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On This Day in 2008: India Wins Perth Test Denying Australia 17th Consecutive Win

January 19, 2008 will always remain a historic day in India’s Test cricket history, and to cherish this day, let's look back at how the innings unfolded.

January 19, 2008 will always remain a historic day in India’s Test cricket history, and to cherish this day, let's look back at how the innings unfolded.

The Test match ended in 4 days, and it was Irfan Pathan who was awarded the Player of the Match for his all-around performance

On This Day in 2008: India, during the 2007-08 tour in Australia, faced a big defeat at the Boxing Day Test at MCG, followed by another loss in Sydney. And the treacherous wicket at the WACA Ground in Perth could have marked a hattrick, but the Anil Kumble-led squad turned the table around. The match is also remarkable because India broke the winning trail of Australia and denied them a consecutive 17th Test win.

January 19, 2008 will always remain a historic day in India’s Test cricket history, and to cherish this day, let’s look back at how the innings unfolded.

Kumble won the toss and opted to bat first. The Indian openers, Virender Sehwag and Wasim Jaffer were successful in giving India a solid start as they put together a half-century stand for the first wicket. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar came down and together stitched a 139-run partnership for the third wicket. While Sachin was dismissed by Brett Lee for 71, Dravid kept the innings together and scored the highest 93 runs. The visitors put up a total of 330 runs in the first innings.

When the Aussies came to bat, Irfan Pathan gave an early double jolt to the hosts in the fourth over by sending the openers, Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers back to the dressing room. While RP Singh scalped Michael Hussey’s wicket, Ishant Sharma got the big fish, skipper Ricky Ponting. Sharma also removed Michael Clarke and Australia was struggling at 61 for 5.

But the match didn’t come easy for India either. A counter-attacking partnership of 102 runs between Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist took Australia to a stable position of 163 for 5. However, they could not stitch the innings further. RP and Kumble combined to take the last 5 wickets by giving mere 49 runs. In the first innings, Australia was bowled out for 212 runs, giving India a solid lead.

Sehwag and Pathan gave India the impetus at the start of their second innings, but its famous middle order, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly couldn’t do wonders with the willow and fell in quick succession. India was in disarray at 125 for 5, when VVS Laxman made three partnerships, with Pathan (for 35), Dhoni (for 75), and RP Singh (for 51) to save the day for the visitors and take the scoreboard to 294. Laxman was dismissed at 79.

Australian batters had to achieve 413 for a win, but they didn’t get the desired start. The hosts again lost both their openers within 10 overs, courtesy of Pathan. Ponting, Hussey, and the top-scorer for Aussies in the second innings, Clarke (81) put up a fight but they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. At 253 for 8 with Clarke gone, it looked like the course was set for India but Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark put together a surprising partnership of 73 runs for the 9th wicket, giving India a big scare.

However, Pathan broke the partnership, while Singh hit the last nail in the coffin by removing Shaun Tait from the crease. The Test match ended in 4 days, and it was Pathan who was awarded the Player of the Match for his all-around performance. India defeated Australia at the WACA Ground by 72 runs and became the first team from the sub-continent to achieve the feat.

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first published:January 19, 2022, 07:30 IST