India will go into the second Test against Australia starting on Saturday knowing they have to surmount some serious odds if they are to turn the tables on the visitors after the 333-run drubbing in the first Test in Pune.
If Virat Kohli’s men come out all guns blazing, and reel in the current series, it will be only the third time an India team has rallied to win at home after losing the first match.
It will be heart-warming for India, after the three-day hammering led by left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe’s 12-wicket haul, that one of the previous two fightbacks involved perhaps the strongest Australia side in the last three decades.
Steve Waugh’s world No 1 side, better than the rest by a distance, brushed aside the hosts by 10 wickets in three days in the first Test at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium. However, Sourav Ganguly’s side eventually won that 2001 series 2-1.
However, Virat Kohli and Co will know India’s Test record at the Chinnaswamy Stadium is nothing to crow about in big matches. Australia have an impressive record (draw, win, win, draw, loss) at the venue.
INDIA ARE ONLY 50-50 AT BANGALORE
Of the 21 Tests India have played at the venue, their win-loss record is six-all, with the remaining nine matches drawn. But the losses included some high-profile encounters.
The second Test against Steve Smith’s Australia is as crucial a match for India as they come, and the hosts will have to keep their nerve if they are to ensure the result goes their way. This is why they need to be doubly prepared.
1974: Lost to West Indies by 267 runs
India lost their very first Test played at the venue, against Clive Lloyd’s mighty Caribbean side in 1974. Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharan struck centuries before the Andy Roberts-led pace attack prevailed over India’s spin attack of Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, S Venkataraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna. It is India’s heaviest defeat by runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
1987: Lost to Pakistan by 16 runs
It was a massive game, against arch-rivals Pakistan, after the five previous Tests in the series played on benign surfaces had been drawn. Under pressure to produce a result, the pitch was left underprepared. India’s left-arm spinner Maninder Singh captured 10 wickets, leaving the hosts to get 221 for victory. Sunil Gavaskar produced a classic exhibition on how to play spin, with a 96, but Pakistan left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim, and off-spinner Tauseef Ahmed, bowled their team to a narrow win.
1998: Lost to Australia by 8 wickets
India won the first two Tests against Australia with Sachin Tendulkar winning his battle against Shane Warne in style coming into the final Test in Bangalore. But India pace spearhead Javagal Srinath pulled out due to injury, and a teenaged Harbhajan Singh made his debut.
Sachin Tendulkar’s first innings 177 raised Indian hopes of making it 3-0, but Mark Waugh’s 153 not out, paceman Michael Kasprowicz’s five-for in the India second innings and off-spinner Gavin Robertson’s match-haul of five wickets combined gave Australia victory.
2000: Lost to South Africa by innings and 71 runs
Not since the West Indies pacers held sway that India had faced a team that took the pitch out of the equation with express quicks. The Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock-led attack made things tough. Having won the first Test in Mumbai, the Proteas pace attack skittled India for 158. Mohd Azharuddin hit 102 in the second innings, but left-arm spinner Nicky Boje took 5/83 to bowl out India for 250 as South Africa won easily.
2004: Lost to Australia by 217 runs
‘The pitch, weather and Tendulkar’s elbow’, not necessarily in that order, were the talking point as the Ricky Ponting-led Aussies arrived chasing the ‘Final Frontier’ which was not achieved three years earlier.
With Tendulkar’s tennis elbow proving a big blow, debutant Michael Clarke arrived in Test cricket with a splash, scoring 151 on debut. A fit-again Glenn McGrath, and Warne, who avenged his 2001 failures with a stunning delivery to bowl VVS Laxman, and then a controversial leg before decision against India’s only batting hope in the second innings, Virender Sehwag, all had a big say in the result. The Aussies went on to win the series 2-1, their first in India for 35 years.
2005: Lost to Pakistan by 168 runs
It was déjà vu, against India’s biggest rivals. Pakistan piled on the runs in the first innings thanks to Younis Khan’s 267 and skipper Inzamam-ul Haq’s 184. Sehwag’s smashed 201 but a useful first-innings lead allowed Pakistan to set a fourth-innings target of 383 for India. Only Gautam Gambhir crossed 50 as India were 214 all out, resulting in the series ending 1-1.
However, India will look at their improved record at the Chinnnaswamy Stadium in the last decade --- draw, draw, win, win and draw.