As India and Australia prepare for the first Test in Adelaide to begin on December 9, here’s a look at five fantastic performances by Indian bowlers Down Under over the years.
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar (6 for 52 and 6 for 52): This was pretty muchChandrasekhar’s Test as he single-handedly ran through the Aussie line-up to seal victory for India. India batted first and were bowled out for 256. In response, the leggie claimed the wickets of Gary Cosier, Craig Serjeant, Bob Simpson and Steve Rixon among others, as Australia were cleaned up for 213. In the second innings, the Aussies were set 387 courtesy Sunil Gavaskar’s hundred. Chandrasekhar was at it again. He again claimed Cosier, Serjeant, Simpson and Nixon, and added the scalps of Peter Toohey and Alex Mann. Australia were rolled over for 164 as India registered their maiden Test win in Australia.
Kapil Dev (5 for 28): This was a sensational Test on many counts. India struggled in their first innings with the bat, and Australia gained a significant lead courtesy Allan Border’s hundred. This was also the match in which India’s bowlers were walking wounded. Also, Gavaskar had his infamous clash with Dennis Lillee in his game. Yet, India managed to recover and win the Test. The architect of the victory was Kapil Dev. In spite of an injury, he walked into bowl on the final day and, Australia, chasing merely 143 crumbled to 83. Kapil sent back Bruce Yardley, Border and Marsh before adding the tail.
Ajit Agarkar (6 for 41): In a match dominated by batsmen, Agarkar was the standout bowler. Australia batted first and posted 556 courtesy Ricky Ponting’s double ton. India replied with 523 as Rahul Dravid made 233. Out of nowhere, Agarkar came up with a sensational spell in the second innings to blow away the Aussies. He sent back Justin Langer, Ponting and Simon Katich, and dismissed the tail quickly as well. Set 230 to win, India got home courtesy Dravid, who remained unbeaten on 72.
Anil Kumble (8 for 141 and 4 for 138)
In Steve Waugh’s farewell Test, the Indian legend was the bowler who made the most impact. After India had posted a mammoth 705 for 7 declared, Australia responded with 474 courtesy tons by Justin Langer and Simon Katich. But, Kumble kept India alive picking wickets at regular intervals, and giving India a significant lead. India batted a second time round, and quickly fired 211 for 2. Defending 443, Kumble was again India’s best bowler with 4 for 138, but Steve Waugh’s 80 took them to safety.
RP Singh (4 for 68): Played under the shadow of Monkeygate, this was one memorable triumph for India. India batted first and posted 330. In response, the left-arm medium pacer sent back Mike Hussey, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee to play the major role in India bowling out the Aussies for 212. Singh chipped in with 30 as India batted a second time round, and also picked up the scalps of Hussey and last-man Shaun Tait, as India registered a memorable win.
--By A Cricket Analyst