India will begin their tour of Australia this winter with a Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 24. This will be followed by three more Test matches down under.
The last time these two sides played for the Border-Gavaskar trophy, it was a series in India in 2010 that India won 2-0. In the series before that, also in India, the hosts had triumphed in the four-game series 2-0 again, but have never won a series in Australia.
On their last tour of Australia in 2007-08, India were expected to put up a much better show but were crushed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with consummate ease. Then, in the second Test at Sydney, they had their chances to draw the series but some poor umpiring led to the Indians going down in the last 15 minutes of play on the fifth day.
India bounced back to win the third Test match at the WACA in Perth, traditionally a pace-filled and bouncy pitch before the fourth game at Adelaide ended in a draw. Australia, thus, won the series 2-1. In 2003-04, the two had played in Australia and the series had finished 1-1 after India took a surprise 1-0 lead at the Adelaide Oval.
Back home, India went down to Australia for the first time in 35 years when they lost two of the first three Tests in 2004, before gaining a consolation win at a minefield of a pitch at Mumbai. Earlier, Australia missed a golden opportunity to win a series in India when they took a 1-0 lead in the first of the three Tests in the 2001 series. However, a superb counter-attack by VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in that famous Kolkata Test match brought India back to even things up before they edged out Australia in the third game.
Australia hold the last whitewash recorded in 2000 when they over-powered a fragile Indian batting 3-0 in a three-Test series. That was also the beginning of the end of Sachin Tendulkar’s stint as the captain of the Indian team.