It’s the first time in cricketing history that a touring India side is considered to be the favorites against a now weak and fragile Australian team. One of the major factors for the same is the unpredictable batting lineup of the Baggy Greens which will be up against a strong Indian bowling department. The same bowling cohort that performed admirably against South Africa and England.
With India set to resume their rivalry against Australia in the game’s longest format a couple of days later, we have come up with the best bowling performances in Australia. Relive these bowling performances below:
Nathan Lyon confounds India at Adelaide, 2014-15
In the first test match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy played at Adelaide in 2014-15 season, Nathan Lyon astonished everyone with a superlative performance. He bamboozled the Indian side with tricky off-breaks which the Indians found hard to cope with.
While opting to bat first, the Australians put up a mammoth total of 517 thus putting India on pressure right away. The Indians in reply made 444 out of which Lyon took 5 wickets, 4 of them of the top Indian middle order batsmen, thus enabling the Aussies to a lead of 73 runs.
Australia in the second innings made 290 before declaring thus giving India a target of 364 runs. India in response came pretty close to the run chase losing by just 48 runs. The highlight of the game, however, was Lyon’s bowling figures as 10 his 12 scalps in the game were recognized Indian batsmen.
This game is also remembered for being the first international match after Phil Hughes’s death as well as the first match captained by Virat Kohli.
Bruce Reid diminishes the Indian batting lineup In Melbourne, 1991-92
After a gap of seven years, the Indian Cricket Team toured Australia for a five-match Test series just before the 1992 Cricket World Cup. This series is especially notable from an Indian perspective due to Ravi Shastri’s double ton in Sydney in the third test, Kapil Dev’s 400th test wicket and Sachin dominating the bouncy Perth pitch by scoring 114, while other Indians struggled.
In the second match of the series, India won the toss and decided to bat. But, former Indian bowling Coach, Bruce Reid, had other ideas. He decimated the Indian squad by picking up 6 wickets and reducing the Indian score to a paltry total of 263 runs. In response, the Australians scored 349.
Resuming the second innings, the Indians were expected to put up a fight, but they were bundled up for a meagre total of 213 runs with Reid again causing wreckage. He picked up six wickets in the second innings as well. The Australians went on to comfortably chase the target while Reid returned with a great match figure of 12/126.
Ishant Sharma torments Ponting in Perth, 2007-08
Fresh from the Monkey Gate controversy and poor umpiring decisions that shook world cricket and tarnished Indian-Australian cricketing ties, this match proved the world that the Indian team can win even outside Asia. Not only that, they also denied the Baggy Greens a record 17th straight Test victory.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India made 330 courtesy to a gritty knock of 93 by Rahul Dravid. In response, Australia were rounded up for 212 runs that provided India with a 118-run lead. A collective swing bowling effort by RP Singh, Irfan Pathan and Ishant at one point of a time reduced Aussies to 61 for the loss of 5 wickets.It was only due to a strong 102 run partnership between Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist that the Aussies were able to make 212 runs.
India in their second innings managed 294 via a valiant effort of Laxman who top scored with 79 runs. The Australians were left with a target of 412 to chase thus confirming an early sign of an epic Indian victory. The then 19-year old Ishant Sharma caught fire as he tormented the Aussie batsmen, especially Ricky Ponting. The Australian captain’s wicket was taken by Sharma and the home side was reduced to 117/3. They tried to mount a comeback but were dismissed for 340 with Ishant playing a major role in the proceedings.
It has to be noted that no overseas team barring the legendary Caribbean side had won in Perth since 1985-86 season. Although Ishant had just 3 wickets to his name, the valiant effort that he put through into his fiery spell that traumatized the Aussie batsmen and especially Ponting should definitely be mentioned in a list like this.
Anil Kumble castles the Kangaroos at Sydney, 2003-04
Ever heard of an Indian spinner dominating the home team outside Asia? Well this is a rare case and Anil Kumble did what was once thought to be impossible. In the first innings of Australian batting, Kumble went through the Australian batting lineup like a hot knife through butter. He picked up eight wickets out of the possible ten, setting a record for the best bowling figures by a spinner Down Under.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India scored 705 for the loss of seven wickets before Kumble did the unthinkable. This splendid performance reduced the Aussie innings to 474 runs, thus cushioning India with a lead of 231 runs. In reply, India posted 212 runs for the loss of two wickets thus asking the Kangaroos to achieve a target of 444 runs. In reply the Aussies managed to score 357 runs for the loss of six wickets before the match ended in a draw. Out of the six Australian wickets, Kumble picked up four wickets which gave him a total of 12 wickets in the match.
Glenn McGrath demolishing Indians in Sydney, 1999-00
In the third test of the 1999-00 series between the two nations, Australia showed early signs of them becoming Invincible when they crushed Indians by an innings victory at the SCG. Legendary pacer, Glenn McGrath, happened to be the protagonist in this titanic win.
India after winning the toss asked the Australians to bowl first and the plan immediately backfired. India were bundled up for a mere 150 runs with McGrath picking up five wickets in the innings conceding just 48 runs in his 19 overs.
The Aussies posted a humongous 552 runs for the loss of 5 wickets before declaring thus enabling themselves ample time to go for a victory. The Indian batting story of the second innings was not that different than their first, wherein they were bowled out for a measly score of 261 runs, succumbing to an innings and 141 run loss. McGrath was again the chief demolisher as he managed to pick up five wickets at a cost of 55 runs from 17 overs. He ended the match with splendid figures of 10 wickets for 103 runs.
With both sides boasting a top-notch bowling attack right from India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ravichandra Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja to Australia’s Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon, we expect these top five bowling performances to be broken not in the future but in this present series itself.
All stats are as per www.espncricinfo.com unless otherwise mentioned.