Going over the Border Gavaskar Trophy Thrillers in the 21st Century

Australia and India have been playing Test Cricket with each other since 1947. They’ve had some thrilling encounters with a Tied Test in Madras as well, but the epitome of thrillers were through the 21st century which has seen each series challenge the previous one. India vs Australia 2000-2001 India came into this series with […]

  • Sanjay Sanapoori | February 7, 2023 | 2:20 am

Australia and India have been playing Test Cricket with each other since 1947. They’ve had some thrilling encounters with a Tied Test in Madras as well, but the epitome of thrillers were through the 21st century which has seen each series challenge the previous one.

India vs Australia 2000-2001

Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman bat through a day to keep India in the series.

India came into this series with a lot of humiliation around them. Some of their players were charged for match-fixing, and they had Australia come in on the back of 16 Test Wins. The morale in the Indian camp was at an all time low. A loss in the first test despite a Harbhajan Singh hat-trick set the hopes dashing further down. The Kolkata Test was even worse to start with. After both teams finished their first innings, the game seemed dead and buried. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman though ignited India’s hopes on their own, batting through an entire day, setting Australia 384 to win.

The task was not done yet. Australia batted well, and looked set to save the game. A three-wicket burst from Sachin Tendulkar though opened up the game allowing India to get a historic win. The Chennai Test that followed was interesting but not as dramatic. Matthew Hayden made a double century in what was a remarkable season for him. With less support though, Harbhajan Singh made easy work as India scraped to a 2 wicket win in what was unexpectedly a thrilling final innings.

Australia vs India 2003-2004

Going over the Border Gavaskar Trophy Thrillers in the 21st Century
India’s tour of Australia in 2003 was revolutionary with India getting as close as ever to winning.

The 2003 tour of Australia saw India get as close to winning as possible. A Sourav Ganguly 144 saw them safely draw the first Test at the Gabba. The Adelaide Test though was another classic. A double century from Ricky Ponting helped Australia get to a commanding 556. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman though did not let them go easy. They had another 300-run partnership, with Dravid making a double-century this time as India almost drew level. Ajit Agarkar raised India’s hopes in the second innings with a really good spell of six wickets, setting India a target of 230, which they achieved eventually.

Down in the series, Australia fought back at Melbourne, despite a stunning 195 from Virender Sehwag. They levelled the series setting up a decider at Sydney. In Sydney, Sachin Tendulkar who was on a lean run through the series finally delivered. He batted with patience to get 241 as India got to 705. Another second innings dash from India set Australia a target of 443. Australia though, despite a marathon spell from Anil Kumble on a helpful track saved the Test with Waugh doing the job in his Final Test.

See Also: Zimbabwe vs West Indies: Records galore as Chanderpaul slams 207* and Brathwaite 182 – Cricket Winner

India vs Australia 2004-2005

Despite their captain being injured, a dominant Australian side managed to conquer Indian soil.

After a thrilling series in Australia, the build-up was high in India. Both sides though had injury concerns. For India, Sachin Tendulkar was suffering with a Tennis Elbow, which affected his participation in the series. Australia had to do without Ricky Ponting. In his place though, Adam Gilchrist led the side really well. He led by example in Bangalore, with a rapid century. Support from Michael Clarke, who was discovered as an international talent in this series, and Shane Warne allowed them to win the Bangalore Test with ease.

The Chennai Test was a gripping encounter with another big-hundred from Sehwag highlighting the Test. Rain on the final day though had the final say. With India still 1-0 down, they headed to Nagpur, only to be hammered by Australia by 342 runs, giving Australia their third series win in India. For the Final Test, Ponting and Tendulkar were both back as India defended 107 in a thrillling Final innings.

Australia vs India 2007-2008

Another series full of thrill saw a lot of controversy envelope the cricket

After a comfortable win for Australia at Melbourne, the series quickly turned bitter. The Sydney Test, which had controversy overshadowing the cricket, had it all. There was an encounter between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds, which defined the series and also had Harbhajan Singh get banned for three Tests(overturned later). Steve Bucknor got a lot of decisions wrong throughout the Test too, and the Final day was full of drama. With India chasing a draw, decisions kept going against them and a Final over Hat-trick from Michael Clarke sealed the Test for Australia.

After a bitter Test, India were charged up at Perth. They fought hard, and the Test saw one of India’s greatest spells in Australia with Ishant Sharma having Ricky Ponting in all sorts of discomfort. His burst and some good bowling from RP Singh helped them win the Perth Test. The series though came to a dissapointing finish with a Flat track at Adelaide only allowing for a draw.

India vs Australia 2008-2009

A one sided series saw Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble call time on their long careers

Unlike in 2004, Australia struggled against spin in India this time around. The 2008 series was the last for both Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble as an era came closing. It was a rather one-sided series though with centuries from Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey the only major talking points for Australia. They failed to compete with bat, and the gap between spinners was evident as Australia struggled to replace Shane Warne.

India vs Australia 2010

VVS Laxman proved to be Australia’s tormenter in the second innings yet again.

India took on Australia at home for a small series which had a classic at Mohali. Australia, starting well with Shane Watson and Tim Paine going good, made 428. In response, India came close with Sachin Tendulkar getting to 98 and Suresh Raina making 86. A second innings collapse for Australia though gave India 216. They had India struggling at 124 for eight. VVS Laxman though, a master in the second innings, and a really good player against Australia found support from Ishant Sharma. After some late drama, he took India home with one wicket to spare.

