Gundappa Viswanath – An Indian Cricket Legend

gundappa-viswanath-an-indian-cricket-legend

Gundappa Viswanath who was born on February 12, 1949, was one of the batting mainstays for India during the ’70s. An artistic batsman, ‘Vishy’ as he was often called was known for his sportsman spirit and calm nature on and off the field. 


Vishy was also a classical batsman for India who has many memorable innings for India played in extremely difficult conditions. The ‘Bob Taylor Recalled’ incident during the 1980 Jubilee test match was one of the most talked about incident of that era and a great illustration of Viswanath’s honesty and the spirit with which he used to play the game.

gundappa-viswanath-an-indian-cricket-legend
Gundappa Viswanath Calling Bob Taylor (Image- Getty Images)

Viswanath started very early and despite not having a formal coaching and a short stature came up the ranks pretty quickly through age-group cricket and Ranji Trophy for Karnataka.

Gundappa Viswanath didn’t have a great debut to start with. During the test against Australia at Kanpur in 1969, He scored a duck in the first innings. But the skipper, Tiger Pataudi showed complete faith on Vishy.  

Tiger told him, “Relax, don’t worry, you’ll get a hundred in the second innings.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Viswanath scored 137 runs in the second innings, a knock crafted with 25 boundaries. Thus he became the first cricketer to score a duck and a century on test match debut.

Gundappa ‘Winner’ Viswanath

Gundappa Viswanath from his debut match went on to become the lucky mascot for India. Whenever he scored a century, India never lost any match. His maiden Test ended in a draw with the remaining 13 where he hit a hundred resulted in Indian wins. Viswanath always rose to the most difficult situations. He was particularly brilliant against the powerhouses of the 1970s, Australia and the West Indies. He had a batting average of over 50 against both the giants.

One of his famous knocks came against West Indies In 1976 in Trinidad. India successfully chased a target of 403. Gavaskar set the tone with 102 but it was Gunwapa Viswanath’s 112 that helped India to chase the score. One year back his well crafted 97 against West Indies in Madras was yet another example of his master class. In India’s total run 190, Vishy’s contribution was 97 and that knock came against the bowling attack containing Andy Roberts. It didn’t only help India to win the match, it was also acknowledged by Wisden.

The Gentleman

Above all his greatness on the 22yards, the fans always remember Vishy for his sportsmanship. He captained India in two matches and one of the matches was the Golden Jubilee Test against England in 1979-80. The Indian captain was fielding at first slip and Boy Taylor was on the strike.  A catch behind the wicket, off Kapil Dev, was given out by the umpire Hanumantha Rao. Taylor was hesitant. So was Vishy.

The Indian skipper was certain that there was something wrong. There had been no contact and persuaded the umpire to change his decision. Calling back Bob Taylor meant taking a huge risk for his own side. But to Vishy, it was always the spirit of the game ahead of anything else. Recalling the incident Gundappa Viswanath never took the credit and explained how his colleagues were influential behind the same.

“ I didn’t call him back on my own. The close-in fielders were looking at Bob. They asked me, ‘Is he out?’ I said no, certainly not. Then they said why don’t you call him back… so I went up to Hanumantha Rao, the umpire, and said, ‘Sir, I am withdrawing the appeal.’

The Teammate & Friend

As a cricketer, Gundappa Viswanath is easily one of the best test batsmen that India has ever produced. Even the little master Sunil Gavaskar went on record to certify him as the greatest. Gavaskar said,

“I have seen situations when we all struggled against the opposition,  but then Vishy would score off the good deliveries. The rest of us, we thought we could keep out the good balls and score off the bad ones. But Vishy, he had four-five strokes to the good balls that were bowled to him.”

Gundappa Viswanath and Sunil Gavaskar shared a great bond. They were so close that it went beyond friendship and Vishy married Sunny’s sister Kavita. Interestingly, when Gavaskar became a father, he named his son ‘Rohan Jaivishwa’ after three of his favorite players – West Indian Rohan Kanhai, Indian greats ML Jaisimha and Viswanath.

Also Read: Gavaskar hits century in each inning, thrice

The Test Specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara

The Test Specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara turns 31 today. Since his debut in 2010 Pujara has proved his worth as a test specialist. 


Chesteshwar Pujara solid technique is perfectly suited for the longer format of the game. By now it has been evident that Pujara is not a ‘good’ limited over batsman but his ability to deliver longer innings in test is often compared to ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid.

