Ind vs Aus Adelaide Test 2003
When it comes to India vs Australia, some matches and moments define the legacy of both these sides. From Kolkata’s test that saw Laxman 280 runs innings and Harbhajan’s 8-wicket haul to the Perth test in 2007, there are numerous occasions where the quality of cricket and individual performance have been the hallmark.
One such match was played in the 2nd test match at Adelaide between 12-16 December in the year 2003, where India defeated the Aussies by 4 Wicket. And the platform for that victory was laid by none other than the duo of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Later on India’s great fast bowler Ajit Agarkar also produced a moment of magic, as he tormented Australia’s batting line-up when it was needed at the right time to win the match.
Steve Waugh’s Australia won the toss and batted first which saw them put a mammoth 556 runs on the board, on the back of a double century by Ricky Ponting who scored 242 runs. In reply, India had a good start but lost the momentum as they were reduced from 66-0 to 85-4. Suddenly the pressure was on India again and the duo of Dravid & Laxman whom India was putting their hopes onto, have to bail them out of this scenario. Interestingly they didn’t disappoint millions of Indian.
They were in a similar situation 2 years ago in Kolkata when India scripted a history. VVS Laxman played that very very special innings of his life by smashing unforgettable 280. But here they were trailing in the first innings and remember they were in Australian conditions but without the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.
In the magazine Wisden Asia Cricket, VVS Laxman wrote in December 2004, “Like at Kolkata, Rahul and I told ourselves to play it over by over, be positive, and play each ball on its merit. The pitch was great for batting, and the key to playing in situations like this is not let, as far as possible, the circumstances of the match affect you batting.”
What followed after that was a masterclass from both the batsmen. The wall of Indian cricket smashed a double ton whereas Laxman made a crucial 148. India were dismissed for 523 leaving a 33 run deficit.
Australia looking to put a respectable target on board was halted by India’s bowling stalwart Ajit Agarkar who was looking to make an impact. He ran through the Australian batting line-up picking up 6-41 in the 2nd innings. He sent the star of the 1st innings Ricky Ponting on a duck. Australia finished that innings on 196, giving an easy target of 233 to India with a day to go.
India were looking promised to pull off that target thanks to small cameos by everyone but it was not until Dravid again hold off to the innings at one end. Everyone played a part with Sehwag scoring 41, Akash Chopra(20) and Laxman scoring 34. Dravid remaining not out on 72 ensured that India got over the line as they chased 233 with 4 wickets in hand. A great day to remember for sure.