India won a Test match in Australia after more than a decade as they bowled out the home side in a nail-biting finale to clinch the opening match by 31 runs and raise hopes of their first ever series victory Down Under.

This is the first time in history that India has won the opening Test in Australia and just the sixth time that India has won a match down Down Under.

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 

Fittingly, it was Adelaide where India registered the thrilling win – the venue where they fell short by just 48 runs last time around, despite Virat Kohli’s centuries in both innings. Then it was Nathan Lyon who tormented the visitors and now it was Lyon again who made a gritty last stand. The Adelaide Oval was also the venue of India’s historic 2003 triumph, when Rahul Dravid and Ajit Agarkar gave them an unprecedented 1-0 lead in a series.

Here’s a look at the last five Indian wins Down Under

1977: Gavaskar, Chandrasekhar shine at MCG

India were 2-0 down when the third Test began in Melbourne on December 30. When Sunil Gavaskar, who had scored centuries both at Brisbane and Perth, fell for a duck in the tourists’ first-innings 256, it looked as though the five-match series could be gone. But leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar had other ideas, taking 6-52 as Australia crumbled to 213 all out. Gavaskar was not to be denied a second time and his 118 helped set Australia a target of 387 which they never remotely troubled, slumping to 164 all out with Chandrasekhar bagging an identical 6-52 haul.

1978: The great leveller in Sydney


India kept the Melbourne momentum rolling into the fourth Test in Sydney on January 7 and levelled the series with a crushing victory by an innings and two runs. Chandrasekhar again was the chief destroyer as he and spin partner Bishen Bedi ripped the hosts out for 131 after Australia won the toss and made the mistake of opting to bat on a damp track. Gavaskar put on 97 with Chetan Chauhan, the best opening partnership of the series. Gundappa Viswanath (79) and Karsan Gharvi (64) took India to a huge 265-run lead. Erapalli Prasanna then took four wickets as Australia succumbed for 263.

But the hosts had the last laugh, winning the final Test in Adelaide by 47 runs to secure a pulsating 3-2 series win.

1981: Gavaskar has a meltdown but Kapil Dev powers win


India had been unhappy with umpire Rex Whitehead’s decisions all series and in the second innings of the third and final Test at Melbourne, the simmering anger exploded. Whitehead raised the finger to Gavaskar for lbw with the score on 165, but the opener was convinced he had edged Lillee’s delivery and stood his ground. When Lillee, never one to shy from a confrontation, encouraged Gavaskar to leave with some colourful language and a finger pointed at the pad, the enraged opener ordered batting partner Chauhan to leave the field with him. Only the swift intervention of team manager Shahid Durrani, who met the pair at the boundary edge to usher Chauhan back to the middle, prevented the innings, match and series being conceded. India set Australia just 143 to win before Kapil Dev, who overcame a hamstring scare on the fourth day, took 5-28 in 16.4 overs as Australia crumbled to 83 all out in a little over two hours.

2003: Dravid, Agarkar script history


Ricky Ponting is probably wondering to this day how his side lost the second Test in Adelaide after he scored a brilliant 242 out of a mammoth 556 first innings total for Australia. Rahul Dravid’s marathon 233 off 446 balls in reply was backed up by VVS Laxman’s 148 as the pair put on 303 to enable India to post 523. Ajit Agarkar then stepped up with a deadly spell of 6-41 as Australia were skittled for 196. Dravid again proved immovable and his patient 72 guided India to their 230-run target with four wickets to spare to go 1-0 up in the series, which they went on to draw 1-1.

2008: Australia streak ended


After going 2-0 down in losing the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ Test at Sydney, where Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Andrew Symonds, tensions ran high as the teams headed to the WACA in Perth where the tourists won to end Australia’s 16-match Test winning streak. After India posted 330, Irfan Pathan and RP Singh reduced Australia to 61/5 on their way to 212 all out – their lowest first innings score for 24 home Tests. India then set a 413-run target and reduced the Aussies to 253/8. An entertaining late cameo from Mitchell Johnson, who scored 50, took the home side to 340 all out as India ran out convincing 72-run winners. But they lost the series 2-1 after the final Test in Adelaide ended in a draw.

And here is India’s winning moment on Monday, when a decade’s wait came to an end.

With AFP inputs