India has got off to an abysmal start to their tour of Australia. The men in blue were comprehensively routed by the hosts in the first two one-day internationals. With one last ODI, three T20Is and four tests yet to come, a long tour lies ahead. India will have to buck up considerably if they want to fly back home with their heads held high.
In this context, we decided to indulge in some wishful thinking. Here’s a look at players from the days gone by that created a stir on Aussie shores with their tremendous performances. What if these guys could rewind the clock and be added as reinforcements to the Indian squad on the present tour?
A gutsy batsman with a penchant for hooking the short ball, Amarnath stood tall against fast and hostile bowling in Australia throughout his career. His record down under speaks for itself – two hundreds and three fifties in 13 test innings.
India’s greatest ever opening batsman, Sunny G plundered runs in all parts of the world and Australia was no exception. He boasts of an astounding five centuries in just 11 tests.
The legendary all-rounder tops India’s wicket charts in Australia in tests as well as ODIs. With five 5-wicket hauls in test matches, a bowling average of under 22 in one-dayers coupled with contributions with the bat, he’d walk into the XI even today.
He doesn’t even need to take a flight to Australia, he’s already there! The Indian coach is best remembered for his all-round brilliance in the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket held down under in 1985, in which he won player of the tournament. He bears an impressive test record too, having scored a marathon double century at Sydney in 1992.
This is an obvious pick. Tendulkar’s love affair with Australia began as an 18-year-old in 1992, when he notched up hundreds in Sydney and Perth. Thereafter he piled on the runs and centuries every time he went back. Tendulkar tops practically every batting chart in cricketing history, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that he is the highest run-scorer for India in Australia across formats.
Kumble doesn’t have the most flattering record in Australia, but stats don’t quite tell the full story. Those who watched his lion-hearted performances in India’s tour of 2003-04 will vouch for it. In conditions not exactly deemed conducive to spin bowling, the leggie finished as the series’ highest wicket-taker across both teams. This included a mammoth 12-wicket haul in the test at Sydney.
Australia’s tormentor-in-chief for a long time, the gentle Laxman turned into a man possessed while facing the Aussies. From his maiden test ton at Sydney in 1999 to big hundreds in 2003-04 and 2007-08, Australia brought the best out of Laxman. He didn’t have the greatest ODI career, but three out of his six ODI hundreds came down under in 2003-04.
My hero no more ..my mad genius rest in peace ..I watched football for you.. pic.twitter.com/JhqFffD2vr Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) November 25, 2020
Diego Maradona....you made football even more beautiful. You will be sorely missed and may you entertain and enthral heaven as you did this world. RIP.... pic.twitter.com/PlR2Laxfj2 Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) November 25, 2020
RIP Diego Maradona. He changed the way the beautiful game of football is played. True genius. Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 26, 2020
Have followed Maradonas game & life for years. Maidaan brought me closer to the game. He was a football legend and a passionate sportsman. Sad to see him go. RIP Diego Maradona. Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) November 26, 2020
Cant quite believe DM has gone. Hard to process. He always seemed indestructible. I had 10 hours with the man!! I touched his left foot. We did our best to show the world the man, the myth, the fighter he was. The greatest #legend #DiegoMaradona @MaradonaMovie #Diego #maradona pic.twitter.com/4BSULN9rdt asifkapadia (@asifkapadia) November 25, 2020
Diego was the first football player I ever heard of. The 86 final was the first match I ever saw. He triggered what has been a lifetime of deep love and passion for the game for me. Cant believe hes gone so soon ? Vikramaditya Motwane (@VikramMotwane) November 25, 2020
A legend has passed. Rest in peace Diego #Maradona ??? Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh) November 25, 2020
RIP Maradona .. the greatest genius in football after Pele .. Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) November 25, 2020
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"El Pibe De Oro". With you goes away a very important part of my childhood. The unforgettable #1986WorldCup on DD & my father explaining to me patiently why suddenly it was all more important to him than even I was & how you were only next to God.#GoodByeLegend pic.twitter.com/RHqkWdRCpF Nikhil Dwivedi (@Nikhil_Dwivedi) November 25, 2020
UEFA president Aleksander ?eferin: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Diego Maradona, one of world footballs greatest and most iconic figures. He achieved greatness as a wonderful player with a genius and charisma of his own." pic.twitter.com/BYGWL2sNFZ UEFA (@UEFA) November 25, 2020
The jersey, while matching in colour with the 1992 edition, is crowded with sponsor logos. Kiran More, India's wicketkeeper in the 1992 world cup, gave us a glimpse of the original jersey.
New jersey, renewed motivation. Ready to go. 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/gKG9gS78th— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) November 24, 2020
Remember this inauguration of the 1992 @ICC @cricketworldcup in Sydney, good to know that @BCCI will be wearing a similar jersey during the upcoming ODI series against @CricketAus @azharflicks @RaviShastriOfc @sanjaymanjrekar @pravin__amre @sachin_rt @vinodkambli349 #AjayJadeja pic.twitter.com/faCnyIjfj6— Kiran More (@JockMore) November 24, 2020
Want to fulfill my father's dream: Siraj The fast bowler speaks about overcoming personal loss and why he decided to continue performing national duties in Australia. Interview by @Moulinparikh Full interview 👉https://t.co/xv8ohMYneK #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/UAOVgivbx1— BCCI (@BCCI) November 23, 2020