India’s thrilling series with Australia was full of drama and controversy at every turn, as tourists defied odds … but where does it rank among Test Cricket’s greatest series ever?
- India took a miraculous victory over Australia in an exciting test series
- They chased the victory goal of 328 with an exhausted lineup at the Gabba
- It was a spectacular ending to a series that offered drama and intrigue at every turn
- The 2005 Ashes series in England is considered by many to be the best series
- Others point to the dramatic 2000-2001 series India versus Australia
- Meeting of Australia and the West Indies in 1960-61 is credited with saving the game
A test series that had pretty much everything ended in a miraculous victory for India over Australia.
Over four captivating tests, the drama ebbed and flowed into a match full of sub-plots from the Covid-19 quarantine and injury problems in India to the spectacular backlash from Tim Paine’s sleds.
In the end, India performed a stunning backlash from the humiliation of ejection for 36 in the first Test in Adelaide to claim the second Test in Melbourne and hold on to the third.
India took a miraculous victory over Australia by chasing a victory goal of 328
Rishabh Pant was India’s hero when his unbeaten 89 led them to victory on Day five
It was tough for Australian captain Tim Paine and his team after a dramatic run
But despite all their tremendous efforts, no one had predicted they could chase 328 to win on the final day of the decisive Test at Australia’s Gabba fort.
They did it in style, with Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant writing their names in Indian cricket folklore by sending them home.
But where does this exciting Test series rank among the best of all time? Wisden editor LAWRENCE BOOTH gives his verdict.
5. Australia 3-2 England, 1936-1937
For the only time in Test history, a team from 2-0 came back to win. Needless to say, the victors had Don Bradman in their ranks.
After Gubby Allen’s England won in Brisbane and Sydney, Bradman responded with 270 of No. 7 on a tacky dog in Melbourne, 212 in Adelaide and 169 on the return to Melbourne. Job done.
The great Don Bradman hits England in an Ashes series – his exploits helped Australia recover from two tests to win the 1936-37 series on home soil
4. India 2-1 Australia, 2000-01
Steve Waugh’s Australians went up 1-0 with a 10 wicket victory in Mumbai, their 16th Test win in a row, and then followed India in Kolkata.
But VVS Laxman responded with an epic 281, Rahul Dravid scored 180 and Harbhajan Singh took six wickets to square the streak.
India then took a breathtaking win with two wickets in Chennai.
Indian batsman VVS Laxman celebrated reaching his double century against Australia in 2001
3. Australia 2-1 West Indies, 1960-1961
Considered the series that saved Test cricket after several pitch-doctoring and chucking controversies of the 1950s, this classic kicked off with the format’s first tie, in Brisbane.
Australia won the second Test and the West Indies the third, before Frank Worrell’s tourists were denied victory in the fourth when No. 11 Lindsay Kline lingered in Adelaide for 109 minutes.
Australia then chased 258 to win the decision-maker in Melbourne by two wickets. The West Indies was seen with a ticker-tape parade through the city streets.
The first test cricket match took place in Brisbane in 1960 when Ian Meckiff was exhausted by Joe Solomon from the West Indies
2. Australia 1-2 India, 2020-21
All out for 36 in the first Test, with a list of injuries longer than most at bats, and captain Virat Kohli away on paternity leave, India completed an astounding setback by chasing 328 to win at Fort Gabba.
The Indian team flaunts their flag in a lap of honor in Gabba after an all-ages win
Pant hits a six in his brilliant unbeaten 89 to send India to victory in Brisbane
1. England 2-1 Australia, 2005
So much crammed into five games: England won by two runs at Edgbaston, Australia clung to nine points at Old Trafford, England forced the sequel to Trent Bridge and nearly lost, then Kevin Pietersen’s heroism on the final day at The Oval.
Ultimately, England had won the Ashes for the first time since 1986-87.
Andrew Flintoff is harassed by his English teammates in the midst of his exploits at Edgbaston in 2005
Kevin Pietersen’s 158 in The Oval saw the Ashes be England’s first since 1986-87