Australian cricket team in India in 2008–09
|Australian cricket team in India in 2008–09|
|Dates||9 October – 10 November 2008|
|Captains||Ricky Ponting||Anil Kumble (1st, 3rd)
MS Dhoni (2nd, 4th)
|Result||India won the 4-match series 2–0|
|Most runs||Michael Hussey (394)||Gautam Gambhir (463)|
|Most wickets||Mitchell Johnson (13)||Ishant Sharma (15)
Harbhajan Singh (15)
|Player of the series||Ishant Sharma|
The Australian cricket team toured India from 9 October to 10 November 2008 and played four test matches, for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. During the second test match Sachin Tendulkar became the first person to make 12,000 runs in Test cricket breaking Brian Lara's record of 11,953 runs.  Sachin described "It is definitely the biggest achievement in 19 years of my career" on the day he achieved the record. India's 320 run victory in the second test match was also their biggest win against Australia in terms of runs, eclipsing the 222-run victory that came in Melbourne in 1977 and their biggest test win ever in terms of runs. In the first innings of the third test match, Gautam Gambhir and V. V. S. Laxman became the first Indian players to both score a double century in a test innings. This series also witnessed the last tests of two Indian cricketers – Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly.
Security concerns and controversy before the tour
Before the Australian cricket team was scheduled to tour India and play a series of Test matches, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches, it was doubtful if the Australian cricket team would tour India after the terror attacks in Delhi and the press briefing given by India's National Security Advisor M. K. Narayan that raised issues of security concern in the minds of Australia's cricketers.
On 13 September 2008, serial bomb blasts took place in India's capital city Delhi in which 30 people died and over 100 people were injured. The very next day after the blasts, Cricket Australia (CA) issued a statement saying that it will review the security situation in the wake of the blasts and will make its decision the next week after performing a risk assessment. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, however, asserted that the blast would have no bearing on the cricket tour which would go ahead as scheduled. However, a conflicting report made on 15 September claimed that Cricket Australia had briefed that the tour was on track. Following these reports, the Pakistan Cricket Board lashed at the Australian cricket establishment for agreeing to tour India while postponing their tour to Pakistan in early 2008 and accused the board of adopting double standards. One PCB official even called the Australians "lilly-livered cowards" But Ricky Ponting issued a statement vindicating Cricket Australia's stand by saying that the circumstances accompanying the cancellation of Australia's tour of Pakistan were entirely different. However, on 17 September 2008, Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said that the tour was not yet confirmed and that it could go either way.
Australia played two tour matches before the Tests. The first was against the Rajasthan Cricket Academy and the next was against the Indian Board President's XI.
- Rain delays on days 2 & 3, bad light on day 5
Prior to the Second Test starting on 17 October in Mohali, Australian opening batsman Phil Jaques (who did not play in the opening Test) was sent home after failing to overcome a back injury. He was replaced in the squad by Shaun Marsh, who opened the batting in the recently concluded One Day Internationals against the West Indies and had been the leading run-scorer in the 2008 Indian Premier League. Victorian fast-bowler Peter Siddle made his international debut, after Stuart Clark injured his elbow. Heavy rains interrupted pitch preparations for the Test, and curator Daljit Singh said, "Heavy rains came down as recently as 4 October and water, two and a half feet deep, collected on the surface which initially affected our ground preparations." The tourists had never played a Test at the venue; however, Indian batsmen Laxman, Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly and Tendulkar all averaged over 50 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.
Winning the toss and batting, India reached 5/311 by stumps on the opening day, and despite the rain, the pitch was flat with "hardly any swing or movement", enabling the batsmen to hit through the line of the ball. During the day, Sachin Tendulkar became Test cricket's highest run-scorer when he steered a Siddle delivery down to third-man for three. He overtook former West Indian batsman Brian Lara's previous record of 11,953 runs. However, Australia struggled and managed 268 only after the last three wickets put on more than 100. India dominated for the rest of this match and Australia could barely keep up in this record-setting match.
29 October – 2 November
India batted for almost two days to set themselves up in a dominant position. However the Australians were able to bat for another two days and save the test. The Indians declared late on the final day to give the retiring Anil Kumble a few final overs.
This game see-sawed throughout and going into the final day Australia were chasing a large target for victory, however in spite of some good early batting from Matthew Hayden amongst others, the target and the fifth day pitch proved too much for the Australians. The match also saw some unusual (and controversial) tactics on the fourth day by the Australians. Following the Tea Break, they were in a dominant position, however they were a long way behind on their over rate. So to prevent a one match suspension to captain Ricky Ponting, they chose to bowl their part-time bowlers such as Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey (who were both unsuccessful in capturing a wicket), to make it up. This drew strong criticism from many commentators, who suggested that their faster bowlers could have bowled from a shorter run-up.
- Schedule of the series
- "Tendulkar breaks Lara's record". cricinfo.com www.cricinfo.com. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
- "Tendulkar makes history in Mohali". Australian Broadcasting Corporation www.abc.net.au. 17 October 2008. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
- Special Correspondent (18 October 2008). "Tendulkar scales another peak". Hindu. India. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "India win Mohali Test by 320 runs". Agencies. 21 October 2008. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
- Brett, Oliver (30 October 2008). "India v Australia 3rd Test". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
- Tripathi, Rahul (14 September 2008). "Serial blasts rock Delhi; 30 dead, 90 injured". Times of India. India. Retrieved 13 September 2008.
- "CA to review security situation in India following blasts". PTI. Retrieved 17 September 2008.[dead link]
- "No threat to Australia tour: BCCI". Economic Times. India. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "Australia condemns Delhi bombings, cricket tour on track". Tehran Times. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "PCB blasts Cricket Australia for double standard". The Times of India. India. 15 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "PCB calls Australians 'lily-livered cowards': Report". The Times of India. India. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.[dead link]
- Todd, Mark (18 September 2008). "India not Pakistan, Ricky Ponting says of tour". The Australian. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
- "Ponting says tour of India not confirmed". PTI. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008.[dead link]
- "Security could still scupper Australia tour of India: Ponting". AFP. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
- Called up due to McGain injury.
- Called up due to suspension to Gambhir for Fourth Test.
- Sent home due to injury, replaced by White
- Ponting and Armstrong (2009), p. 27.
- "Rain affects ground preparation". Cricinfo. ESPN. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
- Talya, Siddhartha (16 October 2008). "Not much for spin, especially from overseas". Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- "Tendulkar breaks Lara's record". Cricinfo. ESPN. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- "Cricket writers and commentators were stunned by what they saw as [Ponting's] efforts to improve Australia's sluggish over rate rather than going for broke to try and win the vital Nagpur Test." "Aussie press slams Ponting tactics", AFP 9 November 2008.