Pujara (Image- Reuters)

Cheteshwar Pujara plays for Saurashtra in Ranji. In February 2017 he scored 1605 runs in first class to set a new record for the most runs by an Indian in a first-class season. He surpassed Chandu Borde’s 1604 in 1964-65. In the same year, he also broke the record for the most first-class double hundreds by an Indian when he crossed Vijay Merchant’s 11 double centuries and scored one more. He scored 48 centuries and 50 half centuries in his 185 first-class matches. His impressive average of 54.50 and the total of 14552 showed his class and stamina as a batsman.

What Makes Cheteshwar Pujara Dependable?

In recent times whenever the team yielded the right-handed batter came to rescue. The number 3 position is test cricket is arguably kept for the most dependable bat of the team. Cheteshwar Pujara is proving every bit of the theory correct. But it didn’t happen overnight. In fact, his inclusion in the team has been often questioned and Pujara rose to every occasion to shut his critics.

His last few test performances have made him a regular member of men in blue. Numbers show why Virat Kohli depends on him at Number 3 position.  Virat Kohli became the first Asian captain to win tests in Australia, South Africa, and England and he always needed one Cheteshwar Pujara to craft the wins.

It was during the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka Pujara came back to the squad after 8 months and scored 145.  He helped India to put a total of 312 and eventually win the match. On an extremely tough pitch in Johannesburg, South Africa when the Indian team was all out for 187 runs, Pujara contributed a half-century. In England when the skipper played the role of an anchor, Pujara gave the support team required. In the third test at Nottingham, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 72 in the second innings that helped India set a mammoth target of 521 runs. India went on to win the match comfortably.

Last but certainly not the least, Cheteshwar Pujara was the main man in the batting line up that India could win their first test series on Australian soil. Player of the tournament Chesteswar Pujara scored 521 runs in the four-Test series. While scoring these runs he surpassed Rahul Dravid in terms of facing the most number of balls by an Indian in a test series in Australia. Pujara faced 1258 balls and crossed Dravid’s 1203 balls in 2003-04 series, Virat Kohli’s 1,093 balls in 2014-15 and Sunil Gavaskar’s 1,032 balls in 1977-78. He also surpassed England legend Herbert Sutcliffe who faced 1237 balls in the 1928-29 Ashes. This stat in recently concluded series in Australia truly shows why you can look up to Pujara whenever the team needs someone.

Following the footsteps of Rahul Dravid is not easy. But with a total of 5426 runs at an average of 51.18 in just 68 test matches Pujara is showing why he is the right successor of Dravid’s genre. The aura Rahul Dravid created with his calmness and patience, Pujara is doing the same to the current Indian cricket fans. Whenever India lost quick wickets and Dravid walked in, the sense of dependency made his fans faithful. Fans knew Dravid was there, and now fans believe Cheteshwar Pujara will be there.

Horace Dennis Smith- The Birthday Boy

Horace Dennis Smith- The Birthday Boy

Horace Dennis Smith, a New Zealand fast bowler who was born on 8th January 1913 has a unique record in his name.


Horace Dennis Smith was a right arm medium fast bowler from New Zealand debuted in test in 1933 against England at the age of 20. Herbert Sutcliffe was already sent back to the pavilion by Ted Badcock at the very first ball of the match. Then Smith came to bowl the first over of his test career. His first delivery cut back to hit the middle and leg stumps. Eddie Paynter was bowled at the first ball of second over and England were 4 for 2. It might have been three wickets down for England soon and Walter Hammond was dropped at slip in the first over. Then he went on to make a terrific 227 to put a mammoth score of 560 for England.

 

Incidentally, Smith became the tenth bowler in this history of test cricket to a wicket with his first ball. It became the only wicket of his entire test career that consisted of one test match.  After conceding 113 runs in 20 overs and not taking another wicket, Smith was named the twelfth man in the next test match and was never called back again for another test. Smith became the second bowler from New Zealand to have added such record against his name. The first one was Matt Henderson. He also played his single test match against England in 1930. His first wicket was Eddie Dawson in the first ball of his career. The one down batsman Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji became the second and last wicket of Henderson’s career. Henderson and Smith had one more similarity. While both of them took wickets of one of the openers in their respective maiden test matches, Ted Badcock took the other opener out in both the matches.

Smith played 11 matches in first-class cricket. He made his debut at a very young age of 18 for Otago. In Plunket shield in 1932-33, he took seven wickets at 14.00. With a highest score of 52, he also batted well to add 147 runs for Otago. His opening partner in his only test, Ted Badcock was his teammate in Otago team and Smith was replaced by another Otago colleague Jack Dunning in New Zealand test cricket team. He took a transfer to Canterbury for the 1933-34 season but his stunt for Otago was more effective. He played six times for Otago and four for Canterbury and took seventeen wickets at 33.52 and scored 404 runs with an average of 22.44. Smith stopped playing first-class cricket too after turning 21.

