Indian Cricket: More down under than ever before

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January 30, 2015

PERTH, AUSTRALIA: England’s three-wicket win in Perth on Friday (January 30) not only knocked India out of the triangular series, but also rounded off India’s worst full tour to Australia.

Though India gained a lot during the Australia tour, they failed to register a single win in eight games.

January 30, 2015

PERTH, AUSTRALIA: England’s three-wicket win in Perth on Friday (January 30) not only knocked India out of the triangular series, but also rounded off India’s worst full tour to Australia.

Though India gained a lot during the Australia tour, they failed to register a single win in eight games.

India had won at least a match on each of their previous tours Down Under, a record they failed to maintain on the latest trip under the captaincy of Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Though Kohli became only the second cricketer after Greg Chappell to score twin centuries on his Test captaincy debut, India’s spirited chase of 364 fell short by 48 runs in the first Test in Adelaide. Then, in Brisbane, Steve Smith’s 133 in his maiden Test as Australia’s captain and Mitchell Johnson’s 88 before he blew away the Indian top order gave the home team a four-wicket win and a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

Draws in Melbourne, which would become Dhoni’s last Test, and Sydney produced many significant performances for India, but none of them were more impressive than Kohli, who finished the series with four centuries against his name.

He, however, could not carry that form into the triangular series, as India first lost to Australia by four wickets and were then crushed by Steven Finn in a nine-wicket defeat in Brisbane. Rain in Sydney allowed Dhoni to collect two points against Australia and stay in contention for a berth in the final, but in a must-win game against England in Perth, the batsmen faltered once again to be bowled out for 200 in 48.1 overs. England chased down the target with 19 balls to spare, as India failed to taste victory even once in 53 days.

1980-81

India’s first full tour to Australia was in 1980-81, when they won three matches in the triangular series, also involving New Zealand, before signing off with a 59-run win in the Melbourne Test, scripted by Gundappa Viswanath’s 114 and Kapil Dev’s 5 for 28 in a defence of 143.

1985-86

India won the World Championship of Cricket in 1984-85, but did not play a Test match on that tour. They returned next season, drawing all three Tests and reaching the best-of-three finals ahead of New Zealand, before losing to Australia 2-0.

1991-92

When India reached Australia in 1991-92, in the World Cup season, they started with a loss in the first Test, but opened their account in the triangular series with a tie against West Indies in Perth after making only 126. India qualified for the finals where they yet again lost to the home team. Though Australia won the Test series, a teenaged Sachin Tendulkar made many heads turn with centuries in Sydney and Perth.

1999-2000

The 1999-2000 tour was one of the lowest points in Indian cricket. Wiped off 3-0 in the Test series, India managed just one victory against Pakistan in the tri-nation tournament that followed.

2003-04

India made up for the poor show in the previous tour with a spectacular outing in 2003-04 when Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar front-ended the win in Adelaide that would help India draw the four-Test series 1-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India, however, once again lost the three-team ODI tournament, also involving Zimbabwe, to Australia.

2007-08

The trend of losing to the home team in the tournament final was reversed in 2007-08 when Tendulkar’s first ODI hundred in Australia helped India, under Dhoni, win the championship for the first time in 24 years. Even though India had lost the preceding scandal-marred Test series, they had become the first Asian team to beat Australia in Perth.

2011-12

A fatigued Indian team was whitewashed in the Test series on the tour in 2011-12, and failed to qualify for the finals of the triangular series, but then also they had levelled the two-match Twenty20 International series, scored 13 runs in the last over to beat Australia in an ODI, and tied against Sri Lanka, the third team in the tournament.

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Objectively speaking, India’s current tour has had many gains. Kohli’s emergence as the leader of the new generation, M Vijay’s rise in stature as a Test opener, KL Rahul’s success, Ajinkya Rahane’s impressive approach and temperament across formats, Rohit Sharma’s ODI century in Melbourne, Axar Patel’s ability as a limited-overs bowler and Stuart Binny’s quality performances in two games being some of them. But none of it could give India a win in eight international matches in two months, hence making it statistically India’s worst full tour to Australia.


Courtesy: Wisden India