In the second Test, Sachin Tendulkar dominated with a double-hundred, and Cheteshwar Pujara on debut came out with a counter-attacking innings to make easy work of a target of 207.

Australia vs India 2011-2012

Against a toothless Indian side, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke showed their class with ruthless displays

After a 4-0 Defeat in England, India headed to Australia, with their seniors form waning. The eight Tests overseas ended as MS Dhoni’s worst period as captain. While India were whitewashed with ease, positives still came up. There was a hard fought win for Australia at Melbourne, but things went downhill from their with India conceding the remaining three-tests without much fight. To their benefit, India managed to discover talents in Umesh Yadav and Virat Kohli, who made his maiden Test Century at Adelaide.

Australia though, with some incredible performances from Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and David Warner were too good. While there were some really good knocks from Ponting and Clarke, David Warner’s 180 off 159 was a stand out, with a century on the first innings as he alone outscored India.

India vs Australia 2013

MS Dhoni set the series up with a magnificent double hundred in Chennai

The previous series saw Australia whitewash India. India though were quick to get them back as they whitewashed Australia at home. Again, the opening Test at Chennai proved to be interesting. Michael Clarke scored a century and in reply Virat Kohli made a century of his own while MS Dhoni took the game away with his 224. In Hyderabad, Pujara along with Ashwin and Jadeja dominated as Australia bundled out for an innings defeat. Things got worse in Mohali as Shikhar Dhawan made a strong statement on debut with his 187. It was a series dominated by bowlers with Ashwin and Jadeja doing the job for India.

The series is famous for another famous scandal which was termed homework gate. After failing to follow team orders, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson were left out for the 3rd Test.

Australia vs India 2014-2015

In yet another series between both sides, the cricket was overshadowed with emotion as it came on the back of the death of Phil Hughes

The 2014 tour of Australia started off with a lot of emotion. The passing of Phil Hughes shook the series. With players taking the field in tough times, the series ended up seeing some really good cricket. In the first Test, David Warner, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke made emotional centuries. India were good in response, and almost won the Test as Virat Kohli, in his first Test as captain went after Australia’s target, before a collapse saw them fall short.

India were once again competitive in Brisbane with Murali Vijay making a really nice 144. Steve Smith though, unstoppable as ever took the game away as Australia went up 2-0. At Melbourne, India’s new era stepped up. In MS Dhoni’s last Test as captain, both Steve Smith and Virat Kohli traded Hundreds yet again. There was a nice battle between Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnosn, while Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli were in a memorable partnership. The fearlessness of Rahane came out in the innings as he charged Johnson on quiet a few occasions. Both Sydney and Melbourne ended in draws as the series came to a close with Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay highlighting the series.

India vs Australia 2016-2017

Steve O Keefe, with his 12 for sent India to one of their worst defeats at home.

The last Border Gavaskar trophy in India was probably one of the best series between the two sides in India. India coming off a dominating home season had a reality check as Australia crushed them by 333 runs. Steve Smith with his hundred on the driest of Pune tracks along with Steve O Keefe who took 12 in the game absolutely changed the perspective over the series.

Coming to Bangalore, the momentum was with Australia. They bowled India out with ease and took an 87 run lead too They however could not close the game out. A partnership from Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane helped India set a target of 187 on a worn Bangalore track. After a dogfight, Ashwin ran through the Australians to close the Test. Ranchi was another dogfight. Steve Smith and Maxwell centuries put Australia in the drivers seat. Cheteshwar Pujara in response absolutely stonewalled the Australians. He played the longest innings by an Indian and helped see out a draw. Dharamshala was again an interesting encounter, which saw India, led by Ajinkya Rahane win and take the series.

Australia vs India 2018-2019

Going over the Border Gavaskar Trophy Thrillers in the 21st Century
Pujara, with the bat stood up as he haunted Australia’s bowlers in 2018-2019

Australia hosted India without Steve Smith and David Warner, who were serving their bans. The series was a landmark for them as they won their first series in Australia. It wasn’t easy to start with though. However, India’s bowlers, and Pujara, who made three centuries in the series proved to be too good for the Australians. They outplayed Australia in Melbourne and Sydney, while Pujara proved to be the difference at Adelaide. Australia did fight back in Perth, but their batting was patchy all series.

Australia vs India 2020-2021

A classic series ended with Rishabh Pant taking India home in the dying stages of the Test.

A series in the middle of Covid, ended up being a classic. Some really good cricket was seen and India ended up with their greatest victory till date. There were amazing contributions from the entire side as injuries and unavailability led to India having to use 20 players. In Virat Kohli’s only match in the series, India were all-out for 36 to hand Australia an easy win, after being in command for most of the Test.

Ajinkya Rahane and Jasprit Bumrah though fought back with Rahane making 112 at Melbourne to help India level the series. The Sydney Test that followed was incredible thrill. With Steve Smith finding form, Australia dominated until the Final day. A counter-attacking knock from Rishabh Pant, and resilience from Pujara India stayed in the game. In the end, with Australia favorites, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin saw the innings through as they fought through injury to hold out for a draw.

India came to the Gabba, Australia’s fortress with a lot of injury concerns. Siraj, who made his debut in the second Test was attack leader with Natarajan making his debut after coming to Australia as a net-bowler. Australia was in control until a partnership from Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar bought India back. A five wicket haul from Siraj helped India keep the target down to 328. In an unlikely turn of events, Shubman Gill and later Rishabh Pant came out with audacious displays to make history as they breached fortress Gabba, a venue in which Australia had not faced defeat for over 30 years.