There are twenty bowlers till date in the history of test cricket who have taken the first wicket with the first ball of their career. But there are only two who have failed to make it to the second and of them is Horace Dennis Smith. Another one is Hardus Viljoen from South Africa. Hardus played his first and only test match till date in 2016 and like Smith, he also played it against England. Since he is still very much active in the cricket circuit, we can hope for his test come back which will eventually make Smith the lone bearer of such record.

 

7th Jan- Important Day For Indian Test Cricket

Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy

Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy are two legendary names in the early days of Indian cricket. Vinoo is still considered to be one of the finest all-rounders produced by India. In his 44 tests, he made 2109 runs and 162 wickets. 


At one point Vinoo Mankad held the records for both highest test score and best bowling in an innings by an Indian. On the other hand, Pankaj Roy was one of the most successful openers for India in those days and scored 2442 runs with 5 test centuries.

 

Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy first time opened for India in the third test match of 1951-52 test series against England at Eden Gardens. They have added 72 and 103 not out as a pair and Indian fans hoped that the opening problem might have been resolved for good. However, they could not replicate this success in the next few test matches and selectors kept experimenting with various opening partners.

When New Zealand came to India to play a five test series Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy opened in the first test but Pankaj scored a duck. India tried three different opening combinations in next three test matches and again chose Mankad and Roy for the fifth test at Corporation Stadium in Chennai (then Madras). Indians were already leading 1-0 in the series.

On 6th Jan, Indian captain Polly Umrigar won the toss and put his openers in. With an easy bowling line up to handle both Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy kept batting. Both of them were not in their fluid best but kept accumulating runs. Both of them reached their hundreds post tea and India finished the day with 234 for the loss of no wicket.

Next day, on 7th Jan, they started from where they left and kept adding runs. In the way, they passed quite a few records to set their own records. Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy overtook the highest partnership by an Indian pair in First-Class. The record was 293 runs, scored between Mankad and Vijay Merchant against Sussex in 1946. The then world record of first wicket partnership of 359 between England’s Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook was also broken. Vinoo Mankad reached his second double hundred of the series and became only the third person after Don Bradman and Wally Hammond to achieve the record of scoring two double hundred in a series.

Once India passed 400, Pankaj looked to score quickly and in pursuit of quick runs, he was bowled by leg-spinner Matt Poore. He scored 173 and the partnership total was 413. Mankad went on to score 231, his highest test score which remained the highest test score by an Indian till Sunil Gavaskar broke this record with his 236. India won the test by an inning and the series with 2-0 result.

For the next 50 years, no other opening pair could add 400 runs in partnership. In 2006, another Indian pair, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid came very close to break the record against Pakistan in Lahore. In a high scoring draw, they added 410 before Sehwag nicked to the wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal. The record was eventually broken by the South African opening pair of Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie in 2008 when they added 415 against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

 

When Fanie de Villiers Snatched Victory From Australia

When Fanie de Villiers Snatched Victory From Australia

South Africa was one of the strongest teams during the late 1960s. In the famous home series against Bill Lawry’s Australia in 1970, South Africa thrashed them 4-0 thanks to some notable performance from Graeme Pollock, Peter Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter, some of the best players in the world at that time. But then the things turned political and South Africa was banned from participating in international cricket because of the government policy of apartheid. Hence the return series was only possible in 1993-94, once South Africa are back from their ban. It was a well-anticipated series which presented one of the most dramatic test matches in the history of the game. And the climax was played on 6th January 1994.

But the series started with a rain-affected drawn Boxing Day test match in Melbourne. As per traditions, the teams moved to Sydney to play the New Year test match. On 2nd Jan, South African captain Kepler Wessels won the toss and decided to bat first. Andrew Hudson went early but Garry Kirsten and Hansie Cronje added 109 runs in the second wicket. But once Cronje was gone Shane Warne ran through the South African middle and lower order to finish with 7 for 56. South Africa lost their last 9 wickets for just 59 runs and was all out for 169.

Fanie de Villiers 1994
Image Credit: @Getty Images

Michael Slater led the way for Australia with an uncharacteristic, subdued 92 and was supported by the Senior Pro and captain Allan Border as well as by a young Damien Martin. Australia scored 292 in the first innings and took a lead of 123 runs. For South Africa, their fast bowlers Allan Donald and Fanie de Villiers both finished with four wickets each.

South African second innings started in the same fashion with Hudson leaving early and Kirsten and Cronje playing a good partnership. But this time there were more support from the middle order, specially Jonty Rhodes who added key runs first with the wicket-keeper Dave Richardson and later added valuable 36 runs in the 10th wicket with Donald. He remained unbeaten for 76. Warne got another 5 wicket haul to finish with 12 wickets in the match and was supported by McDermott.

