The most anticipated Border-Gavaskar trophy has already begun as India takes on Australia in the four-match Test series. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy, abbreviated as BGT, is considered one of the most famous Test series between two countries, par with the Ashes. The ongoing BGT series is crucial for India as it will decide their fortunes for the World Test Championship finals. Border-Gavaskar Trophy has given fans some enduring matches over the years. From the perspective of India, there have been several great victories that are very special to forget. Let’s have a look at some of the most nail-biting encounters in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from the past.
Revisiting the Best Matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
The Gabba Test victory will always be the most remarkable Test in the history of Indian cricket. There were a lot of heated arguments between Indian and Australian players during this trip in 2020–21. Tim Paine, the former captain of Australia, even forewarned R Ashwin about short stuff being bowled at Indians on the bumpy Gabba pitch before the fourth and final Test there. Australia proudly referred to the Gabba as their “Fortress” because they had not lost a Test match there in 32 years. India’s Rishabh Pant-led batting squad chased down 328 just before the 5th Day stumps to win the match and the series. With Pant scoring an undefeated 89, the Gabba Fortress was breached. India won the series and created history.
Creator: PATRICK HAMILTON | Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Australian captain Tim Paine said the “world-class” performance of the Indian team had made it “very difficult” to win the match. Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar described the victory as a “fairy tale” and said, “This victory will be remembered for a long time.” India’s stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane said: “We all should enjoy this win, not just us but every Indian should enjoy this. What we did here is historic, and we want to enjoy this win tonight once we land in India, we will think about the England series.”
India would like to forget a test but will not be able to do so for two reasons. First, in the second innings, they scored 36, the lowest Test score in history. Two, no one anticipated what transpired following this Test as an injury-struck India won the series 2-1 after defeating Australia in two Test matches. Adelaide must be remembered as the starting point of a historic journey on that tour. India scored 244 runs in their first innings before bowling the Australians out for just 191 runs to grab a commanding advantage.
Then, however, the unthinkable occurred when India got dismissed for just 36 runs in the second innings. India’s batting line-up suffered a major collapse in the second innings of the Adelaide Test match, leading to an embarrassing all-out score of 36. The Indian batsmen failed to stitch together any substantial partnerships and were outdone by the Australian bowlers. Cricket experts widely criticized India’s batting performance, and Ravi Shastri himself admitted that the batting line-up needed to take more responsibility.
It was the lowest total in India’s Test match history and a far cry from India’s first-innings score of 250. Australia eventually won the match by eight wickets. Australia won and took a 1-0 lead by chasing down the little target on the third day. Head coach Ravi Shastri instructed Indian squad members to accept 36 all-out as a badge of honor and rise to the occasion. India, without Virat Kohli, triumphed after defeating the Australians in the MCG, drawing at the SCG, and winning once more at the Gabba.
Some of the quotes said after the match:
- “It’s a bitter pill to swallow and an outing we need to forget,” – Ravi Shastri
- “This was an absolute masterclass by Australia with the ball,” – Virat Kohli
- “Australians used their conditions superbly well today and they deserve the win,” – Mayank Agarwal
- “It was a very good team effort, every single bowler out there did their part,” – Nathan Lyon
The Eden Gardens Test against Australia will go down as one of the pinnacles of Indian Test cricket. In the home series in 2000–01, India were down 0–1. Australia took a commanding lead at Eden Gardens by knocking India out for just 171 runs in the first innings. Then, after asking the Indians to take the follow-on, the visitors were astounded by what happened.
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A record 376-run partnership between VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) for the fifth wicket gave India the upper hand. Australians were bowled out for just 212 while chasing 384 to win, thanks to the bowling onslaught led by Harbhajan Singh, who took 13 wickets overall, including 7 in the first innings and 6 in the second. India won the series by defeating Australia in the third test at Chennai. It is one of the best matches from the Border-Gavaskar trophy and probably one of India’s greatest Test victories.
Some of the quotes said after the match:
- “The Kolkata Test of 2001 will remain an everlasting memory in the minds of Indian fans and cricket followers forever.” – VVS Laxman
- “It was an unbelievable match where a team were being looked down with contempt and after being made to follow-on, won!” – Sourav Ganguly
- “One of the greatest turnarounds in Test match history.” – Sunil Gavaskar
- “India showed marvelous fighting spirit and tremendous character in this match. They never gave up.” – Shane Warne
India was 124/8 at one point in the 2010 Test match at Mohali, needing 216 to win. Ishant Sharma then stepped in, batted for 92 deliveries, and helped India secure a crucial ninth-wicket partnership. Ishant had scored 31 runs before he got out, as India needed 11 more runs to win. Raina was scurrying for Laxman as he battled an injury. A typically composed, Laxman lost his composure in the tense final stages of the game and yelled at his batting partner and the runner for taking a hazardous single.
Ojha, the number 11 batsman who is not well renowned for his batting prowess, managed to put the bat on the ball in the dying moments, and India scored two runs in an exciting victory. Laxman was suffering from unbearable pain but fought till the end for his country. It was one of the most closely fought Test matches in history, ending with India winning by just one wicket.
Some of the quotes said after the match:
- “Every game of this series has been a great game of cricket, and this one in Mohali was the culmination of all of them. This is not just about victory or defeat, but it was about sheer determination, effort, and hard work.”- VVS Laxman.
- “That’s why cricket is the greatest game of all – it provides such moments that no other sport can. The tension, the drama, and the emotion of one wicket victory in Mohali triumphed over every other result all year.” – Harsha Bhogle
- “The Mohali test was a classic example of how tough and resilient India can be.” – Sachin Tendulkar
- “It was just a matter of keeping your nerve and riding out the tough patches, which we did brilliantly in the Mohali Test.” – Virender Sehwag
The Perth Test played in the 2008 Border-Gasvaskar Trophy also finds a mention in the list. Even though it only lasted four days, session after session saw the game switch back and forth between the two teams. The Anil-Kumble-led team rallied after falling behind 0-2 in the series to hurt the hosts and make it 2-1 going into the final Test.
Creator: Ezra Shaw | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2008 Getty Images
The Australians had not been defeated at WACA, Perth, by any team in more than eleven years at the time. To make it better, it was India’s first victory in Australia in more than four years. It was made even more significant for the Indian team and spectators because the Test victory in Perth occurred immediately after the SCG Test, which was plagued by numerous issues, notably the infamous Monkey Gate affair.
Which among the 5 Test matches is your favorite from the Border-Gavaskar Trophy? Also, who do you think will be the winners of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy?