5th Test win – AUS v IND 2008, Perth
India defeats Australia by 72 runs
No one can forget the tumultuous 2008 India tour to Australia. The series was marred by poor umpiring, on-field incidents between players and blatant disregard for sportsmanship by the home team. As Anil Kumble pointed out, only one team played the series in the spirit of the game.
After losing the first Test in Melbourne, and then the second Test in Sydney, which is now famous for the Australian team’s antics and the monkey gate controversy between Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh. India had to fight back to keep themselves alive in the series in the third Test at Perth.
Australia flexed their muscles on the fastest pitch in the world and recalled the speedster Shaun Tait for the all-important match at the WACA ground in Perth.
Captain Anil Kumble won the toss and chose to bat first. India put on 330 on the board with Dravid making 93, Tendulkar making 71 and contributions from Sehwag, Laxman and Irfan Pathan. Mitchell Johnson picked 4/86 for Australia.
Indian bowlers seemed to get more out of the Perth wicket as RP Singh swung the ball to pick 4/68, while Irfan, Kumble and Ishant Sharma picked two wickets each. Australia was bowled out for 212 with Symonds making 66 and Gilchrist making 55. The innings is known for Ishant Sharma’s hostile workover to Ricky Ponting in one of the best fast bowling spells seen by an Indian fast bowler.
India scored 294 in their second innings with Laxman making 79, Pathan making 46 at no.3 and Dhoni and RP Singh contributing majorly down the order. Australia was set a target of 413 runs to win the match.
Though Australia tried to make a match out of the chase, Indian bowlers were all over their batsmen, with RP Singh and Irfan Pathan picking five wickets amongst themselves. Michael Clarke top scored with 81 and Johnson scored 50 down the order, but no one went on to hit a big century, as Australia crumbled to 340 all out and India won the match by 72 runs much to the joy of their fans back home and in Australia, in the aftermath of the Sydney Test match.
Irfan Pathan was chosen the Man of the Match for is an all-around contribution and though India lost the series, this Test win remains their last win on Australian soil to date.
It remains to be seen if the current Virat Kohli led side can do wonders against Australia with possibly one of the best fast bowling attacks India has ever taken down under and with the captain in sublime form. The 2018-19 Australia vs India Test series is India’s best chance to win their maiden series down under and the team can take inspiration from the previous wins listed above.