Test cricket and double hundred against a team like Australia is even more daunting task for any player who has played red-ball cricket in his career. Throughout the long history team India has been blessed with the cricketers who have liked to score against the team like Australia be it in their own territory or at the home conditions. From Rahul Dravid to Sachin Tendulkar; Gautam Gambhir to VVS Laxman; MS Dhoni to Pujara; everyone has scored double hundred.
While in the Indian Cricket History there was the one player Ravi Shastri who has scored double hundred against Australia at Sydney in 1992. Several other players have tried but couldn't make it possible. Even the two greats of this era like Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are yet to achieve this milestone. The factors like consistency, patience, temperament and hard work are required to play the big knocks in the longest format of the game.
Having said, let us take a look at the batsmen who have scored double hundred against Australia.
VVS Laxman 281 vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001:
It was one of the best innings of VVS Laxman career and had come at the time it was even more special. Team India was still “minnows” with the tag against the team like predator Aussies. After losing the first test and almost at the verge of losing the second test too after follow-on was enforced by the great Steve Waugh the best ever captain in the Australia Cricket History. Nobody in stands or either in the world knew Australia was going to lose this match after team India second innings.
The follow-on was almost crossed by team India but they have lost the 4 wickets at the stage of 232 which include Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who both have gone back to the pavilion without scoring even the half-century. Australia was almost sure to confirm their series victory after the second innings of team India. But what followed next was the statement from the two great Indian players VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid who have stitched 376 runs stand partnership for the 5th wicket to put team India back into the driver seat and this partnership had changed the dynamics of team India completely at world level. The more shocking part of this was that the Australia team has experimented with 9 bowlers in this innings which include Ricky Ponting, Mathew Hayden, Slater and Justin Langer to break this partnership.
With 657/7 before declaration came from team India which included VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180). Australia was in complete shock but still they have the chance to draw the test however team India never let that happened and won the test match by 171 runs.
Rahul Dravid 233 vs Australia, Adelaide, 2003:
Once again it was the second test and the same players who had taken the bail of team India earlier in 2001 reversed their roles with the double hundred from “Rahul Dravid” this time around. Rahul Dravid what we have to say about this quality cricketer be it as a captain or as a batsman. Dravid has more centuries in overseas conditions then at home conditions in his career. The 2003 India tour of Australia was all about one player Rahul Dravid who has scored every time in the series and ended with 619 runs along with Man of the series.
Rahul Dravid was in the best form of his career in those years and he completely dominated every single Australian bowler on the tour who have tried to go against team India. The four tests of the series and two were ended in the draw which was somewhere impossible without this player known as Rahul Dravid. In the second test after the hosts Australia has post 556 on the board they won’t predicted that they have to bat again as team India got off to the flying start but reduced to 85/4 before Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman added on 303 partnership for the 5th wicket to put team India back into the driver seat.
Team India innings ended at 523 runs which included Rahul Dravid (233) and VVS Laxman (148) the major contributions to put the hosts to bat again and they have been restricted at the score of 196 runs in their second innings before the Rahul Dravid hits the winning runs with the unbeaten knock of 72* to help team India win the second test with the lead of 1-0.
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Gautam Gambhir 206 vs Australia, Delhi, 2008:
If the 2003 series belonged to Rahul Dravid then there was the another batsman Gautam Gambhir who had completely dominated the Australian team and ended up as leading runs scorer with 463 runs in 2008 series. This was one of the best innings from Gautam Gambhir when he was in the best form of his career with the most complete Indian batting line-up ever.
Team India was already 1-0 up in the series and coming into the third test team India decided to bat after winning the toss and they have batted for almost 6 sessions before declaration at the score of 613 runs for the loss of 7 wickets which included Gautam Gambhir (206) and VVS Laxman (200) in the first innings. However, Australia's team fought back to score 577 runs in their first innings to draw the test match as no team had come out as victorious in the end. But team India won the series by 2-0 after winning the final test match of the series.
Sachin Tendulkar 241* vs Australia, Sydney, 2004:
The final test match of 4-match series and team India decided to bat after winning the toss and they had post the massive score of the board 705 runs for the loss of 7 wickets before declaration which included Sachin Tendulkar 241*VVS Laxman (178) and Virender Sehwag (72) to secure the team India position in the match with only two outcomes from here either it was a draw or the victory.
However, the Australian team managed to draw the end the game and series after fighting back in both of the innings. But the series were all about Indian batting who had dominated the Australians in their prime and made statement in their style we were here to play the serious cricket.
MS Dhoni 224 vs Australia, Chennai, 2013:
Another edition of border-Gavaskar trophy and team India white washed the tourists 4-0 along with leading run-scorer Murali Vijay (430) and R.Ashwin (29) the highest wicket taker in the series. Dhoni was into the last years of his career and still being criticised for being a good white-ball cricketer over red-ball. But after the first test match Dhoni had changed the perceptions of everyone.
Australia decided to bat first after winning the toss and they were restricted at the score of 380 runs in their first innings. With 196/4 at one stage team India looked in trouble before Dhoni and Virat Kohli fought back to put team India back into the game. Although Kohli departs soon, Dhoni along with tailenders helped team India to post 572 runs in their first innings. Dhoni was the highest run scorer in the match with 224 as Australia was all out early in the second innings before team India registered the victory.
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