Rahul Dravid's heroics at Adelaide and other famous Test wins for India on Australian soil

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  • Rahul Dravid (c) led India to a famous win at Adelaide in 2003.

    India’s dismal record on Australian soil will be in focus when Virat Kohli and his men take on the hosts in a four-match Test series beginning in Adelaide on Thursday.

    While some might even consider Kohli’s men as outright favourites to clinch the series, historically, India have fared quite poorly Down Under in their Test sojourns. They are yet to win a series in 12 attempts since undertaking their maiden tour in 1947-48.

    In 44 Tests played on Australia soil between the two teams, India have lost 28 while managing just five victories.

    Here, we take a look back at the five wins India have managed to attain in Australia.

    Australia v India – Third Test

    Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1977

    India won by 222 runs

    India’s maiden Test win in Australia came at a time when the hosts were reeling from the absence of the Chappell brothers and Dennis Lillee among others. Several of Australia’s biggest stars had opted to play for Kerry Packer in the World Series, thus leaving the hosts’ side severely depleted.

    Still, Australia registered victories in the first two Tests to take a 2-0 lead in the series coming into the Melbourne clash. Half centuries from Mohinder Amarnath and Gundappa Viswanath helped the tourists post 256 in their first innings before leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar ran riot with the ball.

    The leggie picked up 6-52 as the hosts were bowled out for 213 before Sunil Gavaskar struck his third century in as many matches to help India set Australia a mammoth target of 387.

    Chandrasekhar then returned with identical figures of 6-52 in the second innings too to lead India to an overwhelming win.

    Viswanath scored a crucial half-century in India's win.

    Viswanath scored a crucial half-century in India’s win.

    Australia v India – Fourth Test

    Sydney Cricket Ground, 1978

    India won by an innings and two runs

    India’s second Test win in Australia came immediately as the tourists bounced back from 0-2 down to tie the series 2-2.

    India spinners Bishan Singh Bedi and Chandrasekhar made Australia regret batting first on a lively pitch as the hosts were bundled out for a mere 131 in their first innings. Half centuries from Viswanath and Karsan Ghavri then helped the tourists post 396 in reply.

    Armed with a massive 265-run first innings lead, India’s spinners once against cashed in with Erapalli Prasanna’s four-wicket haul leading the side’s march to an innings win.

    Bedi and Indian spinners were the architects of the win.

    Bedi and Indian spinners were the architects of the win.

    Australia v India – Third Test

    Melbourne Cricket Ground, 1981

    India won by 59 runs

    In a match which will be remembered for Gavaskar’s decision to walk off the pitch in protest, India earned a remarkable victory over Greg Chappell and his men at the MCG.

    Trailing 0-1 in the series after their innings defeat at Sydney in the first Test, Gavaskar and his men had it all to do in Melbourne. A 114-run knock from Viswanath helped India post 237 in their first innings but Allan Border’s ton saw the Aussies reply with a mammoth 419.

    With their backs against the wall, India openers Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan added 165 runs for the first wicket before Gavaskar was adjudged to be lbw off the bowling of Lillee. The Indian captain was furious with the umpire’s decision and forced Chauhan to walk off the pitch with him in protest.

    Luckily for India, common sense prevailed in the end and the match resumed after a brief delay. The visitors were eventually bowled out for 324, giving Australia a target of 143 for victory.

    Inspired by Kapil Dev’s 5-16, India bundled out the hosts for only 83 runs to notch up a famous win.

    A contentious Test for Gavaskar.

    A contentious Test for Gavaskar.

    Australia v India – Second Test

    Adelaide Oval, 2003

    India won by four wickets

    Sourav Ganguly and his men looked down and out in Adelaide after Australia posted a daunting 556 runs in their first innings following a brilliant 242 by Ricky Ponting.

    However, a double century from Rahul Dravid (233) and a superb ton from Australia’s old nemesis VVS Laxman (148) helped India get within 33 runs off the hosts’ first innings total.

    When India were eventually bowled out for 523 on the fourth day, the match seemed destined to end in a tame draw but pacer Ajit Agarkar turned it on its head with a sensational display.

    Agarkar picked up 6-41 as Australia were bowled out for 196 in their second innings. With India needing 230 for victory, first innings double centurion Dravid once again showed his class with his unbeaten half-century guiding the visitors to a four-wicket win on the final day.

    A colossal effort from Rahul Dravid.

    A colossal effort from Rahul Dravid.

    Australia v India – Third Test

    WACA (Perth), 2008

    India won by 72 runs

    India’s most recent Test win in Australia came at the iconic old WACA (Western Australia Cricket Association) stadium in Perth during the infamous tour of 2007-08.

    The two teams arrived at Perth in the wake of the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal in the Sydney Test which had involved Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds. The hosts had registered a contentious win in Sydney with several umpiring decisions going against India.

    As such, the visitors were well and truly fired up for Perth. They posted 330 in their first innings with Dravid scoring a fine 93 before RP Singh and Irfan Pathan combined to bowl out the hosts for 212 in their reply.

    India made that 118-run lead count as they set Australia a daunting chase of 413 in the final innings. Despite a fighting 81 from Michael Clarke and a lower-order half-century from Mitchell Johnson, Australia were unable to scale that target as their 16-match winning streak was brought to a grinding halt at Perth.

    RP Singh was at the forefront of India's win at Perth.

    RP Singh was at the forefront of India’s win at Perth.