Top Five Moments in Australia: Dhoni’s Antics, Sachin’s 100 & More

Check out India’s top five moments Down Under in one-day internationals.

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Sports
4 min read
MS Dhoni (left), Sachin Tendulkar (centre) and VVS Laxman (right). (Photo: Reuters)

Another high-intensity India-Australia series is around the corner. Cricket Down Under always provides the feistiest of battles, especially with India on the field.

The men in blue are scheduled to play five ODIs and three T20s, starting 12 January. The Indians have won only two limited-overs series in Australia (Commonwealth Bank Series, 2008 and the Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket) till now.

They may not have won many tournaments but there were many memorable individual performances by the Indians that have become the highlight of the respective tours.

The Quint takes a look at India’s top five moments Down Under.

The Indian team celebrates after winning the Commonwealth Bank series in 2008. (Photo: Reuters)
The Indian team celebrates after winning the Commonwealth Bank series in 2008. (Photo: Reuters)

1. Dhoni’s Men Conquer Australia in 2008

India had never won a tri-nation one-day internationals tournament in Australia until MS Dhoni’s men beat the world champions in 2008.

After playing exquisitely through the Test series, the Indians stamped their authority in the limited-overs tournament as well.

Dhoni’s young Indian team at the time had the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan and Gautam Gambhir among others, alongside the experienced Sachin Tendulkar.

Once India and Australia knocked out Sri Lanka, the men in blue were expected to be steamrolled by the Aussies in two games in the best of three wins final of the Commonwealth Bank series.

But ‘Commeth the hour, Commeth the man’ Sachin Tendulkar stepped up and registered scores of 117 and 91 in the first two finals of the series to help India register a famous victory.

2. India Crowned World Champions

All the Test playing nations in 1985 were called to Australia to play the Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket. The tournament was organised to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the European settlement in Victoria.

This competition was seen as a mini world cup and even though the Indians were the reigning world champions, the West Indians were the favourites.

In the end, the final was a mouth-watering contest between arch rivals India and Pakistan.

Kapil Dev and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan ran through the Pakistan batting order and reduced them to a mere 176/9 at the end of 50 overs.

The Indian opening batsmen, K Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri batted cautiously and charted a big partnership of 103. And eventually Shastri and Dilip Vengsarkar saw India home with eight wickets in hand.

VVS Laxman raises his bat after scoring a century. (Photo: Reuters)
VVS Laxman raises his bat after scoring a century. (Photo: Reuters)

3. Very Very Special Laxman

When India-Australia contests are re-visited, there is one man who cannot be forgotten – VVS Laxman. While the entire cricketing world feared the Australians, Laxman looked like he enjoyed the challenge.

India had not won an ODI against Australia in their home soil over 12 years until the VB Series group match in 2004 and it was about time for the men in blue to get things right.

Against the likes of Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee, VVS Laxman played one of the most classical innings.

His stylish 103, eight boundaries included, took India to a competent 303.

The total proved to be too much for the Aussies who eventually lost by 19 runs.

MS Dhoni. (Photo: Reuters)
MS Dhoni. (Photo: Reuters)

4. Captain Cool’s Finish

India continued performing dismally in the tri-nation tournament (India, Australia and Sri Lanka) after losing the Test series 0-4.

But in the group game against Australia, MS Dhoni’s antics finally landed the men in blue a much-awaited win.

While chasing Australia’s score of 269/8, Gautam Gambhir’s 92 and a couple of 30 plus scores by the middle order batsmen took India to a decent 178/4 by the 35th over. But the job wasn’t done yet.

In walked MS Dhoni.

Instead of getting on with scoring quick runs, Dhoni decided to play it slow. He just kept knocking around the ball for singles and doubles and let his partner Suresh Raina hit the big shots.

But as the match approached its nerve-racking end, it seemed like Dhoni had already given up. He was batting that slowly.

Then in the final over when India needed 13 runs, the irreverent skipper hit one of the most important sixes in the history of the game over the bowler’s (Clint McKay) head in the third ball of the over.

Suddenly India had the upper hand after battling for 49.3 overs. Dhoni finished the match off with running the required five runs to hand India a four-wicket win.

Mohammad Shami celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (Photo: Reuters)
Mohammad Shami celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (Photo: Reuters)

5. India’s Perfect Group Record

After losing all matches in the tri-nation (India, England and Australia) one-day internationals tournament, the Indians fought their way back handsomely in the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia.

They won all the seven matches in the group stages and also registered a record of bowling out all the oppositions.

They comprehensively beat teams such as South Africa and Pakistan.

Eventually though India lost to Australia in the semis by 95 runs.

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