Top 10 Indian Batting Performances Overseas Tests

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The Indian cricket team has always been known for the outstanding batsmen that they have produced over the years and although the team has not been as successful in overseas Tests series as some other teams, the batsmen have sometimes produced performances that were right up there with the very best. This article presents the 10 best batting performances by Indian batsmen in away Tests.

10. VVS Laxman 167 v Australia at Sydney 2000

The ill fated series Down Under in 1999-00 resulted in a 3-0 whitewash for India but the innings played by V V S Laxman in the last innings of the tour still remains a fond memory for Indian fans. Following on in the second innings and needing to score at least 402 to make Australia bat again, India folded for 261 thanks but not before Laxman had scored one of the best centuries in modern times. He was cautious to begin with but after he scored his century he went after the Australian bowling with a vengeance since there was nothing to lose and he was particularly severed on the young Brett Lee. The 167 runs included 27 boundaries and the innings was a delight to watch for the tired fans.

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9. Sourav Ganguly 144 v Australia at Brisbane 2003

Ahead of the 2003 Test series in Australia, the Aussie camp had already stated how they were going to target the Indian captain Sourav Ganguly with some ‘chin music’, which meant a barrage of short ball but in the very first Test match their big words were shoved down their throat by Ganguly. In one of the fastest pitches in the world at Brisbane, Ganguly scored a masterly 144 in the first innings of the Indian innings to gain the psychological advantage over the Australians for the rest of the series and in addition to that his silken strokeplay drove the Australian bowlers to despair. It is regarded as one of those knocks that launched India’s new identity in overseas Tests as a team which did not take things lying down.

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8. Dilip Sardesai 112 v West Indies at Port of Spain, 1971

This was the innings that paved the way for India’s first win in the West Indies in their history and also their first series win there in their history. West Indies had been dismissed for 214 in the first innings thanks to the spin and guile of Bedi and Prasanna but India had to capitalise by putting up a good score themselves, which is why Sardesai’s superb knock at number 4 is regarded as one of the greatest innings by an Indian in away Tests. He negotiated the pace of Holder, Shillingford and Sobers admirably to score a strokeful 112 with 11 fours that laid the foundations of a famous win.

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7. Rahul Dravid 270 v Pakistan at Karachi, 2004

The tour of Pakistan in 2004 was one of the most important Test series in which India participated in the new millennium and the fact that India won that series by clinching the 3rd and deciding Test at Karachi is down to the superhuman efforts of Rahul Dravid. India had dismissed Pakistan for 224 in the first innings but still had to bat big in order to drive home the advantage and the man for the occasion was Rahul Dravid, who came into bat in the 2nd delivery of the innings after Sehwag had been dismissed of the first ball. Dravid ground the opposition into the dust with a display of superb technique, stamina, patience and strokeplay to take the innings total to a commanding 600 runs. It proved to be the vital knock as India won the Test by an innings and 131 runs.

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6. Sachin Tendulkar 114 v Australia at Perth, 1992

An Australian bowling attack comprising of the likes of Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes and Mike Whitney rolled over the Indian batting line up plenty of times during the tour of 1991-’92 and they were expected to do the same at Perth, which was the fastest pitch in the world at that time. However, an 18 year old Sachin Tendulkar showed what he was capable of as he played arguably one of the best innings in his career to score 114 runs with 16 fours to help India notch up a respectable 272 runs in response to Australia’s 346. India eventually lost the Test match by 300 runs but Sachin’s innings remains one of the greatest innings that was ever played in Australia.

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5. Gautam Gambhir 137 v New Zealand, Napier, 2009

India had already taken the lead in the first match of the 3 Test series in New Zealand but in the second Test they found themselves in threat of losing that lead as they were asked to follow on. The Test needed to be saved and in order to do so they needed to bat out the rest of the overs and in stepped Gautam Gambhir, who for 2 days showed the sort of patience and defensive ability that blunted the New Zealand attack. He was at the crease for close to 11 hours and faced 436 balls to make sure that India did not end up surrendering their lead. India won the series 1-0.

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4. Sachin Tendulkar 169 v South Africa, Cape Town 1996

The Test match resulted in a huge loss for India but in the first innings Sachin Tendulkar played an innings that is often regarded as perhaps the most sumptuously strokeful innings that has ever been played by an Indian batsman. After South Africa had scored 529 in the first innings, India looked down and out at 58-5 and almost sure to follow on but Tendulkar forged a partnership with Mohammad Azharuddin that took the South Africans by storm. Instead of trying to play cautiously, Tendulkar decided to take the South Africans on and played an attacking innings that even forced the South Africans to applaud when he got out to an outstanding catch in the mid wicket boundary. A finer innings may not be seen again.

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3. Sunil Gavaskar 221 v England, Oval, 1979

Although Gavaskar has played plenty of superlative innings for India at the top of the order in overseas Tests, the double hundred he scored against England at Oval in 1979 must rank as one of the very best that has ever been played by an Indian. Chasing a mammoth 438 in the last innings, India got off to a cautious start but an opening partnership of 213 between Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan raised the visions of an unlikely victory. Gavaskar went after the England bowling attack of Bob Willis, Ian Botham and Mike Hendricks to stroke 21 boundaries, however once he was caught at mid on, India suffered a collapse and had to settle for a draw with 9 needed for victory.

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2. Rahul Dravid 233 v Australia, Adelaide, 2003

The ‘Wall’ always has a hand in some of the most famous wins that India has had in away Test matches over the years and in the Adelaide Test of 2003 it was no different as he put India in equal footing with the Aussies, after the hosts had scored 556 in their first innings. Dravid played in the way only he can as he pounded the Australian bowlers like Gillespie, Brad Williams and Nathan Bracken with his superb defensive play and occasional attacking strokes. He brought up his century by hooking Gillespie over the long leg fence but he was not done yet as he made sure that India reached 523 in order to set up the Test match for India.

2.jpeg1. Virender Sehwag 309 v Pakistan, Multan, 2004

You do not often see a Pakistani bowling attack being flayed to all corners of the ground but it did happen on the first day of the first Test of the series in 2004 when Virender Sehwag went ballistic against the likes of Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar at Multan. He hit them to all corners of the ground during his 375 ball innings stretching on to the second day of the game and in total the innings included 39 hits to the fence and 6 over it that pummelled Pakistan into submission. The fact that it came against arch rival Pakistan in their own backyard makes it even more special.

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CONCLUSION

These batting performance would need a long time to be matched by the future Indian batsmen and it is not a wonder that many think that these will remain immortal in the hearts and minds of Indian fans.

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