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Border–Gavaskar Trophy

Border Gavaskar Trophy

The Border-Gavaskar trophy celebrates the two greatest cricketers of the 20th century, Sunil Gavaskar and Alan Border. Both players captained their teams in the late 70s, and early 80s. The team that wins the Australia - India Test Series receives this trophy. Readers should know that the Border-Gavaskar trophy tournament takes place every two years, and is an important part of the ICC's cricket schedule. At the time of writing this article, India were the trophy winners.

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Background of Border-Gavaskar trophy

Before this trophy was instituted, India and Australia had had 50 Test encounters in a 49-year period. In fact, Australia was the first country that India toured right after their Independence. Unlike the modern Test series, the India-Australia matches were sporadic, and both teams visited each other sometimes after a 10-15 year gap. The Border-Gavaskar trophy has sought to correct this imbalance in the cricket relations, and so far this approach seems to have worked.

Alan Border

Border is one of the most prolific Australian players of all time. Alan Border's unique record of appearing in 153 consecutive Test appearances was broken by Alastair Cook. The left-handed Australian batsman also appeared in 156 Test matches, before this record was smashed by fellow Aussie Steve Waugh.

As captain of the Australian Test side, Border led his team to several victories. He is one of the very few players to be inducted in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen in Test Cricket. During his career, he scored the maximum centuries and runs in the Test format. Gavaskar made his debit in 1971, and is fondly remembered for his rearguard action in India's tour of the West Indies in the 1970s.

Border-Gavaskar series milestones

Australia has always harboured the idea of beating India on its home soil. If you follow the sport keenly, you will know that India is a very difficult side to beat on the home soil. The Australians, considered a very strong Test side, could not beat the Indians in India from 1969-70 to 2004-05. Conversely, India has found it very difficult to trounce Australia on the latter's pitches. Until 2018-19, the Men in Blue had never won a single Test series against the Kangaroos in Australia. But after the 18-19 win, India won the Border-Gavaskar trophy once again in the 2020-2021 series.

The final frontier

As we noted earlier, it has always been the dream of successive Australian captains to beat India on Indian wickets. Steve Waugh once called one of his India tours "final frontier". Other cricket commentators have labelled the India-Australia series in India as "iconic events".

Two such 'iconic events" took place in 2000-01 and 2006-07. In 2001-02, India broke Australia's unbroken run of 16 consecutive victories! In that series, the Indians overpowered the Aussies in the final match at Chennai and won the Border Gavaskar Trophy. That series gave three new cricket superstars to the world - Laxman, Mathew Haden, and Harbhajan Singh. These players later delivered some sterling performances. Many cricket watchers still remember the duels between Laxman and the Aussie bowlers on one hand, and Harbhajan and Mathew Haden on the other. The 2000-01 series took place in the backdrop of the death of Sir Don. He said he very much looked forward to watching this epic series.

The intensity of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy can be judged by looking at the Series outcomes so far. At the time of writing this article, Australia had won 19 matches, while Indians were marginally ahead at 22 victories.

Highlights of Border-Gavaskar Series

This Test Series has had several highs, lows and heartbreaks. . Not surprisingly, cricket lovers around the world eagerly follow this tournament.

The inaugural series

In 1997-98, the Australians arrived in India hoping for a win that had eluded them since 1969-70. However, what followed was a disaster.

The first Test at Chennai saw Sachin Tendulkar hammering away the Aussies for 155 off 191 balls. Things got more complicated for the Aussies thanks to the trio of Raju, Kumble and Chauhan. Unsurprisingly, the Kangaroos lost this Test by a big margin.

In the Kolkata match, Azharuddin delivered a brilliant knock of 163 runs, thereby crushing Australia with an innings defeat. While the Kangaroos won the third and final test at Bangalore, the Indians had already pocketed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

1999-2000

It was widely believed that Australia would win this edition of the Border-Gavaskar trophy because of its stellar performance in Pakistan. The first test at Adelaide was won by the Kangaroos comfortably. At Melbourne, the Aussies struck again by bowling out India for 110 runs. By winning this Test, Australia had wrapped up the Series.

In the third Test at Sydney, The Aussies got the better of India once again, thanks to some stunning batting by Langer and McGrath. Aussies won this Series 3-0.

2003-04

This series ended in a draw after both sides won one match each. The venues were Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. Since it was a drawn series, India retained the trophy.

2004-05

Australia toured India with the sole desire of beating Indians after a 35-year hiatus. The Kangaroos fulfilled their ambition by beating Men in Blue 2-1. This was the last time Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath toured India.

2007-08

The Aussies retained the trophy by beating India yet again, 2-1 in this series. This was the last time Sourav Ganguly toured Australia as the skipper of the Indian side.

2008-09 and 2010-11

Both series were won by India comfortably. India clinched the 2008 series 2-0, and the second series 2-1, thanks to some clinical batting and bowling.

Ishant Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar won the Man of the Series awards for 08-09, and 10-11, respectively.

Summary

The Border-Gavaskar Series has delivered several world-class cricketers, such as Harbhajan Singh, Brett Lee and Mathew Hayden. With the eclipse of England as a test playing team, many cricket lovers follow the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with unmatched enthusiasm. This tournament has evolved over a period. For example, the first Test of the 2020-21 was a day-night match. Cricket lovers will see even more innovations in this Series in the times to come.


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Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.