When Australia conquered the Final Frontier

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When Australia conquered the Final Frontier

In the latest episode of the podcast we look back on Australia’s tour to India in 2004-05 – when Adam Gilchrist led the visitors to their first series win in India in 35 years. Australia have won just one Test in India since then – and will hope to improve that record in the upcoming series.

Talking Points:

  • How 2004 was in many ways the sequel to 2001
  • If McGrath won’t get you, Gillespie must
  • Shane Warne’s finest hour in India
  • The emergence of Michael Clarke – and a special Bangalore hundred
  • Adam Gilchrist’s measured brutality
  • Damien Martyn’s expertise against spin
  • When Kumble rocked Australia on day 1 in Chennai
  • Virender Sehwag’s unforgettable 155 – and the match that promised so much
  • A curious case of ‘greenwicketitis’ in Nagpur
  • Was Nagpur really an outlier pitch? Or was it just magnificent bowling?
  • The most exciting Test of that series – on a ‘raging turner’ in Mumbai
  • Murali Kartik’s moment, and the liberating Tendulkar-Laxman partnership
  • Do the current Australian team have a bowling attack to win in India?


Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Prashant DP (@prashantdptweet)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


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  • True colours – Adam Gilchrist – Amazon
  • The balls of the century – Shane Warne to VVS Laxman – Sharda Ugra – The Cricket Monthly
  • Anatomy of a classic – Virender Sehwag on his 155 in Chennai – ESPNcricinfo
  • Once upon a twinkle-toed debut – Siddhartha Vaidyanathan – ESPNcricinfo
  • Wisden Reports – Australia in India 2004-05 – ESPNcricinfo
  • John Wright’s Indian Summers – Amazon
  • India lose 35-year-old home record – Sharda Ugra – India Today
  • Justin Langer chats with Gideon Haigh and Peter Lalor – Part 1, Part 2


Lead image from here.

One thought on “When Australia conquered the Final Frontier”

  1. Lovely debut by Prashant DP; he’s some nice anecdotes from Gilchrist’s book. And I loved how he chabi’d Mahesh over 155 😀

    I remember when this series started, most of us (me and my friends) thought Indians had the upperhand (because of 2001 win and good performances in Aus and Pak plus home advantage), and absence of Ponting and Sachin cancelled each other. So the Bangalore Test was a huge wake-up call given how the Australians bowled to us. And I believe this is still a perfect 2-point formula vs Indian batters in Indian conditions* – choke the boundaries and have catching fielders for drive and flick.

    That’s why Chennai felt a huge relief first and then an even bigger disappointment. But the Sehwag swag after hitting those fours at the end of the day and walking off nonchalantly was there in the Adelaide 2003 Test as well when he upper cut Bichel for a four and then walked off with Aakash C, only to be reminded by the umpire that one over is still left for the day :D.

    But we were still upbeat when the Nagpur Test began, but then things started going downhill from Day 1. The Aussies were ruthless with their batting and impeccable with their bowling. It was a proper drubbing.

    And for Mumbai Test, I have some better memories to share. There was a fest in a nearby college and a friend had registered for sports quiz there and asked me to accompany him as a team. I had never participated in a quiz but he insisted. So I said I will just observe.

    There were 70-odd people and we got through the short listing part (Top 10) thanks to my friend who had prepared really well for the quiz. Then began the main round of 5 teams out of which 3 teams were from the host college. You know where this is going :D. We somehow managed to stay in the Top 3 by the time the final round started in which each team had to pick one sportsperson/event and there were 10 questions on that topic.

    When our chance came, I picked Viv Richards and answered 9 out of 10 questions, at times without even consulting with my friend. Few of my friends who were sitting in the auditorium said it felt as if I had an answer key with me. Since then, I am their go to man for anything related to cricket. However, for some selfish reasons, I have not told them anything about #CricketTwitter.

    What’s the link with the Mumbai Test? Well it was the day when India bowled out Australia for 93 and we were following the match on FM Radio. This was, of course, after we had cursed the Indian batsmen and Michael Clarke. 😀

    (contd from above :D) And the perfect bowling combination – 3 fast bowlers and one spinner.

    I don’t know why but I have always felt when the overseas teams play 2 spinners, they have already lost the match (of course the 2012 England series is a notable exception).

    And lot of people are saying a lot of good things about this Australian attack (Cummins, Starc, H’wood, and Lyon), but they mustn’t forget that Australia had the same attack when India last won 3 BGT series.

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