 

Also Read: BRADMAN, FLASHBACK TO MASTERCLASS OF THE BEST EVER

 

Australia started their chase of 117 runs in the evening session on the 4th day. Slater went early, followed by Boon, night-watchman Tim May and Mark Taylor with only 56 runs on board, all 4 wickets were taken by de Villiers. On 6th Jan, South Africa had a dream start of day five when Donald bowled Border before adding a single run to his overnight score. Mark Waugh, Ian Healy, and Warne were out on quick succession and at 75 for 8 the match was evenly poised. Then Martin held one end up when the experienced McDermott focused on scoring runs. They took Australia only 7 runs away from victory when inexplicably Martin played a flashy cover drive which was grasped by Hudson and his 110 minutes vigil was over. McGrath came to bat with lots of tension and anticipation and although he added a run he could not manage de Villiers and gave him a return catch which was happily grabbed by him. It was his 6th wicket in that innings and gave him the Man-of-the-match award.

South Africa showed great character to win the test by just 5 runs. It was almost a hopeless position for them in day four but with their skill and belief, they were able to turn the table and get the result in their favor.

BRADMAN, FLASHBACK TO MASTERCLASS OF THE BEST EVER

FLASHBACK TO MASTERCLASS OF THE BEST EVER, DON BRADMAN

Don Bradman, Arguably the greatest batsman ever in the history of the game has played many great innings throughout his career. In his 52 Tests, Bradman has scored 29 centuries, 2 of them triple hundreds. 


Don Bradman played an innings of 299 not out and scored 9 more double centuries. But the one innings he played on this day during 1936-37 Ashes series is considered as his top-ranked innings as per Wisden, the holy book of cricket records.

 

Not only it was a magnificent exhibition of batting master class, the events leading to that test match and the ground conditions made this a superlative effort. It was Bradman’s first assignment as captain. Around a month before the series commenced Bradman faced a huge personal tragedy when His day-old baby son, the first child born to him and his wife Jessie, died. He battled his personal loss and returned to cricket two weeks later in a match against Victoria and score 192.

don bradman 1937
Image Credit: @Getty Images

However, the Test series started and brought new kind of problems. In those days of uncovered pitches, weather and ground conditions had a much bigger say in the results. Along with that Bradman’s early off-form did not help. England took a comfortable 2-0 lead in the series and Bradman’s scores were 38, 0, 0 and 82. In those sticky wickets, he never looked comfortable and Australian team was all out below hundred twice in the first two tests. There were also reports of dressing room unrest and Four Australian cricketers, McCabe, O’Reilly, Chuck Fleetwood-Smith and Leo O’Brien, were asked to appear before the Australian board. Lots of news regarding discontent of players regarding Bradman’s tactics are also out in the media.

Also Read: 5 Things To Know About Australia’s Best Ever All-Rounder Keith Miller

Among all these distractions and pressure, Bradman was preparing himself to make a strong comeback to form. He knew a good score should be round-the-corner. In the New Year test in Sydney, he started positively by winning the toss for the first time in test cricket. Under gloomy skies, he decided to bat but England pacers dominated. Bradman was out for 13, giving more air to speculations about his form and mindset. Australia reached 200 thanks to McCabe’s 63 and after significant rain, in a wet pitch, Bradman declared the first innings at 200 for 9. England was immediately under trouble and no one could stand up to Australian bowlers except Wally Hammond.

don bradman 1937
Image Credit: @Getty Images

Curiously, the pitch was still wet and Bradman did not want to bat hence he asked his bowlers to bowl defensively. On the other hand, Gubby Allen, the England skipper, thought a similar plan and declared the innings at 76 for 9. To counter the pitch condition Bradman sent his two bowlers Billy O’Reilly and Chuck Fleetwood-Smith to open. The tactic was somewhat successful and when Bradman came out to bat at the fall of the 5th wicket, Australia had 97 on board. He started carefully and spent a good amount of time to settle himself in a drying pitch. On 5th January, day four of the test match, he and Jack Fingleton started at 194 for 5 and added 249 more runs before Fingleton was out. Bradman was in his sublime best as he played the ball late with minimum risk. England bowlers faced difficulty to manage a wet ball and he took full advantage of this. He ended the day unbeaten on 248 and Australia on 500 for 6. He kept batting next day and when he got out after scoring 270 Australia’s lead had crossed 650. Finally, they got all out for 564 and coming out to bat England was bundled out for 323 giving Australia a win by 365 runs.

With that one innings, Bradman changed the fortune for himself as well as the entire team in that series. He followed up with 212 in Adelaide and 169 in Melbourne leading Australia to victory in both occasions and hence Australia became the first team to overcome a 0-2 deficit in a series to win 3-2.

