India’s Recent Win in Australia Isn’t their Greatest in History, reckons Sanjay Manjrekar
Yes, India made history in Australia, beating the hosts 2-1 in the four-match Test series; however, former cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar doesn’t think that this win is their best in Test cricket. Though in 71 years, India became the only Asian team to win Tests in Australia, Manjrekar contradicts their achievement, saying this was the weakest Australian team in years.
Virat Kohli-led India enters record books
Virat Kohli was the captain at the helm, and after India lost two overseas tours in 2018 itself, he had led his team to their maiden win on the Australian soil. Meanwhile, Sanjay, who spoke to ESPN Cricinfo, revealed why he thinks so. In his words, India did start as favourites ahead of the series; why, because of the absence of Steven Smith and David Warner in Australia’s lineup.
He further added, India, despite having faced a ‘potent’ England and South Africa team and losing to them, only exposed their weakness against strong sides at their home. Manjrekar also opined had Pujara got out on day one of the Adelaide Test, the scenario would have been different.
Although India had found success, Sanjay is of the opinion that this historic win is still India’s fourth-best overseas victory in Tests.
“We have to understand that this Australian batting lineup is the weakest. And before the series began, India had a good chance of winning. But because India weren’t winning in South Africa and England despite having a good team there was that question mark. So, No.4. Although the quality of the Indian bowling attack was good. But India had a weakness too – going into the series their batting had a problem. And the series would have been a lot closer had Pujara, after India were 40 for 4 on Day 1 (at Adelaide) not got that hundred,”
India winning in England in 1971 is the best – Sanjay
Sanjay Manjrekar then listed his top five victories for India in Tests in overseas. On the numero uno position, he keeps India’s historic yet majestic series win over England four decades back. Under late Ajit Wadekar, India won the three-match Tests 1-0.
“Three-match series. India drew the first two. The opener was a close one – rain came and India had two wickets in hand and they had to get about 30 runs, they could have won that Test match or lost as well. But they competed well. Second Test match, they were a little lucky. And finally at Oval, that magic spell from Chandrashekar. They had to get about 170 runs. The pressure must have been immense. A David-Goliath situation and so it has to be No.1.”
On the second spot, he keeps India’s 1-0 win over the mighty West Indies in 1970/71. Meanwhile, the third spot belongs to India’s success in England in 1986, whereas, the recent 2-1 victory over Australia is listed fourth. However, the country’s significant triumph over Pakistan in 2003/04 is fifth on the list.
Sanjay Manjrekar rates India’s biggest overseas series win in Tests –
1) India in England in 1971 – 1-0 (3)
2) India in West Indies in 1970/71 – 1-0 (5)
3) India in England in 1986 – 2-0 (3)
4) India in Australia in 2018/19 – 2-1 (4)
5) India in Pakistan in 2003/04 – 2-1 (3)
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