The much-awaited Test series between India and Australia commences from 23rd February. Over the years, the cricketing arena has witnessed fierce battles between players from both the sides, may it be on the field or off the field. The last Test series between the two nations was played in the 2014-15 season during which the then captain of Indian side, MS Dhoni announced his retirement from the longest format of the game and shocked cricket fans worldwide.
This time, the Kangaroos visit the Indian shores after a gap of four years to take the revenge of their 2013 whitewash. The Aussies have been on tour to Indian several times in the last decade or two, and fans have savoured some memorable innings from the batsmen. But very few remember the heroics of the bowlers who eventually are responsible for the teams to win a Test match.
This gives us the opportunity to revisit the top spells by an Indian bowler against the mighty Aussies in India.
#5 Ravichandran Ashwin – 7/103, Chennai, 2013
Australia, led by Michael Clarke, visited India in 2013 for the four-Test series, the first of which was in Chennai. Australia won the toss and was placed at 64/0 after the first hour of the day.
Ashwin came into the attack and soon scalped the opener Ed Cowan and No. 3 Phil Hughes. Post lunch, Ashwin returned more menacingly and pinned Watson, Warner and Wade in front of the stumps to reduce Aussies to 153/5. Even after the loss of 5 wickets, on the back of Clarke’s century, Australia seemed to be posting a respectable total by the end of the first day.
But again, Ashwin picked up an important scalp of Moises Henriques on 68 to tilt the balance in India’s favour in the last over of the day. Eventually, Australia were bowled out for 380, thanks to some lower order resistance; Ashwin finished with his best figures of 7/103.
India, with the help of Dhoni’s scintillating double hundred, ended their first innings with a lead of 192 over the visitors. In the second innings, Australia wilted under the pressure and Ashwin once again picked up a 5-fer. India easily won the match by eight wickets to take the lead in the series.
MS Dhoni received the Man of the Match award but Ashwin deserved a lot of the credit, too, for picking up 12 wickets in the match, and significantly, seven of them in the first innings.