India is scheduled to play the second Test of the Border-Gavaksar Trophy at Brisbane from December 17th. Among the five Australian grounds where India have played Tests (Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth), Brisbane (Gabba) is the only ground where India have not won a single Test. However, between 1992 and 2013, India played only one Test at Gabba; and that was their solitary drawn Test during the 2003-04 tour.
In total, India have played 5 Tests at Brisbane, in which they have lost 4 and drawn only one (as stated above). Let’s take a look at the history of these 5 matches in detail:
1. First Test: 1947 (Australia won by an innings and 226 runs)
Sir Don Bradman played a gritty knock of 185 runs in the first innings
This was India’s most humiliating defeat at Brisbane. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Australian captain and legend Don Bradman scored 185 as Australia declared at 382. Then Ernie Toshack, left-arm medium pacer made light work of Indian batsmen as he took 5 wickets to bundle India out for 58. Lala Amarnath, India’s captain for the series, was the highest run-scorer with 22. Australia then enforced the follow-on and Ernie Toshack took 6 wickets as India got all-out for 98, allowing Australia to register the win by an innings and 226 runs.
2. Second Test: 1968 (Australia won by 39 runs)
Jaisimha’s hundred wasn’t enough to take India to victory
India showed some serious fight in this Test, but not enough to secure a win. Indian captain Nawab Pataudi won the toss and sent Australia to bat. Middle-order batsmen Doug Walters scored 93 as Australia made 379 in their first innings. In reply, India lost 3 quick wickets but Nawab Pataudi and Motganhalli Jaisimha scored half-centuries and took the team’s total to 279. Leading by 100 runs, Australia scored 294 runs in their second innings, setting India a target of 395 runs. Jaisimha scored a hundred in the chase but he didn’t get the much-needed support from the other end as India lost the match by 39 runs.
3. Third Test: 1977 (Australia won by 17 runs)
Bishan Singh Bedi took 5 wickets in the first innings
This was India’s most narrow loss at Brisbane. Australian captain Bob Simpson won the toss and chose to bat. The decision backfired as Australia got bundled out for 166. Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi was the most successful bowler, as he took 5 wickets. In reply, India also got all-out for 153, giving Australia a lead of 13 runs. The pitch eased out a bit on the third day as Australia, riding on their Simpson’s 89-run innings, scored 327 runs, giving India a target of 341 runs.
India’s chase was lead by Sunil Gavaskar’s 113 and Syed Kirmani’s 55, but due to the lack of support from other end, India lost the match by 17 runs. A nail biting finish which could have resulted in India’s favour!
4. Fourth Test: 1991 (Australia won by 10 wickets)
Craig McDermott (in pic) and Merv Hughes shared 16 wickets in this match
Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes single-handedly sealed the deal for Australia in Test match. After winning the toss and electing to field, McDermott and Hughes shared 8 wickets between them as India scored only 239 runs. In reply, riding on Mark Taylor’s 94, Australia made 340, taking a lead of 101 runs. Then McDermott and Hughes again made light work of Indian batsmen as the duo again took 8 wickets between them, bundling India out for 156. Australian openers Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh chased down the taarget of 56 runs without fuss as Australia humiliated India by 10 wickets.
5. Fifth Test: 2003 (Match resulted in a Draw)
Sourav Ganguly scored 144 in India all-time best performance at Brisbane
This Test marked India’s best performance of all-time Brisbane. Under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy, India won the toss and chose to field. On the rain-affected first two days, Justin Langer scored 121 as Australia posted a total of 323 in their first innings. In reply, India were struggling at 127/4 when Ganguly came in and rescued the team with his first century at this venue. He scored 144 as India took a lead of 87 runs in their first innings.
Australia, then scored quickly in their second innings to force a result but as the rain had affected the first two days, the match resulted in a draw.