 

Indian Test Moments @ Sydney Cricket Ground

Indian Test Moments @ Sydney

Along with MCG, Sydney Cricket Ground is another iconic cricket ground where team India have played at least one test match in all their previous tours.


With the 4th test of the series scheduled on 3rd January let’s look into some of the memorable test matches at SCG involving India.

 

India’ Only Win @Sydney, 1977-78

After their first ever test win on Australian soil at Melbourne, it was a fair chance for India to win the Sydney test match and level the series. This would set a perfect stage for the deciding test match at Adelaide. Thanks to the spin trio, Bedi, Chandrasekhar and Prasanna, Australia were bundled out for 131 runs in less than 50 overs in the first innings. Bedi took 3 wickets and Chandrasekhar took 4 wickets. The opening duo Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan added 97 runs for the first wicket. Then Gundappa Viswanath scored a steady 79 and with decent supports from Vengsarkar (48), Kirmani (42) and Ghavri( 64) Indian declared their first innings for 396 runs. Australia had to score at least 265 to save an innings defeat and once again Indian spinners were back in action as they took wickets in regular intervals. This time Prasanna was the highest wicket-taker and he took 4 wickets in the second innings. Despite a steady 68 from Cosier and patient 85 from Peter Toohey, the yellow army was bowled out for 263 runs which gifted India a win by an innings and two runs.

 

An Opportunity Missed, 2003-04

It was a deciding test match at Sydney as the series was already leveled. This match was the last test match of Steve Waugh so there was a huge hype around it. India chose to bat first and Sachin Tendulkar scored a brilliant double hundred.  With Sachin’s 241 and Laxman’s 178 India put a mammoth score of 705 runs in the first innings. Australia began strongly and the openers added 147 runs. Anil Kumble rose to the occasion and broke the partnership. He took next 3 wickets in regular intervals and never really gave a chance to Australia to settle on the crease. Australia still batted well and could score 474 runs with contribution from Langer and Katich. In the second innings, India added 211 runs and it is still debatable whether follow-on should have been imposed to Australia or not. On the final day, Kumble took 4 more wickets to end with 12 wickets in the match. Efforts from bowlers took India close to a memorable victory but with few lapses in the field, India missed the opportunity.

 

A Controversial Test, 2007-08

The New Year test at Sydney during India’s tour in 2007-08 was full of controversies and one of those games on Australian soil that Indian cricket would never forget because of some bittersweet moments. During first innings of India, Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds went into racism controversy that threatened to affect relations between the two countries. Sachin was in the ’80s when Harbhajan joined him. Harbhajan was irritated by the sledging of Andrew Symonds. And during a heated argument, Harbhajan Singh allegedly called Andrew Symonds, the only colored cricketer of Australian cricket team, ‘Monkey’.

‘Monkeygate’ incident was just the beginning of that controversial match. On the 5th day of the match, Australia declared just before the lunch and India had to chase 333 runs in just two sessions. So for India, the key was to survive. India lost 3 quick wickets with just 54 on the board. Laxman and Tendulkar both were sent back to the pavilion, although one of the dismissals was given on a No-ball. Dravid and Ganguly batted together for more than 15 overs to add 61 runs in the total. Then Dravid was given out caught-behind in the bowling of Symonds when his bat was nowhere close to the ball. Few overs later Ganguly was given out when Michael Clarke took a catch on slip but that catch was not at all conclusive. Instead of checking with the third umpire, umpire Mark Benson checked with Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain and declared out. India collapsed dramatically late on the day to give Australia a last-gasp win.

 

Indian Test Cricket – Melbourne Moments

Indian Test Cricket - Melbourne Moments

The annual test match in the great Melbourne Cricket Ground or simply the ‘G’ starting the day after Christmas has got an iconic status in recent years. Playing and performing in front of an exciting crowd of around 90,000 on a Boxing Day test match can be a daunting task but also a rewarding challenge. 


Indian test cricket has already some bittersweet memories in that ground. Virat & Co. will be surely charged up to make some more. memories and finish as the winning side. India won two test matches in Melbourne, once in 1977 and then in 1981. Whereas 1981 is the most memorable and most dramatic, we have some great memories of 2003-04 series as well.

 

1977: Magical Chandrasekhar & Classical Sunny

India had lost first two test matches of the series and as always the batting line up was struggling against pace bowling attack on Australian soil. After the early dismissals of two openers the middle order consisted of Amarnath, Vishwanath, Mankad, and Vengsarkar batted well to score 256 runs in the 1st innings. The challenge was to restrict Australia and get a considerable lead. Bhagwath Chandrasekhar took 6 wickets for just 52 runs to wrap Australia in just 213 runs.

