From Eden Gardens to Perth - India’s greatest Test victories

While V.V.S Laxman and Rahul Dravid scripted a historic Test win at the Eden Gardens, stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar and G. Viswanath have their share too.

A famous victory: Kapil Dev rushes towards an ecstatic Dilip Vengsarkar after dismissing Jim Higgs in Melbourne on February 11, 1981.   -  AP

India made its debut in Test cricket in the summer of 1932 at Lord’s with a one-off Test against England, and secured its first victory only 20 years later, also against England, in Chennai.

In 542 matches played so far, it has won 157, lost 167 and drawn 217 Tests.

Sportstar takes a look at India’s 10 greatest Test wins.

India vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001: It was India’s most astounding comeback in a Test match. It was the second instance of a team going on to win the Test after following on, and it halted Australia’s winning streak after 16 matches. Three years ago, reflecting on that defeat, Steve Waugh told cricket.com.au he had no regrets on his decision to force India to follow on in sultry Kolkata.

As it turned out, V. V. S. Laxman scored a memorable 281 and Rahul Dravid scored 180 as India piled on the runs in the second dig. The victory was secured on the final day.

West Indies vs India, Trinidad, 1976: Sunil Gavaskar and G. Viswanath starred in one of India’s most memorable Test wins in the Caribbean. The two batsmen scored centuries to help India chase down the target of 403 for the loss of four wickets. It remains India’s highest fourth-innings chase to win a Test, and so far the third-highest among all teams.

England vs India, The Oval, 1971: Leg-spinner Bhagwat Chandrasekhar took six wickets in the second innings to precipitate England’s collapse in the second innings, in the third Test of a three-match series. England was bowled out for 101, and India chased down the required 174 for the loss of six wickets.

Ajit Wadekar, the Indian captain, was asleep in the dressing room when the target was reached. The victory got India its first Test series win in England.

India vs England, Chennai, 1952: It was India’s first-ever Test win, and a mighty one, too. The star? Vinoo Mankad, who took 12 wickets with his left-arm spin. Opener Pankaj Roy and middle-order batsman Polly Umrigar scored centuries.

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Australia vs India, Adelaide, 2003: Rahul Dravid’s finest hour. He scored a double-century in the first innings and an unbeaten half-century in the second as India defeated Australia by four wickets. This was after Australia had piled on 523 in the first innings, thanks to Ricky Ponting’s double ton.

Ajit Agarkar shone in the victory, too, taking six wickets in the second innings to help dismiss Australia for 196 in the second innings.

Sachin Tendulkar lets out a roar after steering India to victory against England in Chennai, on December 15, 2008. - K. PICHUMANI

 

India vs Pakistan, Delhi, 1999: Anil Kumble took all 10 wickets in the second innings as India defeated Pakistan by 212 runs. Kumble’s feat made him only the second bowler, after Jim Laker, to take all 10 wickets in an innings. He finished with 14 in the match.

India vs England, Chennai, 2008: Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten century helped India chase down 387 in the second innings. Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir scored half-centuries. Tendulkar dedicated the win to the victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbai.

Australia vs India, Perth, 2008: India picked itself up after a tense Test in Sydney to defeat Australia by 72 runs in Perth. Irfan Pathan was the player of the match for his all-round performance but also valuable was Laxman’s 79 in the second innings.

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Australia vs India, Melbourne, 1981: India’s rare Test win in Australia. Kapil Dev took five wickets in the second innings as Australia was bowled out for 83 in pursuit of its target of 143. It was a come-from-behind victory as India had a first-innings deficit of 182 runs. For his century in the first innings, G. Viswanath was the player of the match.

India vs Australia, Mohali, 2010: India sneaked home by one wicket in a tight contest. Laxman rallied with the tail and in the company of No. 11 Pragyan Ojha, took India across the line. He finished with an unbeaten 73.

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