India’s performances and record in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia) have always raised eyebrows but on Tuesday, the team achieved a distinction to be extremely proud of. India recorded an epic eight-wicket win over Australia, but with it, also registered their fourth win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), making the iconic venue India’s most successful ground overseas.
Prior to the Boxing Day Test, India had three wins each at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo in Sri Lanka, The Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad and the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Their win on Tuesday to level the four-Test series 1-1 took their victory count at the MCG to four, thus making it the India’s most successful ground overseas. Out of the 14 matches played between India and Australia at the MCG, the Indian team have drawn 2 and lost eight.
The first of the four victories came in December of 1977, when India beat Australia by a massive margin of 22 runs. Spinners Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishan Bedi combined to bowl Australia out for 164. Four years later, in February of 1981, Kapil Dev’s magical spell of 5/28 robbed Australia and bowled them out for 83, when all they were chasing to win was 143. The series ended in a 1-1 draw.
India would have to wait the next 37 years before they could conjure yet another triumphant performance at the MCG. During the third Test of the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with the series levelled at 1-1. India bounced back at the MCG to beat Australia by 137 runs with Jasprit Bumrah picking a career-best 6/33. The win helped India retain the trophy.