India was ready to give a fight this time. Gavaskar came to bat with the urge to prove himself as he had scored a duck in the first innings. Then it was nothing short of a spectacular show. Gavaskar scored a brilliant century and with support from Mohinder Amarnath (72) and Gundappa Vishwanath (59) set a  target of 386 for Australia in the fourth innings. The Australian team was sent back to the pavilion for just 164 runs handing India their first ever win in Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground.  Sunil Gavaskar’s comeback innings and B. Chandrasekhar’s spell went into history and are applauded till date whenever we talk about Indian test moments in Australia.

Also Read: Indian Moments and Memories @WACA, Perth

1981: Controversy & Victory

Captained by Greg Chappell, Australia was a relatively young team with few stalwarts like Denis Lillee, Rodney Marsh and Greg himself. Indians were a more settled side Captained by Sunil Gavaskar with players like Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev and Dilip Doshi in their ranks.

Despite the young team, Australia had won the first test in Sydney by an innings and the second test in Adelaide had ended in a draw. It all came down to the 3rd test in Melbourne for India to try one last time to level the series.

On a grassy track, Chappell won the toss and put India to bat. It was a good toss to win as Lillee and Pasco got enough help from the pitch and got India all out for 237 before the end of the day. Only Viswanath could give a fight and score a brilliant 114 to give some respectability to India’s total. The next highest score was Kirmani’s 25. Australia scored 400 plus, thanks to a century from Allan Border and important contributions from Chappell and Walters. The lead was 182 runs for the Aussies.

Indians had a great start in the second innings and Gavaskar added 165 runs with his opening partner Chetan Chauhan when the controversy struck. Gavaskar was given out LBW against the bowling of Lillee by umpire Rex Whitehead. Gavaskar was sure that he hit the ball and was so furious that in protest he took Chauhan along with him off the field and it looked like he was going to concede the innings. But thanks to Indian team manager, Wing Commander SK Durrani’s intervention the match was continued. Among all this India could not capitalize on their good start and got all out for 324 giving a target of 143 to chase for Australians to win the series 2-0. The bigger headache for India was that the premier pace Bowler Kapil Dev was nursing a thigh strain and could not take the field. Also, Doshi was injured but he continued and along with Karsan Ghavri, gave India a great start on 4th day evening when Australia ended the day at 24 for the loss of 3 wickets including Chappell. Next day Kapil showed his mental strength and came to bowl after taking painkillers and injection. Even in that state Kapil produced some awesome spells and almost single-handedly finished the Australian batting line up with an amazing figure of 5 for 28. Australia could score only 83 and gave Indians one of their most memorable victories overseas.

 

2003-04: Sehwag’s 195

Another memorable test match in Melbourne was the Boxing Day test during India’s tour in 2003-04 series. Indian team were already leading the series 1-0, thanks to their great win in Adelaide. They won the toss in MCG and Captain Sourav Ganguly decided to bat. It was a great crowd on the Boxing Day and they were thoroughly entertained by a great knock by Virender Sehwag. Along with a patient Akash Chopra, Sehwag added 141 runs in the first wicket out of which Chopra scored 48. It was a wonderful batting exhibition from Sehwag who hit all around the ground and was scoring at a Strike rate around 80. After Chopra’s dismissal, Sehwag and Rahul Dravid added 137 runs and India looked in a strong position. However Australian captain Steve Waugh, playing his last series, got the wicket of Dravid and in the very next over Brett Lee got Tendulkar in the first ball. Sehwag continued to play in his normal flow but Indians got a serious blow when batting at 195, Sehwag tried to play Katich out of the park to reach his double hundred and got caught by Nathan Bracken. India lost their last 7 wickets for just 55 runs and after that great start only could score 366. Australia replied with a massive 558 which included a century from Matthew Hayden and a Double century from Ricky Ponting. It was Ponting’s second double century of the series after Adelaide and this time Australians were determined to not let it go in vain.

In the second innings, India could only score 286, with notable contributions from Dravid and Tendulkar. Sehwag scored just 11 after his first innings heroics. All the Australian bowlers were on target and Brad Williams finished with 4 wickets. With a target of 95 to chase Australia reach the target by losing just one wicket and fittingly both Hayden and Ponting were on the crease while the winning runs were scored. Although it was a losing cause, Sehwag’s Day-one 195 is considered to be one of the greatest knocks by Indians in Australian soil.

Indian Test Moments @ Adelaide Oval

Indian Test Moments @Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval is one of the most famous cricket grounds in the world and has hosted 76 test matches till date with 75% of those matches ending in a result. Australia won 40 of those 57 matches. The ground hosted its first ever test match in 1884. 


