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India v Australia flashback: Famous Indian Test victories, part two


Jamie Alter,Cricketnext
Feb 20, 2013 at 02:17pm IST

From Laxman's epic 281 to Dravid's Adelaide marathon and a one-wicket Mohali thriller, we take a look at some of India's most memorable defeats of Australia in Test cricket.

An epic at Eden Gardens

This match is the stuff of legend. India down 0-1 in the series, bowled out for 171 in reply to Australia's 445, forced to follow on ... and then it all turned very, very special. The hero for India was VVS Laxman, whose 83-ball 59 from No. 6 inspired the move to send him in at No. 3 when India batted a second time on the third day. Laxman finished the day not out on 109 and with Rahul Dravid (180) batted the entire fourth day while adding 335; the eventual stand of 376 broke a series of records and took India to 589 for 4.

India v Aus flashback: Famous Indian Test victories, part 2

VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid forged an epic partnership of 376 to turn around the Kolkata Test of 2001 and set India on course for an unforgettable win. (Getty Images)

Laxman batted his way to a marathon 281, the highest Test score by an Indian and one that changed the tone of the match. Sourav Ganguly's declaration with a lead of 383 set Australia 75 overs to bat out a draw; Harbhajan Singh - whose first-innings 7 for 123 on day one included the first hat-trick by an Indian in Tests - had other ideas and took six wickets to bowl India to an epic win.

A Chennai classic

The stage was set for a gripping final Test at a historic venue and what transpired over five unforgettable days added to many terming the 2000-01 series as the best played in India ever. Matthew Hayden continued his impressive form with a sweep-filled maiden double-century but Harbhajan collected 7 for 133 to keep the tourists to 391. In India's reply, Sachin Tendulkar scored a superb 126 and put on 169 with Dravid as India managed a lead of 110. In Australia's second innings Mark Waugh scored 57 while adding 100 with Justin Langer and brother Steve as Australia battled into the fifth day on 241 for 7. Harbhajan took the last six Australian wickets for 15 runs in 17.1 overs to finish with a career-best 8 for 84; that set India a target of 155. Australia chipped away at India's batting and recued the hosts to 135 for 7, raising hopes of a famous series-clinching victory late on day five. India lost their eighth wicket at 151 but Sameer Dighe and Harbhajan kept their nerves to seal a thrilling two-wicket win that gave India the series.

Dravid conquers Adelaide

Adelaide 2004 will be Dravid's match. It was here that Dravid scripted an epic 223 in India's first innings, putting on 303 with Laxman after Ricky Ponting's 242 carried the hosts to 556, and hit the winnings runs with a cut through the off side before pumping his fists and kissing his India cap. Ajit Agarkar's unexpected six-wicket haul on the fourth afternoon set up a target of 230; India started the fifth day's play resuming their first innings at 37 for 0 but a couple of wickets left India at 79 for 2.

Post-lunch, Tendulkar and Ganguly departed to leave India 170 for 4, with victory still 60 runs away. Laxman and Dravid again combined for a fine partnership, and once the former fell nine runs short there was no doubt as to who would win. With that shot from Dravid, India clinched their first Test win in Australia for 22 years.

Madness in Mumbai

The series had been lost by the time the final Test began at the Wankhede Stadium - this was the final frontier conquer conquered - but it ended with a madcap three days of cricket on a minefield of a pitch. India were skittled for 104 but hit back through Anil Kumble and Murali Kartik to get Australia for 203. Tendulkar and Laxman scripted fifties of immense focus before Michael Clarke, in his fourth Test, produced amazing figures of 6 for 9 in 6.2 overs as India subsided for 205 on day three. Set 107 to win, Australia crashed to 93 before the day was over with Harbhajan and Kartik pulling off an unbelievable 13-run win.

India show heart at the WACA

Following a walloping at the MCG and the infamous SCG defeat which was married by the Monkeygate controversy, India bounced back to win the third Test at the WACA at Perth, traditionally a pace-filled and bouncy pitch. This Test will be remembered for Ishant Sharma's murderous spell to Ponting on the fourth morning and Irfan Pathan's all-round show as India halted Australia's run of 16 consecutive wins. Australia were set a target of 413 and ended up 72 runs short India's inspired bowlers turned in a fine performance. It prompted Kumble to term the success, after 124 Tests in nearly 18 years, as his "best win ever".

India reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

India went into the fourth and final Test at Nagpur in November 2008 with a 1-0 advantage, and duly proceeded to beat Australia by 172 runs to win back the series trophy. Tendulkar scored a fine 109 to carry India to 441 even as the debutant offspinner Jason Krejza took 8 for 215 from 43.5 overs; Harbhajan became the third Indian bowler to 300 Test wickets as India took the first-innings lead; Ganguly followed 85 in his penultimate innings with a first-ball duck in his last; and the match ended with MS Dhoni handing over the captaincy to Ganguly during the final passage of the Test. Fittingly, it was exactly eight years to the day that Ganguly began his tenure as captain in 2000.

Laxman and Ojha steal a humdinger

The first Test of the 2010 tour began with India scrapping to a one-wicket win at Mohali. The man to cause Australia more anguish? None other than Laxman, who played a decisive role in the narrow win while padding 81 for the ninth wicket with Ishant Sharma. At 124 for 8, chasing 216, it looked all over for India but Laxman proved immovable. Batting a stiff back that forced him to bat with a runner, Laxman defied all that came his way and found remarkable help from Ishant (31) and Pragyan Ojha (5 not out). "These situations get the best out of me," was Laxman's reply when asked about his work after another under-pressure classic.

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