbhajan Singh sprinted into the ground with the Indian tricolour, paving the way for jubilant celebrations.

This victory signified the 'Spirit of New India', a side that was not to be daunted by the audacity of its opposition, whatever might be the situation. This victory certainly steered the mindset of the team towards greater glories, which were achieved by the historic series win against the Kiwis in the next year.

#3 The Wonder Down Under- First series win in Australia

India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1
India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1

Team India, the No.1 side in the world, had overseas assignments calling at the beginning of 2018. With quality batsmen and an arguably the best pace bowling attack in the world at the moment, India were expected to emerge victorious on the foreign soil.

However, dismal outings in South Africa and England, especially with the bat, served as a serious alarm for the players and the think tank. The first Test at Adelaide saw the team reeling at 41-4, bringing back the ghosts of the previous tours. However, a determined Cheteshwar Pujara held things together, playing a gem of an innings for his 123. Another gritty knock from him, coupled by the bowlers' contribution ensured that India go 1-0 up in the series.

Post a dismal outing at Perth, India bounced back again, with yet another hundred from Pujara. However, the main blows were inflicted by Jasprit Bumrah, who tore apart the Australian batting line up with his fiery bowling, ending with figures of 9/86 including a six-wicket haul. India took a 2-1 lead after beating them by 137 runs.

India were poised to win the series 3-1, if not for the bad weather, with yet another century from Pujara. Nevertheless, the side won 2-1, handing them over their first Test series win Down Under in 71 years.

While it is too early to measure a visible change in mindset, the win has served as a statement to the world, about the guts and grits of the Indian side to compete as well as win abroad. Pujara and Bumrah have also been regarded as the true Test aesthetics in an era of T20 fanatics.

#2 The Adelaide Delight

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Usually, when you score 556 in the first innings at home, you are not supposed to lose. However, this won't be the case if Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have other ideas. Dravid and Laxman steered the Indian innings from a precarious 85-4, stitching a match-winning 333-run partnership, signifying their unerring focus, sheer elegance and absolute class.

It seemed to be a blast from the past, with the ghosts of the 2001 Eden loss still fresh in the minds of Australians. Dravid scored a magnificent double hundred, while Laxman added 148 runs.

Though the home side managed to sneak a 33-run lead, their second innings were ripped apart by the six-wicket haul of Ajit Agarkar. Rahul Dravid came back to haunt the hosts, as his 72* ensured a historic win for the Indians at the Adelaide Oval.

Team India had begun to emerge as a fearless, competitive unit under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, capable of emerging victorious from any given situation. After the Natwest series and Headingley Test win, this was yet another testimony of the change in the mindset of India from a shy to a dominant side.

#1 The Miracle at Eden Gardens

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After losing the first match by 10 wickets, and trailing by 274 runs in the second innings of the second match, only a handful would have been optimistic for an Indian win. Especially when you do not have the weight of history behind you, with only two sides in the past having achieved the feat. However, one man believed, and that man was Sourav Ganguly. His courage was contagious, as it mustered inside 10 other players, who stepped out for victory.

Australia, who were considered to be a ruthless travelling side back in those days, were made to toil for more than 100 overs by Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, with the latter being promoted to no. 3 after his first innings resistance. The partnership is regarded as one of the most enigmatic ever in cricket, as the two exhibited immaculate batsmanship. Steve Waugh was forced to use nine bowlers, with even Hayden and Ponting forced to roll their arms. Laxman notched the highest Test score by an Indian at that time, 281.

However, the acts of making history did not quite end there, as Harbhajan Singh, who had picked up seven wickets in the first innings, came back to pick up another six, including the first ever Test hat-trick by an Indian. He was complemented by Sachin Tendulkar, who handed three blows to the Aussies in his three consecutive overs. Chasing 383 for victory, Australia failed to deliver and India won by 171 runs. India went on to win the series 2-1.

This nostalgic win at the Eden was the start of a phase of resurgence for Indian cricket, as India began to play a fearless brand of cricket under captain Sourav Ganguly.

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Edited by Vignesh Ananthasubramanian
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