Aus vs India Tests: Jasprit Bumrah’s 6/33 at Melbourne, the highlight as we look at the most memorable spells by Indians in Australia.
As we move into Day 3 of the first Test match between India and Australia, the match has shown all the ingredients of turning out to be a blockbuster. However, the main thing that has stood out so far has been the Indian bowling. Aside the champion, Jasprit Bumrah, the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Umesh Yadav have dominated the proceedings in the bowling department.
While in the last few years, we have seen the Indian bowling impress a lot on the overseas tours, what does the history say? So, let’s find out the most memorable and impressive bowling spells by the Indians. Eventually, it was these heroics from the bowlers that helped India registered some of their famous test wins on Australia Soil in the past couple of decades.
#5: Ajit Agarkar’s 6/41 at Adelaide, 2003-04
This spell of bowling from Ajit Agarkar gave India the belief that they can do well in overseas conditions. No one had thought that this Indian team under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly would not only compete with the mighty Aussies but also take a lead in the series during the 2003-04 tour of Australia.
After conceding a minor first innings deficit, thanks to a marathon knock from Rahul Dravid at Adelaide, India were in a need of bundling Australia out cheaply in the third innings of the match. Ajit Agarkar gave the tourists a perfect start by knocking over Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting pretty early in the innings.
After others took care of the middle order, Ajit Agarkar came forward to take last 4 scalps of the Australian innings to wrap up things on the score of just 196 runs. Mainly due to this effort, India were set a target of 230 runs by Australia, which India eventually chased down to write themselves in the history.
#4: Anil Kumble’s 8/141 at Sydney, 2003-04
On this same tour, both the teams moved to Sydney with series score-line on level for the new year’s test match. India were sensing a rare opportunity to register a test series win overseas and the first one on Australian shores. India posted a massive 705 on the board batting first on a flat SCG deck. However, they needed bowlers to take 20 wickets if they were to hunt the silverware.
Leg-spinner Anil Kumble came to party in the first innings for India. In a brilliant demonstration of how to execute leg-spin bowling plans on an Australian pitch, he gave away a blue-print. He bowled a total of 46.5 overs in the innings and took 8 Australian wickets. At various stages of the innings when it looked like Australia would take it away as a comfortable draw, Anil Kumble stepped up.
Kumble dismissed both the centurions of the innings – Justin Langer and Simon Katich just when others started to look hopeless against them. Although, India couldn’t complete a series win, but this spell from Anil Kumble will never be forgotten. It is also the second-best bowling figures by an Indian on Australian soil.
#3: Ishant Sharma’s 2/34 at Perth, 2007-08
If you go by just the numbers, then this spell from Ishant Sharma would never come close to any discussions. But in terms of sheer impact on the match, this was Ishant Sharma at his unprecedented best, announcing his arrival on the International circuit. His dual with the Australian great Ricky Ponting was one of the most memorable and entertaining passages of plays in test match cricket.
After a controversy-hit Sydney test where India went down 2-0 in the series, they were looking for some inspiration at WACA, Perth. Batting first, India posted a competitive 330 on the board and now it was up to their bowlers to make a match out of that total. And they did it in style, thanks to this spell of magic from Ishant Sharma.
After he set up Ricky Ponting for edging the ball to slips eventually, he also had another middle-order mainstay Michael Clarke caught behind cheaply. On any other day, he could have easily ended up with a 5-wicket haul, but he propelled India towards a famous test win at Perth never the less.
#2: Mohammed Shami’s 6/56 at Perth, 2018-19
This is the only spell form the list that came in a losing effort, but such was the quality of bowling from Mohammed Shami that it was tough not to include this. After India took the lead at Adelaide Oval, both teams were at newly built Optus Stadium in Perth for the second match of the series. India were in need of some desperate measures with the red kookaburra after conceding first innings lead on a difficult surface to bat last on.
Although WACA is across the river from this ground, but the pitch here still dictated terms like it used to do there. Cracks were starting to open up, and uneven bounce to the fast-bowlers began to show up more regularly. Mohammed Shami took the full advantage of it in the Australian second innings. Not only he scalped 6 wickets, he hit plenty of Australian batsmen to their heads. Although India lost this match, but this spell of fast-bowling gave India a sneak-peek into their plans.
#1: Jasprit Bumrah’s 6/33 at Melbourne, 2018-19
Expectations were pretty high when India began their campaign on the last Australian tour in 2018-19. It was the first time arguably in history when India were favourites before the start of the series. It was on to the bowling attack to deliver against an inexperienced batting lineup of Australia without the services of David Warner and Steve Smith.
However, there was still plenty of work to do for India as both teams reached Melbourne for the Boxing Day test with score-line tied on 1-1. After winning the toss, India piled on 443 runs on the board on the first couple of days. It was about the time when the genius of Jasprit Bumrah came to the fore.
Australian batsmen were already had troubles facing him in the first two matches, but nothing like what they were going to experience during this first innings. He schooled the batting line with a six-wicket haul that grounded the hosts to dust. If ‘bamboozle’ ever had a synonym, his slower ball to Shaun Marsh was as close as it could get. India wrapped up a win at MCG that eventually secured the historic first series win on Australian soil.
Thanks for reading! Which of the above-mentioned India vs Australia memorable spells in Tests is your favourite? Please, let’s know in the comments.
Dharmik is an Author at AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics. He is an avid Cricket lover who fell in love with the game when Australia won the ’99 WC at the age of 6.