Top 5 Test knocks by Australian batsmen against India in the 21st Century
Australian Cricket Team is set to begin their campaign in India on Thursday in Nagpur. The four-match Test series, which is also known as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, is one of the most exciting contests between the two giants of world cricket.
Currently, India is the trophy holder after beating Australia in their last campaign that took place down under. The victory is regarded as one of the finest journeys India has ever had over the years. Beating the Kangaroos at The Gabba, Brisbane shocked all the cricket fans from around the world.
Now, with the series right around the corner, let us take a look at some of the best Test knocks by the Australian batters against India to date. Here’s the list:
#5 Steve Smith – 192 runs in Melbourne
Australia’s run machine Steve Smith is widely regarded as one of the best Test players of all time. It was a series played in 2014-15 when India toured Australia after a crushing defeat against England. Steve Smith was the hero with his splendid performance throughout the series. He scored 769 runs in four Test matches with the help of a century in every match.
One such innings came in Melbourne when the right-hander scored a phenomenal 192 against India. It was an innings full of composure in front of a good bowling lineup. After batting first, Australia scored 530 runs including Smith’s 192 including 15 boundaries and two maximums. His running between the wickets during the innings was incredible and was much appreciated by everyone.
Team India, on the other hand, batted well with the help of Virat Kohli’s fine 169. India scored 465 in their first innings. The game was pretty much in the middle but some good batting from Shaun Marsh in the second innings kept it difficult for the visitors.
The hosts declared their second innings on 318 and gave India a target of 384 to chase. It was a tough ask and India decided to play safe in the end. Unfortunately, the match was MS Dhoni’s last appearance in Test cricket.
#4 Matthew Hayden – 203 runs in Chennai
Probably one of the finest openers of all time, Matthew Hayden had a series to remember when he arrived in India in 2001. Though India won the series due to Laxman and Harbhajan’s remarkable show, Hayden had a great time with the bat. The southpaw scored 549 runs in the series with 203 his best score which he scored in the third Test in Chennai.
It was a must-win game for Australia but they couldn’t finish on a high as the Kangaroos lost the battle by 2 wickets. Hayden’s double-ton was a positive thing for Australia but his performance was overshadowed by Bhajji who picked up 15 wickets in the match. While Hayden got the player of the match award, the Turbanator won the player of the series award.
#3 Ricky Ponting – 257 runs in Melbourne
Way back in the 2003-04 series against India, Ricky Ponting played one of the best knocks in Test cricket. The right-hander scored a magnificent 257 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of India’s best bowlers of that time. It was a much-needed victory for the hosts as they were down 0-1 in the series. Ponting hammered a double ton and took Australia’s total to 558. India already scored 366 in their first innings after batting first.
The bowlers did well in the second innings and bowled India out for just 286 runs, giving their side a target of just 95. The Kangaroos easily chased it down and level the series 1-1. The final match finished in a draw and the Indians spoiled the farewell of Steve Waugh by retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
#2 Michael Clarke – 329* runs in Sydney
The 2011-12 tour to Australia was one of the most forgettable series for India to date. They lost the battle 0-4 and not even a single chance was created throughout the series. Australia’s classic batsman Michael Clarke had one of the best memories from that series as he scored 329* in an innings. The right-hand elegant batsman scored 39 boundaries and one maximum for his splendid show.
India started poorly, getting out for just 191 in the first innings. In reply, the hosts scored 659/4 dec., thanks to Clarke’s triple hundred. Though there was some improvement in the batting from India in the second innings, that was not enough to take them out of danger. The hosts won the encounter by an innings and 68 runs in the end and Clarke was awarded the Man of the Match trophy.
#1 David Warner – 180 runs in Perth
What made this innings so special was the ground on which it was played. WACA, Perth was known to be one of the toughest pitches to bat on and opener David Warner smashed a terrific century there in the 2011-12 series. It was a low-scoring Test match with Australia winning the game by an innings and 37 runs.
None of the other batters from both teams could score runs and Warner was elegantly hitting the boundaries. India after batting first could only score 161 in their first innings. Australia, on the other hand, were all-out for 369, thanks to Warner’s scintillating ton. He scored five maximums in his innings and was the only one to hit sixes on that bouncy track.
MS Dhoni & Co. produced a similar performance in the next innings and were bowled out for 171, thus losing the match terribly. Warner undoubtedly deserved the player of the match award for his effort with the bat.