India and Australia have met 11 times in all formats at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, with the hosts winning on five occasions. But when we narrow it down to just Tests, the men from ‘Down Under’ have done extremely well, winning two and drawing two games in a total of five.
Keeping in mind the upcoming second Test of the 2017 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, we look back at some of the most memorable moments in an India vs Australia Test at the ground.
Michael Kasprowicz fifer (1998)
Michael Kasprowicz was the architect of India’s downfall in the third and final Test of the 1998 series.
Mark Waugh’s excellent knock cancelled out Sachin Tendulkar’s 177, and the visitors finished only 24 runs behind India’s first innings score. The hosts lost three wickets in search of quick runs in the final session of Day 3, but the morning of Day 4 swung the match in Australia’s favour.
Kasprowicz removed Tendulkar with a sharp caught and bowled effort off a slower delivery. He bowled Mohammad Azharuddin with a sensational yorker, and came back later on to clean up the tail. The Queenslander finished with figures of 5/28, and India were bowled out for a mere 169 runs. Mark Taylor remained unbeaten in the 194 run-chase with a fantastic century, and the visitors finished the series with a consolation win.
Michael Clarke’s 151 on debut (2004)
Michael Clarke became the 17th player to make his Test debut at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, in the first Test of the 2004 series – and he made it a memorable one.
With Australia in a spot of bother at 149/4, all eyes were on the 23 year-old. Along with the pressure of a debut innings, the Liverpool-born was up against the likes of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in spin friendly conditions, in front of a lively crowd in excess of 30000. But neither the Indian bowlers nor their fans deterred the youngster.
His impeccable footwork, especially against the in-form Indian spinners, stood out. He often came down the track to negate the turn, and dismissed anything pitched short with ease. With Adam Gilchrist at the other end, he dominated the bowling in the latter periods of the day, and Australia finished on 316/5 at the end of Day 1. Clarke would go on to score his first Test century the next day and finished at 151, an innings which included 18 boundaries and 4 sixes. He became only the second batsman after Gordon Greenidge to score a century on debut in Bangalore.
The visitors posted a huge total of 474 in the first innings, which proved to be a heavy task for the Indian side, as they suffered a 217-run loss in the first test of the Border-Gavaskar series, which eventually ended in the visitor’s favour 2-1.
Zaheer-Harbhajan rescue act (2008)
Two of India’s finest bowlers, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh forged a much needed stance to rescue India in the first Test of the 2008 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia had the home side struggling at 232/7, thanks to Mitchell Johnson’s four wickets, and were looking at gaining a massive lead at the end of the first innings. But Harbhajan and Zaheer put together 80 runs for the eighth wicket – the highest in the innings, to get the home side past the 300-mark. Both players went on to register half-centuries – the off-spinner’s fifth and the pacer’s second. India were finally dismissed for 360, conceding a short lead of 70 runs. A solid performance in the second innings ensured India secured a draw on the final day, and later on, went on to win the series in the next three games 2-0.
Sachin Tendulkar’s 214…..
Australia gave India a scare in the first Test at Mohali in the 2010 series, but they were denied by their arch nemesis VVS Laxman. Winning the toss, Australia posted a competitive first innings score of 478, led by Marcus North’s fifth century. The visitors picked up the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid early in the final session of Day 2, but would have to wait 90.3 overs to get their third.
Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay added 308 runs for the third wicket, getting India just 132 runs shy of Australia’s first innings total. While Vijay brought up his maiden Test century in the process, the 37-year-old ensured his 49th century was a big one. He scored his sixth double century in Tests, his second against Australia. His innings, which included 22 boundaries and 2 sixes, helped India take a 17-run lead.
He followed it up with an unbeaten 53 in the second innings, leading India to a 7-wicket victory and sealing a clean sweep in the series.
…and Cheteshwar Pujara’s debut – the future #3 (2010)
While Tendulkar’s double hundred may have garnered the spotlight for the majority of this Test, the debut of a certain Saurashtra batsman was a significant moment in Indian cricket. After watching Murali Vijay and Tendulkar bat just three balls shy of 91 overs, Cheteshwar Pujara made his way to the crease. Unfortunately, his maiden innings lasted only three balls – a forward defence, a fabulous cover-drive, capped off with a short ball keeping low and getting adjudged LBW. A terrible end to what was a much awaited knock.
But the 22-year-old justified his reputation in the second innings by leading the 203 run-chase on Day 5. Like a teaser to a movie, Pujara was promoted up the order to #3 – a spot he would make his own in the future and showcased his stroke-play through seven boundaries in his knock of 72. As someone who was regarded as a possible substitute for Rahul Dravid once he bid farewell to the game, Pujara gave that hypothesis firm grounding.