Adelaide Oval is the first ground in the world to have organized a day night test match between Australia and New Zealand in 2015. Over the years the venue famous for its heritage scoreboard has been part of many famous cricketing moments.

Also Read: Indians In Australia: Top 5 Test Batting Performances By Team India

India has played 11 test matches so far at this ground with a not so impressive record. India has won only once, lost seven and drawn three matches.  In those few appearances, Indian team have created moments that only numbers cannot justify.

 

When Vijay Hazare Stole the Show

vijay hazare PA photos
Vijay Hazare (Photo: PA Photos)

Vijay Hazare was one those Indian batsmen whom team looked up to during a crisis. During India’s first tour of Australia in 1948, India had lost the first and third test matches managing a draw in the second one when they appeared for the fourth at Adelaide Oval. Australia scored 674 runs and the cricket world was waiting to witness another surrender of the Indian side. Hazare came to bat with India 3 for 69 and scored 116 runs in the first innings against the devastating Ray Lindwall and Keith Millar. While following on he scored another ton (145) to become the first Indian to hit two centuries in both innings of a test match. Although India lost the match Hazare is still remembered for his amazing showcase in front of the Aussie crowd.  

Don Bradman went to on record to praise Hazare, “Hazare gave a display which ranks with one of the finest seen in this country…”

 

A Repeat of Eden 2001

2nd Test Australia v India Day Three
Rahul Dravid, Adelaide Test 2003 (Photo: Getty Images)

India was in a tricky situation with 85 for 4 on the board after Australia piled up 556 in the first innings of Adelaide Test, 2003. Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar were already sent back to the pavilion. As always the hope was on VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. When fans were waiting for another special inning from VVS Laxman against the yellow army after Eden 2001, Rahul Dravid took the lead role. He scored 233 and was well supported by Laxman who scored 148 and both of them managed to save the follow-on. In the second innings, Indian bowling attack made the most of the situation and Ajit Agarkar recorded his career best figure, 6 for 41. Australia could set a target of 233 in the second innings and with an, in form Dravid, it was an easy win for India thereafter. The wall scored unbeaten 72 runs to register the first and only test win of India in Adelaide Oval.

 

The Record Maker

Indians In Australia- Top 5 Test Batting Performances
Virat Kohli, Adelaide Test 2014 (Photo: Getty Images)

Virat Kohli got his maiden Test century during the 2012 Australia at Adelaide and since then he has been involved in a never-ending love saga with the ground.  When India team toured Australia in 2014 Virat Kohli became the most valuable batsman of the side. Due to an unfit Dhoni, Kohli got his first chance to captain India in a test match. He did not miss the golden opportunity and scored centuries in both the innings of the test match. The sheer elegance of his batting in both the innings proved why he earned the status of the most important batsman of the team. Especially in the second innings, Kohli led the team like a true leader with a classy 141 while chasing 364. The test match ended with India losing by a narrow margin of just 48 runs but Virat Kohli put his name in the record books for a number of records. 256 runs scored by him in that match is the highest for any player on captaincy debut and he also became the second captain and the first overseas player to score two hundred on captaincy debut. Overall he was the sixth overseas batsman scoring twin hundreds in a test match in Australia and second for India after Hazare. He also became only the fourth Indian to score hundred in both innings of a test match after Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar, and Rahul Dravid.

Also Read: India’s Test Tour To Australia: Top 5 Controversies

Nowadays Adelaide Oval is considered as one of most batting-friendly conditions in Australia and Indian team will be happy to start the test series in this venue. They will look to put the Aussies in the back foot from the very beginning when the test match will start from Thursday.

India’s Test Tour To Australia: Top 5 Controversies

India’s Test Tour To Australia: Top 5 Controversies

Indian team has reached Australia and is already playing the twenty 20 series. They will soon compete in the test series on and from 6th December. 


Since the first time India traveled to Australia to play test cricket, both teams faced many controversies that shook the cricket world from time to time. Whereas there are numbers of such infamous incidents, we are listing just five of them at the Australian soil.

 

1. Mankading

vinu mankad bill brown
Vinu Mankar & Bill Brown (Photo: Getty Images)

Just months after the independence Indian team led by Lala Amarnath went to Australia to face Don Bradman’s Australia for the very first time. During the second test of the tour at Sydney Indian all-rounder Vinu Mankad became a part of one never-ending controversy of world cricket that gave birth to a term called ‘Mankading’. The test ended in a draw but the way Australia lost the first wicket, it eventually became a saga. Mankad ran out Bill Brown when, in the act of delivering the ball, he held on to it and removed the bails with Brown well out of his crease. This was the second time he did the same with Brown. Earlier he had warned Brown but this time he didn’t wait before running him out. This act was termed as ‘Mankading’ and Vinu Mankad was criticized for this unsportsmanlike attitude.  This act of running out has been practiced on many occasions since then whereas many experts are against this like Sunil Gavaskar who thinks this should be scrapped from international cricket.

