India ended their decade-long wait for a Test victory in Australia on Monday when they bowled out the home side for 291 to clinch the first game of the four-match series by a nail-biting 31 runs in Adelaide.

The hosts were set a target of 323, a score never before successfully achieved in a fourth innings run chase at the Adelaide Oval.

Ravichandran Ashwin got the final wicket of Josh Hazlewood to finish with 3-92, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant equalled the world record of most catches taken in a Test at 11. For Australia, Shaun Marsh made 62 and Tim Paine 41.

Things went too close for comfort for India as Nathan Lyon (38 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (13) put on 42 runs for the last wicket and frustrated the Indian bowling. The sparse crowd at Adelaide Oval cheered every single as the duo edged closer and the odd boundary didn’t help matters.

Finally, things came to a close as Ashwin had Hazlewood caught at second slip in the 120th over to register India’s sixth Test win on Australian soil.

“It’s important to stay calm. The odds were stacked up against them as soon as we got Pat Cummins out. I wouldn’t say I was cool as ice but you try not to show it,” Kohli said at the end of the match.

Almost 15 years to the date, India recorded another famous win in Adelaide and this win brought back memories of that day.

The last Test India won in Australia was at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008, and the last one in Adelaide was in 2003.

Here are the key statistical highlights from Kohli and Co’s triumph.

  • This is the first time India have won the won the opening Test match of a series in Australia.
  • Kohli became the first Asian captain to win Tests in England, Australia and South Africa.
  • India became the first Asian team to win Tests in England, Australia and South Africa in a calendar year.
  • After all these years, this was still only India’s sixth Test win in Australia.

India's Test wins in Australia

Venue / Year  Result
December, 1977 (Melbourne) India won by 222 runs
January, 1978 (Sydney) India won by an innings and 2 runs
February, 1981 (Melbourne) India won by 59 runs 
December, 2003 (Adelaide) India won by four wickets
January, 2008 (Perth) India won by 72 runs
December, 2018 (Adelaide) India won by 31 runs 

  • The Adelaide Test saw India record their closest-ever win away from home in terms of the margin of runs.

India's closest overseas wins (by runs margin)

Date Opponent Venue Margin
6 Dec 2018 v Australia Adelaide 31 runs
19 Apr 2002 v West Indies Port of Spain 37 runs
30 Jun 2006 v West Indies Kingston 49 runs
7 Feb 1981 v Australia Melbourne 59 runs
20 Jun 2011 v West Indies Kingston 63 runs
24 Jan 2018 v South Africa Johannesburg 63 runs
16 Jan 2008 v Australia Perth 72 runs
26 Dec 2010 v South Africa Durban 87 runs
17 Jul 2014 v England Lord's 95 runs
17 Jan 2010 v Bangladesh Chittagong 113 runs

  • While this was India’s first time winning the opening match of the Test series in Australia, their recent record anywhere in the world in that regard has been poor as shown in the table below.

India's first Test in a series away from Asia

Series Venue Result
2007-2008 Australia v. India Melbourne Cricket Ground Australia won by 337 runs
2008-2009 New Zealand v. India Seddon Park India won by 10 wickets
2010-2011 South Africa v. India SuperSport Park SA won by an inngs and 25 runs
2010-2011 West Indies v. India Sabina Park India won by 63 runs
2011 England v. India Lord's England won by 196 runs
2011-2012 Australia v. India Melbourne Cricket Ground Australia won by 122 runs
2013-2014 South Africa v. India New Wanderers Stadium Match Drawn
2013-2014 New Zealand v. India Eden Park New Zealand won by 40 runs
2014 England v. India Trent Bridge Match Drawn
2014-2015 Australia v. India Adelaide Oval Australia won by 48 runs
2016-2017 West Indies v. India Sir Vivian Richards Stadium India won by an innings and 92 runs
2017-2018 South Africa v. India Newlands South Africa won by 72 runs
2018 England v. India Edgbaston England won by 31 runs
2018 Australia v India Adelaide India won by 31 runs
(Data for the last 10 years)

  • There were some quirky stats too.

Rishabh Pant’s record and second innings Shami

  • Pant became the first India wicket-keeper to finish with more than 10 catches in a Test match. His 11 catches is a joint world record. This was also the most number of catches taken by a visiting ‘keeper in Australia.

  • Not just Pant, this Test created an overall world record for the number of catches as well.

  • Mohammed Shami once again picked up crucial wickets in the second innings to reiterate the fact that he finishes Test matches better than he starts them.

Second innings Shami

Innings Wickets Average / SR
Team's 1st innings 37 71 33.73 / 58
Team's 2nd innings 34 62 25.2 / 45.8
Match's 1st innings 17 36 33.94 / 58.8
Match's 2nd innings 20 35 33.51 / 57.2
Match's 3rd innings 20 35 27.94 / 49.5
Match's 4th innings 14 27 21.66 / 40.9

  • The win came after a series of fighting partnerships from Australia’s middle and lower order, which set a new record as well.

  • Another first for Pujara in this match.

And finally, looking ahead, maybe Kohli should find a way to win more tosses.

Kohli’s record when he wins the toss:

Tests: 20
Won: 17
Draw: 3