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.