India and Australia share fiery history on the cricket field. If it was dominance from either sides in the early years of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it is the closing gap in the quality of the two sides in the recent years that has fuelled the fire. With Australia’s tour of India set to begin for this calendar year, remembering what went down between the two teams is vital.
India have produced stunning series victories thrice in a row now to take the head-to-head advantage over the Australians.
The most interesting aspect remains that the last two wins have been away from home. India first breached the Australian fortress in 2019 with their first-ever series victory there. Then, they took it a notch higher by winning the series and breaching the fortress that was Gabba in 2021. However, while India’s feat in Australia is fresh, Australia have to go further back to remember their own away victory. They last won a series in India in 2004-05.
Over all, since the inception of this series in 1996, India have won nine, Australia five and drawn one. This time around too, Australia have a challenge and a half as they look to regain the title for the first time since 2015. India has won the last three series between the two teams and have not lost at home for more than a decade and have a record streak of winning 15 series.
Can Australia, who are keen on learning from the mistakes from the last few years, turn things around this time?
All Border-Gavaskar Trophy Series Results
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||1996/97||India||1-0 (1)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||1997/98||India||2-1 (3)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||1999/00||Australia||3-0 (3)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||2000/01||India||2-1 (3)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||2003/04||drawn||1-1 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||2004/05||Australia||2-1 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||2007/08||Australia||2-1 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||2008/09||India||2-0 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||2010/11||India||2-0 (2)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||2011/12||Australia||4-0 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||2012/13||India||4-0 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||2014/15||Australia||2-0 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (Australia in India)||2016/17||India||2-1 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||2018/19||India||2-1 (4)|
|Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India in Australia)||2020/21||India||2-1 (4)|
Here’s look at how the two sides fared when Australia toured India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy since 2000:
Australia Tour of India, 2000-01
India won the three-match series 2-1
India defeated Australia in the Test series, snapping their 16-match winning streak in Test matches, and it is regarded as one of their best series ever. The Sourav Ganguly-led Indian team miraculously recovered from a crushing 10-wicket loss to the foreigners in Mumbai to eventually win the series 2-1. In fact, the game in Kolkata has earned a reputation as one of the best games in sports history. India won by 171 runs in an incredible comeback after being forced to follow-on, being dismissed for 171. However, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman pulled off a heist to remember. In Chennai, where a tantalising decider awaited... the contest was a hard fought one. With figures of 7/133 in the first innings and 8/84 in the second, (Harbhajan) Singh was King. With 154 to defend, Steve Waugh’s Australia had history on their side. No team had chased over 125 to win a Test on this ground but Ganguly and Co in 41.1 overs nailed the chase down. The final moments also saw poetic justice being served as Harbhajan, the proud ‘taker’ of 32 wickets in the the series hit the winning runs.
Australia Tour of India, 2004-05
Australia won the four-match series 2-1
Australia had been waiting for a Test series win India for 35 years now. They won the first Test played at Bangalore comprehensively. The Indian batting order collapsed twice and they didn’t look at any point that they could have made a match out of it. After being 1-0 down in the series, the hosts had to start positively in Chennai, which they did. Anil Kumble also ended the possibility of a consecutive Aussie-dominated win with his seven-for but the blow of the Australian top-order collapse in the second innings was blunted by Damien Martyn’s century. India had to chase down 229 runs to win. However, the rain-marred match did not allow that possibility and the match was drawn. In the third Test at Nagpur, India had a dismal outing in the first innings, and just narrowly escaped a follow-on. Australia, then piled on 500 runs and India could barely muster 200 in reply. Australia had already clinched an unassailable lead in the series by then but India finished the series with a win in Mumbai. India had dropped a few key players. India triumphed by 13 runs. With only two full days being played, this Test is one of the shortest ever. Both the rain and the pitch contributed to the same.
