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India vs Australia: The best of Indian bowling in Australia

By Bet Barter

November 20, 2020

Over several decades, India vs Australia Test series has always been times when performances by the players have taken away the piece of heart. It has always been a battle of the best with the most phenomenal spells by the Indian bowlers.

There are several remarkable innings played by Indian batsmen in Australia, but when it comes to bowling, the number isn't as vast. Each time India had finished well in Tests against Australia, their bowlers have had an immense role to play.

Let us recap some of the performances that stand out:

1. Kapil Dev (5/28 in Melbourne, 1981)

India vs Australia test match, 1981 is a special one for Indian fans. The day engraved in the archives of Indian cricket history as one of the most exquisite moments. The credit for that series goes to India's premier all-rounder Kapil Dev.

Team India was lightened on the last morning when Kapil Dev took the field. He kept things easy by bowling full and straight and let the fluctuation of the pitch do its part. Only 3 Australian batsmen touched double figures as the middle order crumbled like a pack of cards. The kangaroos bowled out for 83 and lost by 59 runs.

Kapil Dev took 5/28, and it was a lion-hearted effort from him despite struggling with an injury. Viswanath adjudged the Man of the Match. Kapil took charge of the last innings and rolled them over to finish with immaculate figures of 5/28.

2. Ajit Agarkar (6/41 in Adelaide, 2003)

Ajit Agarkar is India's fastest bowler ever to pick up 50 ODI wickets. He is still the fastest Indian to grab 150, 200, and 250 ODI wickets. Ajit's most significant contribution to Indian cricket will be that six-wicket haul in Adelaide that locked a remarkable win against Australia.

Agarkar's brilliant spell in the second inning allowed India to register their first Test win on Australian soil after 22 years.  The pacer took out opening batsman Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting for a duck before destroying the lower-middle order. Ajit's spell of 6 wickets for just 41 runs in the Adelaide test is one of the exceptional moments in history.

3. Anil Kumble (8/141 in Sydney, 2004)

The Sydney Test of 2004 will forever belong to Sachin Tendulkar, but it wouldn't have been achievable for India if Kumble wouldn't have scalped eight wickets.

The leg-spinner grabbed 8 for 141 as the Aussies failed to read him. Kumble affixed India's position in the game with his best bowling figures in a Test overseas.

It was just Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist who did not get out to Kumble. It was a web of deceit he spun around them in their backyard. That probably has to be his best spell away from home.

4. Irfan Pathan (3/54 in Perth, 2008)

Irfan's Test career progressed when his all-round performance at Perth encouraged India to register their first-ever win. The pacer did not achieve breakthrough performance, but his contribution with bat and ball was significant.

He picked five wickets in the Test match and scored 74 runs. Pathan scored 46 batting at No.3 in the 2nd innings. Pathan weakened the Australians by dismissing Chris Rogers and Phil Jacques early. It was after he had already claimed 2/63 in the first innings. He ended up dismissing Stuart Clarke for his third wicket, and Australia was out for 340.

5. Jasprit Bumrah (6/33 in Melbourne, 2018)

The Indian pacer, Jasprit Bumrah was barely six Tests old when he toured Australia. Bumrah claimed six wickets for 33 and struck the Australian line-up for 151.

His pace and unique action were something that the Australians had no response to. Team India declared the second inning, but the 399-run target was enough as Australia bowled out for 261. India took the lead, and all they had to do was to draw the match for a historic win, which they ultimately achieved.

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