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Top 3 successful chases by Team India in Test matches

Australia vs India: 4th Test: Day 4
Australia vs India: 4th Test: Day 4
ANALYST
Modified 18 Jan 2021
Top 5 / Top 10
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Despite another resolute effort on Day 4 of the Gabba Test, Team India face a daunting chase on the final day of the fourth Test.

Set 328 runs to win the Gabba Test, the visitors will have to defy history to clinch the final Test and, with it, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

That is because Team India have never beaten Australia in a Gabba Test while the hosts last lost at the venue over three decades ago (in 1988).

Moreover, the highest successful chase at the venue is 236 runs, which Australia scored against the West Indies in November 1951. No visiting side has ever successfully chased down a 200-plus target in the fourth innings to win a Test at the Gabba; England's 170 runs in December 1978 is the highest in this regard.

Team India’s tallest successful chase in Australia is 230 runs, which they achieved in Adelaide during the famous 2003-04 Test.

Interestingly, India have only managed to chase down a 300-plus target in an overseas Test on only one previous occasion. However, considering the way things have panned out on this tour, Team India could belie expectations and rewrite history.

On that note, let us have a look at Team India's top three successful chases in Test cricket.

Team India's three highest successful chases in Tests

As Team India look to achieve something grand on Day 5 at the Gabba, let us take a trip down memory lane and revisit the team's three tallest successful chases in Test history.

#3 276-5 against West Indies (Delhi 2011)

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Brief Scores: West Indies (304 and 180) lost to India (209 and 276-5) by five wickets.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

West Indies’ glory days in Tests were seemingly a thing of the past. Nevertheless, India defeated a reasonably strong West Windies side in the Delhi Test in November 2011.

Set to chase down a tough target of 276 runs to win the Test, India had to contend with the likes of Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Devendra Bishoo. However, the experienced trio of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman ensured the hosts triumphed by five wickets.

Sehwag (55) and Gautam Gambhir (22) added 51 runs for the opening wicket in just under ten overs to set the tone for the chase, with the right-hander scoring a brisk run-a-ball half-century.

Tendulkar contributed a mature 76 off 148 balls while Laxman, as he had so often done in his Test career, saw Team India home with an unbeaten 58.

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Ravichandran Ashwin made a famous Test debut in that game, taking nine wickets (3 for 81 and 6 for 47) to deservedly win the Man of the Match award.


#2 387-4 against England (Chennai 2008)

Brief Scores: England (316 and 311-9) lost to India (241 and 387-4) by six wickets.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag

Team India’s triumph in Chennai against England in December 2008 is well known for more than one reason - a non-cricketing one. Not only was it India’s second-best chase in their Test history, but it came only days after the brutal 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

England left the country in the wake of the gruesome attacks, only to return days later to take part in the Test match in Chennai.

Second-innings centuries by Andrew Strauss (his second of the match) and Paul Collingwood left India needing to chase down a mammoth 387 runs to win the Test.

Once again, Gambhir and Sehwag set the stage for India, scoring contrasting fifties. While Gambhir made a sedate 66 off 139 balls, Sehwag took on the English bowlers and bludgeoned his way to a typical T20-type knock.

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The Nawab of Najafgarh blazed his way to 83 off 68 balls. However, when he was trapped leg before wicket by Graeme Swann, India were 260 runs away from their target and had a lot of work to do.

To compound the hosts' woes, Rahul Dravid (4) and VVS Laxman (26) fell cheaply, but an inspired Sachin Tendulkar stroked one of his finest hundreds to fashion the chase. He found able company in Yuvraj Singh, who made a match-defining half-century.

Tendulkar (103 not out) and Yuvraj (85 not out) featured in an unbeaten 163-run stand for the fifth wicket to steer Team India to one of its most famous Test triumphs.

Given the circumstances under which it was achieved, this Test win will always remain extra special. Sehwag was named the Man of the Match for his batting exploits.


#1 406 for 4 vs West Indies (Port of Spain 1976)

Brief Scores: West Indies (359 and 271-6) lost to India (228 and 406-4) by six wickets.

Gundappa Viswanath
Gundappa Viswanath

Nothing might ever beat Team India’s record chase of 403 runs against the fearsome West Indies in Trinidad in April 1976.

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Following Alvin Kallicharran’s unbeaten 103 in the second innings, India were set an improbable target to win the Test. At least it seemed so till the Indian chase materialised.

There was little inkling of what was in store when Sunil Gavaskar (102) and Anushman Gaekwad (28) added 69 for the first wicket. Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath then combined to add 108 runs for the next wicket.

However, Team India were dealt with a huge blow when Gavaskar was dismissed by Raphick Jumadeen immediately after completing his hundred, with India requiring 226 more runs to pull off the chase.

As Gavaskar walked back, it seemed Team India’s hopes were gone with him. However, just like the current India team, the members of that 1976 squad also broke stereotypes.

Amarnath and Gundappa Viswanath featured in one of Team India’s famous Test partnerships as the team led by Bishan Singh Bedi created history.

Amarnath (85) and Viswanath (112) wore down the West Indies bowling in a partnership that yielded 159 runs. Although both were eventually run out, they did enough to take Team India to the doorsteps of what remains the country’s most famous Test chase.

Brijesh Patel’s unbeaten 49 added the finishing touches to a fairytale chase as Team India brought down the Windies at their own den with six wickets in hand.

Published 18 Jan 2021, 20:35 IST
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