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Final frontier: India’s 70-year wait for success in Australia

Steve Waugh famously described winning a Test series in India as the "final frontier" but the same phrase can be used to describe the challenge confronting Virat Kohli's side.

The contest that starts in Adelaide on Thursday is India's 12th attempt to win a Test series in Australia.

The closest they have come is drawn series in 1980-81, 1985-86 and 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar in India drew the series in Australia in 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar in India drew the series in Australia in 2003-04.Credit:AAP

Winning matches, let alone series, has proven hard enough.

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Their record in Australia, which starts with a crushing series loss to Don Bradman's side in 1948, is five wins from 44 Tests.

The lack of success can be attributed to a range of factors, with the most obvious being that Australian pitches have generally been the antithesis of what players grow accustomed to back home.

It's also worth noting India were forced to wait 20 years after their first Test tour for another trip to Australia. A 10-year break then followed between their second and third Test tours.

Such a hiatus is unthinkable in the modern era, with Cricket Australia and other boards falling over themselves to host India and enjoy the lucrative bonus delivered by the nation that generates the vast majority of global cricket revenue.

The growing financial clout of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has ensured its team returns increasingly well-resourced on every occasion, but that hasn't resulted in more success.

India's most recent Test win in Australia came in 2008, when Ishant Sharma helped them upset a jaded XI in the first Test after "monkeygate".

Prior to that it was a four-wicket victory at Adelaide Oval in 2003, when Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman memorably shared an epic 303-run stand in response to a Ricky Ponting double-ton.

The tourists' cause in this four-Test series is obviously helped by Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft's suspensions.

They also boast a batting order full of proven performers.

Kohli averages 62 from eight Tests in Australia, the best effort by any Indian to have played more than three Tests Down Under.

Murali Vijay (averaging 60.25 in Australia) and Ajinkya Rahane (averaging 57 in Australia) have also scored plenty of runs.

Those runs haven't translated into victories.

Kohli has played eight Tests in Australia, scored almost 1000 runs and produced three centuries in Adelaide, but is yet to triumph.

Virat Kohli has produced some impressive scores in Australia.

Virat Kohli has produced some impressive scores in Australia.Credit:AAP

As incredible as the captain's run-scoring feats were in 2014-15, his team failed to capture 20 wickets in any of the four Tests.

It highlights how pivotal India's bowling will be to their hopes of a landmark series victory.

Once again they're likely to be confronted with benign pitches that offer limited assistance.

"You don't turn up to Australia thinking wickets are going to seam or spin around," star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said.

"They are always going to be flat, we know that.

"We have to play some smart cricket … the game can get away from you really fast in the field here."

AAP

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Sports

Final frontier: India’s 70-year wait for success in Australia

Steve Waugh famously described winning a Test series in India as the "final frontier" but the same phrase can be used to describe the challenge confronting Virat Kohli's side.

The contest that starts in Adelaide on Thursday is India's 12th attempt to win a Test series in Australia.

The closest they have come is drawn series in 1980-81, 1985-86 and 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar in India drew the series in Australia in 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar in India drew the series in Australia in 2003-04.Credit:AAP

Winning matches, let alone series, has proven hard enough.

Advertisement

Their record in Australia, which starts with a crushing series loss to Don Bradman's side in 1948, is five wins from 44 Tests.

The lack of success can be attributed to a range of factors, with the most obvious being that Australian pitches have generally been the antithesis of what players grow accustomed to back home.

It's also worth noting India were forced to wait 20 years after their first Test tour for another trip to Australia. A 10-year break then followed between their second and third Test tours.

Such a hiatus is unthinkable in the modern era, with Cricket Australia and other boards falling over themselves to host India and enjoy the lucrative bonus delivered by the nation that generates the vast majority of global cricket revenue. (more…)

Related Posts

Sports

Final frontier: India’s 70-year wait for success in Australia

Steve Waugh famously described winning a Test series in India as the "final frontier" but the same phrase can be used to describe the challenge confronting Virat Kohli's side.

The contest that starts in Adelaide on Thursday is India's 12th attempt to win a Test series in Australia.

The closest they have come is drawn series in 1980-81, 1985-86 and 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar in India drew the series in Australia in 2003-04.

Sachin Tendulkar in India drew the series in Australia in 2003-04.Credit:AAP

Winning matches, let alone series, has proven hard enough.

Advertisement

Their record in Australia, which starts with a crushing series loss to Don Bradman's side in 1948, is five wins from 44 Tests.

The lack of success can be attributed to a range of factors, with the most obvious being that Australian pitches have generally been the antithesis of what players grow accustomed to back home.

It's also worth noting India were forced to wait 20 years after their first Test tour for another trip to Australia. A 10-year break then followed between their second and third Test tours.

Such a hiatus is unthinkable in the modern era, with Cricket Australia and other boards falling over themselves to host India and enjoy the lucrative bonus delivered by the nation that generates the vast majority of global cricket revenue. (more…)

Related Posts