INDvAUS: Quirky trivia (Part 1)

With India and Australia about to resume their Test battles in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023, here are some gems from INDvAUS history we guarantee you won’t find elsewhere

Reading Time: 4 minutes


As a serious cricket tragic, I have witnessed many Tests and One Day Internationals, both live and on TV, in the last seven decades. One incident, however, remains unique. It took place 63 years ago, and I was on the sidelines at Brabourne Stadium in Bombay as it happened, watching India play Australia.

India’s handsome batter Abbas Ali Baig (then aged 20) had just scored 50 and evaded a loss to Australia, when a pretty young girl ran out to him. “I was returning to the pavilion at tea when this girl jumped the fence and kissed me!” Abbas would recall years later.

The incident inspired a Cadbury’s ad, which sources tell me, is one of the top three Indian advertisements of all time. (Of course you may have seen it revived late last year – with genders reversed: the batter is a woman, and the (near) kisser is male. That‘s right, no kiss this time!)

Below are some interesting and quirky cricket stats involving India and Australia.

  • Former Australian off spinner Tim May was born on 26-1-62, a palindrome date. He must be popular both in India and Australia as 26 January is India’s Republic Day as also Australia Day.
  • India’s Sunil Gavaskar and Australian leg spinner Bob ‘Dutchy’ Holland have something in common. Both named their son Rohan after the West Indies master batsman Rohan Kanhai.
  • Prolific run-getters Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and Steve Rodger Waugh share the same initials (SR), used the same brand of bat (MRF) and scored ducks in the first innings of the first Test in Brisbane in 2003-04.
Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar (Source: Bradman Foundation)
  • Steve Waugh was caught by India’s wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel (aged 18) off fast-medium Irfan Pathan (aged 19) in the first innings of the January 2004 Sydney Test. The veteran Waugh, then aged 38, had fallen to two teenagers whose combined age (18 + 19 = 37) was less than his.
  • In the 1977-78 Melbourne Test against Australia, India’s mystery spinner BS Chandrasekhar had identical figures of 6 for 52 and 6 for 52 as a bowler and 0 and 0 as a batsman. He became the first batsman to be dismissed for a pair (two zeros) in Test cricket four times!
  • Forty years later in the February 2017 Pune Test against India, Australia’s left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe had identical figures of 6 for 35 and 6 for 35.
Former Australian PM Morrison with 2014 cricket captains Virat Kohli and Tim Paine (Source: Supplied)
  • How much difference can two years make? Ask Virat Kohli. Against Australia in Australia in 2014-15 he amassed 692 runs at an average of 86.50 hitting four centuries (highest score 169) in four Tests. Against Australia in India in 2017, he struggled to 46 runs at 9.20 in three Tests, highest score 15.
Maninder Singh (Source: Sports360)
  • We can imagine the turbaned and bearded Indian left-arm spinner and right-hand tail-end batsman Maninder Singh asking himself: Why me? It must be a case of déjà vu for him. In the 1987 World Cup match against Australia at Chennai on 9 October 1987 he was bowled by Steve Waugh off the second last ball as India lost by one run. A year ago, on 22 September 1986 on the same venue, he was dismissed off the last ball of the match from Greg Matthews in the tied Chennai Test.
  • Two Indians scored over 300 runs in a single Test in the 2003-04 series in Australia: Rahul Dravid 305 for once out (233 and 72 not out) in the Adelaide Test and Tendulkar 301 without being dismissed (241 not out and 60 not out) in the Sydney Test.
  • Other tourists to notch 300 in a Test in Australia were Englishmen RE Foster 306 for twice out (287 and 19) in Sydney in 1903-04, Herbert Sutcliffe 303 for twice out (176 and 127) in Melbourne in 1924-25 and Alastair Cook 302 for once out (67 and 235 not out) in Brisbane in 2010-11.
INDvAUS quirky trivia
Ricky Ponting (Source: ICC Cricket)
  • Until 2013, Ricky Ponting was the only player to score double centuries in successive Tests against India, having scored 242 and 0 in Adelaide followed by 257 and 31 not out in Melbourne in 2003-04.
  • New Zealander Brendon McCullum joined Ponting in February 2014 when he registered 224 and 1 in Auckland and 8 and 302 in Wellington against India. Australia lost the Adelaide Test despite Ponting’s double hundred in 2003-04. It remains the highest individual score in a losing side.
  • Ponting’s performances in Tests in Australia and India are vastly different. He averaged a magnificent 86.04 in 15 Tests against India in Australia (1893 runs with seven centuries, highest score 257) but a poor 26.48 in 14 Tests in India (662 runs with a single century, 123). Ponting reached his nadir in 2001 in India when scoring only 17 runs (0, 6, 0, 0 and 11) at a Glenn McGrath-like average of 3.40.

Read More: And some more INDvAUS trivia, the quirky type!

Kersi Meher-Homji
Kersi Meher-Homji
Kersi is a virologist by profession and a cricket writer and cricket statistician by hobby. He is an author of 17 cricket books and over 17,000 cricket and scientific articles.

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