History revisited : Indo-Oz Close encounter at Adelaide – Now Kohli, Then Azhar


In spite of a brilliant display from skipper Virat Kohli, India lost the first test in Adelaide and that reminds us of a similar scenario from one of the past Down Under Trips of India.

Let us look back to a great Indo-Oz encounter at Adelaide way back in 1992, which bears quite a resemblance with the recently concluded encounter. Saturday afternoon, India failed to seal victory despite Kohli’s heroics but 22 years ago, a Hyderabadi youngster’s glorious innings went in vain.

India won the toss and decided to field – a “brave” decision considering the Adelaide tradition of electing to field and losing. Kapil Dev and Prabhakar’s swinging deliveries and part time bowling of Sachin Tendulkar reduced Australia to 81/6. Raju wiped off the tail and the Aussies were bowled out for 145.

Apart from Kapil and Sidhu, no one could withstand the hostile spell of McDermott ,and in no time India were struggling at 70/6. The sixty five runs’ stand between Kapil and Prabhakar  along with some resilient batting from tail-enders helped India to reach somewhat respectable total of 225.

The scenario was quite different in second innings as Taylor, Boon and Border played with calm and composure as Aussies set up a formidable target of 372. Umpires too played part in the match with the controversial leg before wicket decisions they made.

Chasing 372, India made a good start and put on 52 runs for the first wicket. All got the start but no one could capitalise on to it, as again India were struggling at 182/6. The defeat was on the cards but Azhar and Prabhakar had some other plan on mind. They put on 101 runs stand for seventh wicket and India were back in the hunt. Azhar cut and drived at ease in what you can say a typical wristy innings. It was one of his great innings – though he was a bit shaky in the beginning. Nevertheless, Adelaide crowd were on their feet to applaud the great effort.

When nothing was going in their way, Border took the new ball. It turned out to be a turning point as McDermott had Azharuddin caught at slip. The run out of Prabhakar was the last thing India could afford. Azhar’s classical knock of 106 was in vain as India fell short by 38 runs and Craig McDermott was Man of the Match for his ten wickets haul, much like Nathan Lyon who earned the same accolade this Saturday.