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India’s tours of Australia in the 21st Century – A Brief Review

Rohit Sharma to be available for test series against Australia
Rohit will be available for the final three Tests of the series. (Image Source: ICC Twitter)

Team India will don the blue jersey after resisting a waiting period of over eight months when they touch down in Australia later this month. The full-fledged tour is set to announce its dawn on 27th of November with the limited-over leg played at SCG and both the teams are roaring in an attempt to renew their rivalry in the down under series.

Australia have played their last match against New Zealand in SCG before the pandemic reigned on every possible affair. India is set to play 3 ODI’s , 3 T20I’s and 4 mouthwatering test against the hosts which is going to deliver a promising carnival for all cricket admirers. India’s tour of Australia has become a modern tale in terms of rivalry. Let’s recall some events which never fails to resonate with enthusiasm and making us desperate in witnessing such tournaments.

India’s Tour of Australia 2003-04 (Result: Draw)

Current Team India’s coach Ravi Shastri has already deemed this tour victory as bigger feat than India securing its first ever ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983. Let’s break it down and see is that statement worth the hype. To start with India has retained the BG trophy in Australia for the first time in their soil and Saurav Ganguly was the man in charge during that excursion. Indian bowlers flicked away Aussies batting lineup that series which included the likes of Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist.

One can hardly spot someone who doesn’t know on the infamous 2nd , Adelaide oval test when the two pillars of Indian test stood tall in the first innings by giving a thunderous reply to the Aussies for their mammoth 556 in the first innings while Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman both
scored a ton to hand a meagre 23 run-lead to the hosts. In the boxing day or in the 3 rd test Ricky Ponting potrayed his heroics to hand the host a comfortable 9wicket victory and the last match was a draw which means India had the last laugh as they have retained the BG trophy in their soil.

India’s Tour of Australia 2007-08 (Result: Australia Won)

That era has tailored one of the fiercest individual player battle one being the face-off between the little master and Brett Lee. The tour began on the boxing day and the hosts strolled for a victory with a 337 run margin and then comes the infamous 2 nd test from SCG when Ricky Ponting had put himself in the shoes of umpire and had disputations with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar over the same issue alongside the monkey gate scandal which involved Harbhajan and Former Rugby player Andrew Symonds in one of the most heated tours in the recent
cricketing times.

Sachin Tendulkar has also mentioned in his Auto-biography that if Harbhajan was banned for some alleged reasons they would even go to the extent of boycotting the tour. After an exhilarating second test, India were 2-0 down in the series and Australia was
incidentally were on a 16 match unbeaten streak and hoping to get their 17th . India had
previously halted the same run back in Kolkata in 2001.

India’s Tour of Australia 2011-12 (Result: Australia Won)

It’s a known fact that India had India were marching on a victory roll by becoming the first team to win a world cup on home soil. They encountered a stint when they travelled to Australia after being whitewashed by England 4-0 in England. India’s performance in the first test was much more matured compared to that of disastrous portrayal in UK. This series had given hope for every Indian in the form of Virat Kohli as a perfect replacement who has the capability to replicate his heroics for the next 20 years of time.

Arguably we could name it as Virat Kohli vs Australia rather than an Aus-Ind affair as only his name was appearing in the scoring charts and he was the leading run Scorer for India in that tour. Things went even more hostile when Virat Kohli rifted with the Australian Crowd at SCG. The crowd went overboard with their celebrations and hurled abusive words at the current Indian skipper.

Kohli replied back at them by showing his middle finger and was later fined 50 percent of his match fees. Kohli admitted it as wrongdoing on his part, but also mentioned that it’s hard to hold oneself back to abuses directed at one’s mother and sister.

India’s Tour of Australia 2014 (Result: Australia Won):

Team Indian selectors dared to travel to Australia with a young squad this time as M.S Dhoni had entirely taken the responsibility to overhaul the dynamics with young blood. The average age of the squad was under 25. Also Steve Smith had announced his arrival to the cricketing fraternity as a world-class batsman from a leg-spinning background by scoring ample 769 runs in 4 test matches and also by etching his name on the player of the series.

David Warner was the man in focus in controversial terms as he assured to lock horns with Rohit Sharma and confronted him and urged Rohit to speak in English and David warner’s 50 percent of the match fee went in vain for this act in the ODI Tri-Series. Later David had a
showdown against the pacer Umesh Yadav when he yelled Come On! Onto David Warner but his celebration was short-lived as the decision was revered as Umesh has delivered the ball over the line and David warner did not dare to reckon for a second to mock him back by Yelling
Come on a sarcastic note.

Australia had eventually wrapped up the series 2-0 and to mention further MS Dhoni had left the Red-Ball captaincy midway to Virat Kohli in 2015.

India’s Tour of Australia 2018 (Result: India Won):

India made history by rattling Australia in their Home soil for the first time in history. Bad light and rain robbed a 3-1 victory in favor of India to a bitter 2-1 victory. Pujara had set the fire by scoring a ton in Adelaide and help to draw the first blood. India went with a wrong playing 11 to Perth similar to what they have done in Lords earlier in the same year and made a platform for Aussies to comeback and they have duly done so to level 1-1.

The hardest thing to find someone who has no knowledge on the infamous Banter ft. Rishabh Pant and Tim Paine. Pant was arguably the first Indian to be at par with Aussies in terms of sledging and backfiring to the rants and rifts and yet it was a commendable effort from the wicketkeeper.

The babysitting banter topped the internet chartbuster and also helped Time Paine’s wife earn as many 35,000 overnight. Paine and Rohit Sharma were engaged with the give and take for IPL agreements and six-hitting capacities, while Pant reminded the whole Australian
group that there was just a single Pujara.

India will face off Australia with the first ever day and night test match against Australia when they lock horns for the first of four tests in Adelaide. It’s a bitter-Sweet affair for the skipper as he will leave Australia after the first test to cherish the birth of his baby which will keep him away from the national duty being the bitter phase of it.

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