Australia Tour of India, 2008-09
India won the four-match series 2-0
Even as Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey made centuries and Zaheer Khan picked up a five-wicket haul, the opening test in Bangalore ended in a draw following a match-saving effort from the Indian batters who were chasing 299 on the final day of play. The Mohali Test is significant for a variety of reasons. The Indians had delivered a brilliant all-around effort to defeat Australia by a record 320 runs, recording India’s biggest victory in Test match cricket outside of an innings victory. But also because Sachin Tendulkar became the highest run scorer in Test match history. Although the next match also ended in draw following a match-saving performance from Australia, it was a memorable one for India because they were being led by Anil Kumble in the Delhi Test following his Test retirement announcement. India were 1-0 up in the series and the final Test at Nagpur, which was also Sourav Ganguly’s swansong in Test cricket, was a see-saw but the hosts managed to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy after four years with a 172-run win.
Australia Tour of India, 2010-11
India won the two-match series 2-0
A stunning one-wicket victory in Mohali paved way for a dominating series for India. It was a riveting post-lunch session on the fifth day of play with India needing 92 runs to win with just two wickets remaining. Ishant Sharma and VVS Laxman established a partnership of 81 runs for the ninth wicket before Pragyan Ojha and Laxman accomplished one of the greatest comebacks in cricket, adding the final runs to seal the deal. The second Test at Bangalore saw India win by 7 wickets. In the process, Sachin Tendulkar notched up 14,000 runs in Test cricket. It was also the match that saw Cheteshwar Pujara rise to the occasion for India at the No 3 batting position, scoring 72 in the second innings. While Australia’s veterans had a series to forget, losing both matches, India cemented the top spot in the ICC rankings.
Australia Tour of India, 2012-13
India won the four-match series 4-0
After their rather forgettable outing in India the last time they toured, the Australians were under pressure to turn things around this time. But what panned out was a similar result, the tourists lost all four matches in the series to thoroughly dominant Indian side. MS Dhoni led from the front in the first Test at Chennai that saw India win by eight wickets. India piled on 572 runs, thanks to his 224 and record ninth wicket-partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Australia, in the second innings, were reduced to 131 as the R Ashwin and Co struck regularly. In the second Test at Hyderabad, Michael Clarke declared at 237/9, following which India posted 509 runs in reply. As Australia’s batting order crumbled for just 131 in their second innings, India won the game by an innings and 135 runs, giving them a 2-0 lead. In the Mohali Test, Shikhar Dhawan made a record 187 runs and became the highest run scorer for India while playing on debut. Chasing 133 on the final day, India lost wickets regularly and a win or a draw was on the cards but the hosts prevailed to take an unassailable 3-0 lead. The final match in Delhi was also the final blow for Australia, who although displayed the classic Aussie fighting spirit, were outshined by the Indians. The spinners wreaked havoc in the game, with just Peter Siddle and Cheteshwar Pujara offering any fight in the second innings.
Australia Tour of India, 2016-17
India won the four-match series 2-1
One of the most exciting series in recent times, the series had it all - drama, controversy and some excellent cricket. For starters, India hadn’t lost a Test against Australia since 2012. But that all changed when the foreigners started in strong fashion and won the first Test in Pune by 333 runs. Steve O’Keefe had picked up 12 wickets in the match and on a dry, turning pitch that the Indian spinners were expected to rule and the Indian batters better equipped to handle. The match included India being humiliated for 105 and 10, the greatest figures ever by a visiting spinner in a Test on Indian territory, with the match being completed in three days. Meanwhile, the ‘Brainfade’ incident during the second Test match in Bengaluru, when Steve Smith questioned taking the review, will live on in infamy. The Australian team was then harshly criticised by skipper Virat Kohli both during the game and in the press conference that followed. Although Nathan Lyon also had outstanding figures of 8/50, India, unlike the last Test managed to pull off a fightback in the days to follow and defeat the opposition by 75 runs. KL Rahul’s scores of 91 and 50 were crucial in helping India win the match and keep the prospect of a thrilling series open. In the Ranchi Test, it almost looked like India would run away with a series win before Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh staved off India to save the match and keep the series alive at 1-1. The Dharamshala Test will also be memorable for several reasons. Kohli was not playing due to an injury, Ajinkya Rahane was and he did a great job at that. The things that stood out were: Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahul stepped up again, Kuldeep Yadav bowled a spectacular spell in the first innings and Umesh Yadav really troubled the Aussies in the second.
India have held onto the prestigious Border-Gavaskar Trophy since that day.