India's best batting performances against Australia

Innings that matter: Laxman's 281, Dravid's 180 and the others.


5. GR Vishwanath 114 & 30 v Australia, Melbourne 1981

Match Batting IMPACT – 4.24

Brief Scores: Ind 237 & 324, Aus 419 & 83 – India won by 59 runs, Series Drawn 1-1

 

Innings

Runs Tally

Innings Start

Pressure

Strike Rate

Partnership Building

Innings IMPACT

1st

1.91

0.14

1.14

 

0.16

3.35

2nd

0.81

 

 

 

0.08

0.89

0-1 in the series, one Test match to go, India’s last chance to make something out of a series that at least had yielded Sandeep Patil as a major find. India’s batting heroes Gavaskar and Vishwanath had been in indifferent form, and in much the same vein, India were 22 for 2 when Vishwanath walked out to bat within the first hour of the match. Soon it was 43 for 3, 99 for 5, 115 for 6.

But India’s most aesthetic batsman had also proved in the past that could also be the most substantial – and his thrilling exhibition of square cuts, flicks, drives and nudges, all cajoled by eminently insurable wrists, put runs on the board and the colour back on Indian cheeks. Supported first by Patil, then by Kirmani and Shivlal Yadav, Vishawanath was ninth out at 230 for almost half those runs. India’s total was surpassed easily by Australia, and India fought hard in the second innings with Gavaskar finding form in the second innings.

When he was wrongly given out at 70, “temporary insanity” (his own words) led Gavaskar to stage a walk-out in the match (he famously physically pushed opening partner Chauhan to walk out with him, till the cooler head of manager SK Durrani prevailed. Test cricket history owes him – as the match gradually became a classic. India fought on to make 324 (Vishwanath made 30 of those) and left Australia a seemingly trivial 143 to make.

But the pitch, which had been showing signs of breaking, came into the fore dramatically, as Australia were reduced to 24 for 3 by close (Greg Chappell’s dismissal a loud alarm bell that just wouldn’t go off). Kapil Dev, who had been injured in the course of the match, came back on the last day despite not being fully fit, bowled non-stop, and took 5 for 28 to give India a famous win. It was India’s first-ever drawn series in Australia.

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