5 memorable Indian wins Down Under

“We wanted to finish the tour on 4-4 and I am really happy with the way we finished the game,” Virat Kohli said after India won the final Twenty20 International to complete a clean sweep of the three-match series and leave Australia with a tour scoreline of 4-4 having lost the five-match ODI series 4-1. And, the architect of the win was Suresh Raina, who helped India complete the chase 198 with an unbeaten 49 after Shane Watson had made 124 for Australia. India needed 51 runs from 31 balls when Virat Kohli was dismissed. Yuvraj Singh had no rhythm about him on the night and Raina was pretty much on his own to keep India in the hunt. He struck successive fours off the last two deliveries of the 18th over to bring the equation down to 22 runs required from 12 balls. Yuvraj had made only one run from four balls and was on strike at the start of the 19th over, he scored four runs from facing five balls. India was now left with 17 runs to get off the last over. Yuvraj was on strike again, facing Andrew Tye, and he struck a four and a six off the first two deliveries and ran a bye off the third to put Raina on strike. The fleet-footed Raina stole successive twos of the next two deliveries to leave India needing two runs off the final ball. With the third-man and point fielder up in the circle, Raina steered a length ball on off-stump over the fielders behind square on the off-side to seal the win. Photo: Getty Images
It remains Pandey’s most significant contribution for India, and the special innings came at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. India, 4-0 down in the series, was chasing 331 for a victory in the final ODI. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put together 123 for the first wicket and India lost Virat Kohli cheaply. Pandey walked in at No. 4 with India needing 197 runs from 178 balls. He stitched a 97-run partnership with Rohit, who struggled to retain the momentum after a sublime start. But, Pandey scored at more than a run a ball from the get-go to make up for Rohit’s mid-innings struggle and keep India on course. His real challenge, though, came after Rohit fell and captain M. S. Dhoni walked in. India needed 100 more runs to win from 91 balls, but with Dhoni struggling to rotate strike and find the boundary, Pandey, the set batsman, had to make up for the runs that weren’t coming from the other end. Pandey’s management of the run-chase was the standout feature of his debut hundred. The runs didn’t really flow from the blade of Dhoni until after the 45th over, having trudged to 16 runs off 30 balls. Dhoni hit all of two boundaries in his entire 42-ball stay in the middle: he hit a four on the penultimate ball off the 48th over and a six off the first legitimate ball of the final over, from which India needed 13 runs. He was out the next delivery, trying to hoick a six over long-on once again, but the batsmen crossed over and Pandey was on strike. With India needing six runs from four balls, Pandey first hit a four to complete his hundred and followed up by picking a two to complete the win with two balls to spare. It remains the highest successful run-chase by a visiting team against Australia in Australia. Photo: Getty Images
The perception before the triangular series was that India had been hard done by in the second Test in Sydney, where many an umpiring error cost India the match, which essentially proved to be the difference in Australia winning the four-match series 2-1. India and Australia reached the best-of-three triangular series final. Sachin Tendulkar hadn’t had a good series with the bat until the finals, but he rose to the occasion with an unbeaten 117 in the first final in Sydney to help India chase down 241. Then, with the series on the line in the second final at the Gabba, Brisbane, India won the toss and chose to bat first. A late-innings collapse meant India made only 258 on a not-so-typical typical Brisbane pitch. Then, Praveen Kumar removed Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke cheaply with his swing and seam bowling. Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds combined and put together 89 runs for the fourth wicket to resurrect the Australian innings. A run-out from Yuvraj to dismiss Hayden changed the course of the match, with Harbhajan Singh trapping Symonds leg-before soon after to put India on the front-foot. Mike Hussey and James Hopes then put together a 76-run partnership to once again leave the match in the balance. S. Sreesanth gave India the vital breakthrough of Hussey in the 42nd over, with Australia needing a further 60 runs, but Hopes kept Australia in the hunt with a half-century. The Indian bowlers, though, put the squeeze on the batsmen at the other end and Hopes, trying to hit a low full-toss from Irfan Pathan over the midwicket fielder with Australia needing 10 runs from three balls, was caught by Piyush Chawla to seal the series for India. Photo: Getty Images
Less than two years earlier, V.V.S. Laxman (left) and Rahul Dravid had combined to win India a Test match in which it had been asked to follow on by Australia. This time, the stage was Adelaide Oval and the circumstances in which they came together were similar to the one at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. India was tottering at 85/4 after Australia had piled on 556 in the first innings. Dravid and Laxman put together 303 runs for the fifth wicket. Dravid went on to make 233 after Laxman had been dismissed for 148 and together, they not only managed to help India avoid being asked to follow on, but also play a starring role in India getting close to Australia’s total and concede a first-innings lead of only 33 runs. Ajit Agarkar took six for 42 in the second innings, to help India bowl Australia out for 196 and leave India with 230 to get with a day-and-a-half of the Test match left. Dravid was once again the pillar of the Indian batting line-up: he made an unbeaten 72 and hit the winning runs to lead India to a remarkable Test win. Photo: V.V.Krishnan
India had threatened to leave Australia after poor umpiring cost it the second Test match in Sydney. But, Anil Kumble and co. showed tremendous character to dust themselves off and walk into W. A. C. A, where no Asian team had won a Test match. India batted first and made a par score at the venue (330) with half-centuries from Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Led by R.P. Singh in the post-lunch session on day two, India bowled Australia out for 212, with Ishant Sharma removing Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke in identical fashion with deliveries that lifted from a length. India ensured that it didn’t loosen the grip on the Test match with another solid batting performance in the second innings. Virender Sehwag and Pathan, who was promoted to No. 3, made the 40s, but India was set back by Dravid, Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly falling cheaply and in quick succession. V.V.S. Laxman played a crucial innings to help India increase its second-innings lead. He made 79 and was involved in crucial partnerships with M.S. Dhoni and R.P. Singh to take India to 294 and an overall lead of 412. Australia offered more substance in its second innings, but Kumble’s proactive captaincy and the pressure of chasing in the fourth innings helped India become the first Asian team to win at W.A.C.A. Ishant’s battle WITH Ricky Ponting on the fourth morning was riveting to watch. The lanky Delhi pace posed uncomfortable questions for the Australian captain with his pace and ability to extract bounce from hitting the deck. He dismissed him for the second time in the Test match by once again inducing the outside edge, which was taken by Rahul Dravid at first slip. India had to overcome a stroke-filled innings from Michael Clarke and a strong lower-order resistance from Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark, but it ultimately won by 73 runs. Photo: Getty Images