2. Walk Out

gavaskar and dennis lillee
Sunil Gavaskar and Dennis Lillee (Photo: The Sydney Morning Herald)

In the 1981 series between Australia and India, the Indian team was already under pressure after losing the first test at Sydney in three days and somehow managing a draw in the second one at Adelaide. During the third test match at Melbourne, Sunil Gavaskar was on 70 when a Dennis Lillee in-cutter caught the attention of umpire Rex Whitehead who was standing in just his third Test and raised the finger. Gavaskar stood in stock and protested as according to him the ball had touched his bat before hitting the pad. Rex already was in news for giving some poor decisions against Indian during the entire series. Lillee showed his happiness with some gestures and indecent words which fuelled Gavaskar further. On receiving a negative response from the umpire he walked out of the ground taking his partner Chetan Chowhan along with him. At the boundary line Indian team manager Shahid Durrani and the assistant manager, Bapu Nadkarni took initiative to calm the batsmen down. Chetan Chowhan returned to the ground to resume his innings. Not just the Australian media, but later the team managers also criticized this act by Gavaskar. Recently on many occasions, Gavaskar regretted his act of dissent at Melbourne.

Also ReadIndia Tour Of Australia | 2018-19

 

3. Shoulder Before Wicket

sachin tendulkar
Shoulder Before Wicket (Photo: ALLSPORT)

When a batsman doesn’t offer a shot and tackles the ball using the leg, the umpire gives the fielding side a certain amount of benefit believing that the ball would have hit the wicket and gives an LBW. During the 1999-2000 series in Australia, a similar leg before wicket was given against Sachin Tendulkar by the umpire Daryl Harper. But in this case, it was far from the leg before wicket. Tendulkar was ducking Glenn McGrath;’s delivery and the ball hit him at a far higher position. But Harper raised his finger during the test match at Adelaide. That dismissal became famous as shoulder before wicket. Later Harper went on saying that out of the decisions he gave, “I would like the world to forget is the Sachin one”. Sachin was out on 0 and India lost the match.

4. Monkeygate

Andrew-Symonds-and-Harbhajan-Singh
Andrew Symonds & Harbhajan Singh (Photo: Getty Images)

Ever since Sourav Ganguly made Steve Waugh wait during toss at Eden in 2001, the controversy became a regular part of India Australia battles on the crease. When India played against Australia at Sydney in 2008, the controversy reached a new feat. The cold war between India Australia became quite evident. It all began with some questionable umpiring decisions, and then Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds went into racism controversy that threatened to affect relations between the two countries. Sachin was in the ’80s when Harbhajan joined him. Harbhajan was irritated by the sledging of Andrew Symonds. Sachin asked Harbhajan not to react. After crossing his individual 50 during a heated argument Harbhajan Singh allegedly called Andrew Symonds, the only colored cricketer of Australian cricket team, ‘Monkey’. Post the match Harbhajan Singh was banned for three test matches. But after the hearing, the racism charge wasn’t proved and the ban was lifted. Harbhajan was charged 50% of the match fees.

5. “Only one team was playing cricket”

India Aus sydney Test 2008
The Controversial Sydney Test (Photo: Sportskeeda)

During the same test match infamous for monkeygate incident, the behavior of Australian cricket disappointed the whole cricket world. BCCI made an official complaint about incompetent umpiring. On the 5th day of the match, Australia declared just before the lunch giving India an improbable target of 333 runs in just over two sessions.  For India, the key was to survive. India lost 3 quick wickets including Laxman and Tendulkar with just 54 on the board, although one of those was on a No-ball. Dravid and Ganguly batted together for more than 15 overs to add 61 runs in the total. Then the umpiring reached its nadir. Dravid was given out caught-behind in the bowling of Symonds when his bat was nowhere close to the ball. Few overs later Ganguly was given out caught in the slip when the catch by Michael Clarke was not at all conclusive but instead of checking with the third umpire, umpire Mark Benson checked with Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain on the legality of the catch and gave out. India collapsed at the last moment and got all out with just 9 minutes of play remaining. Later in the post-match press session a visibly upset Indian captain Anil Kumble asked question on Australian team’s integrity and mentioned “Only one team was playing with the spirit of the game, that’s all I can say,” a Statement very close to what the Australian captain Bill Woodfull supposedly told Plum Warner, the England team manager, during the infamous Bodyline series.