Vital Overseas Wins for India in Tests
Excellent overseas victories seem to be rare in the records of Indian cricket. Adelaide 2018 is a notable enhancement to the tiny Indian cricket club. As we appreciate the series point, let’s revisit a few significant overseas wins that brought glory to Indian Cricket.
With the team trailing by 0-1, the then captain Sourav Ganguly realised that India’s power was in the hands of the spinners, both at home and the overseas. He decided to gamble by playing Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble on a green wicket. To give his spinners a crack in the second innings, he elected to bat first. Rahul Dravid scored 148 runs, and both Ganguly and Tendulkar scored 128 and 193 respectively. India declared their first inning at the fall of the eighth wicket for the score of 628. Kumble and Harbhajan Singh took eleven wickets between them across two innings. India won the match by an innings and 46 runs.
India toured Australia in 2003, four years after their previous tour which they lost 0-3 to the hosts. However, this series was different and how. After drawing at the Gabba, India came to Adelaide with greater determination and grit. Australians put up a massive 556, thanks to the brilliant double century by Ricky Ponting, and India had an uphill task to achieve. However, one man made a huge difference – Rahul Dravid. His 233 along with Laxman’s 142 gave Indians a massive boost. India got all out for 523, trailing to the Australians by 33 runs. In the second Innings, a brilliant spell of 6/41 by Ajit Agarkar was the game changer. Australia got all out for 196 and India required 230 to win. India, by then, saw this as the opportunity to take the lead in the series. It was Rahul Dravid’s 72 and Sehwag’s 47 that India reached the target with four wickets to spare, making it the first win for India in Australian soil in 23 years. This win turned out to be the game changer in the series as India drew the series 1-1 down under, which was exceptional given the form of the Aussies then.
This match marked a significant comeback of Sourav Ganguly. Rahul Dravid led India in this series. This match was India’s first ever win in South Africa. Ganguly’s score of a gritty 51 in the first innings took India’s total to 249. Sreeshanth’s 5/40 restricted the Proteas to a paltry score of 84. In the second Innings, India scored 236 giving South Africa a target of 402. India knocked South Africa for 278, thus winning by 123 runs.
This test series was filled with few controversies over cricket; however, this test was one of the finest wins India had overseas. India trailed 0-2 in the series, and this test match was a turnaround that India needed desperately. In the first Innings, India put up a respectable total of 330 powered by the knocks of Rahul Dravid (93) and Sachin Tendulkar (71). Australia was bowled out by 212 on account of some brilliant bowling by RP Singh (4/68) and young Ishant Sharma (2/34), giving India a lead of 118. An excellent batting performance powered the second inning by Irfan Pathan (46) and VVS Laxman (79) that gave the Aussies a massive 413 to chase. India bowled them out for 360, on account of an overall incredible display of bowling.
After a wait of 28 years, India won the test match at the Mecca of Cricket in London! Overall performance by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the bat and the ball, a determinant century by Rahane, and an impressive 7/74 by Ishant Sharma gave India a victory at the Lords. India won this game by 95 runs and led the series with 1-0.
With the four South African pace bowlers rushing in, the Proteas did all they could to take the utmost advantage at home. The Proteas bowled out India for 187 runs and scored 194 to lead by little seven runs in the first innings. In the second inning, India managed only 247 runs and set the target of 241 runs. The South Africans were at 124 for 1 and looked at an easy win. Virat Kohli directed his troops, and with the aid of Mohammed Shami; who clinched five wickets for 28 runs, India snapped all ten wickets of with the final score of 177, winning the match by 63 runs.