Virat Kohli and Co achieved what no other Indian team had achieved before on Monday — win the first Test of a series in Australia.
The 31-run victory in Adelaide was only India’s sixth win Down Under and ended a wait of nearly a decade, with the last win coming in Perth in 2008.
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|
Among those five previous wins, two matches hold a special place in the hearts of many India fans. Adelaide in 2003 was the only other time India had a 1-0 lead in a Test series in Australia and it ended a 21-year wait. It signified the emergence of a new, vibrant Indian side that started to shed the ‘tigers home at home’ tag, under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy.
Perth 2008 was emotional for reasons beyond cricket. Coming after the infamous Sydney Test, marred by the ‘Monekygate’ controversy and poor umpiring decisions against India that caused even the ever-dignified Anil Kumble to declare ‘only one team was playing within the spirit of cricket’ — victory in Perth was seen as a fitting response by a cornered Indian side.
India don’t often win a Test in Australia and these two Test matches are still fondly remembered by many fans.
In a Twitter poll on The Field, we had asked fans to vote for their favourite wins and these two matches dominated the results. There were votes for other wins too but over 90% of the respondents thought it was between Adelaide and Perth.
Read more about India’s previous five Test wins in Australia here.
Here’s a selection of the user responses to the poll:
@apurvlawyer: Adelaide 2003 has to be the best... came against a seemingly invincible opposition when India had yet not discovered completely the art of winning abroad. Also don’t forget Australia were 400/5 at the end of day 1 and India were 55/4 in reply to 550 before Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman took over.
@Aaditya_LFC: As much as the off-field stuff made Perth special, I don’t think anything I’ve seen in Indian cricket (bar Kolkata 2001) comes close to Adelaide. THAT Aussie team, they’d scored 550 in the first innings, we were 85/4, and then we won the Test.
@shanky11173: Adelaide because of what had happened in ‘99-00
@arj_90: For every 90’s kid, Adelaide 2003 and Headingley 2002 are extremely special and close to heart because until then we didn’t know what winning overseas was.
@suneerchowdhary: Adelaide 2003-04 > Perth > Adelaide 2018. Lack context for the 1981 win.
@tarequelaskar: Adelaide ‘03 is one for the ages, but personally Perth ‘08 meant more because it came at a time when I needed something to believe in, and it actually made a difference to my confidence. Cheesy, I know, but that’s how it was.
@philipbkk: Perth 2008 because there was much more than just a win on stake after what had happened earlier in the series.
@HitmanCricket: Perth 2008. It was more than just a test match for India after the Sydney fiasco.
@DanceEatRepeat: Perth. It was not just cricket that time.
@kdininda: Perth test any day because of the emotional turmoil of the tour.
@crickashish217: Perth was the toughest and the most impressive one.
@Taran4: Perth. Because of all the drama and the Pitch.
@srinath245: Perth 2008..! because victory is never more sweeter than when it is achieved as a revenge
@rickeyrecricket: Melbourne 1977-78. Chandrasekhar 6-52 and 6-52. Gavaskar’s third century in three Tests. India’s first win in Australia, and by 222 runs.
@MadhusudanRangu: Would place Melbourne 1981 on top as the Aussie team with Chappell, Lillee Pascoe et al was the strongest Aussie team we played on their shores. Of course the win was sweeter, so close to the Gavaskar incident.
What are your favourite wins? Tweet to us @thefield_in or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature your responses.