Fast and furious: India’s Perth memories over the years

first_imgFor the first time since India arrived in Australia, the talking point hasn’t been Virat Kohli. In the lead up to the second Test between the two teams, it has been all about Perth’s new stadium – Optus Stadium, which is gearing up to host its maiden Test from Friday.A Perth Test always added to the jitters in the visiting camp over the years as Australian pacers wreaked havoc on the iconic WACA wickets. The 22-yard-strip at the now-defunct venue was considered one of the fastest and the liveliest the game has seen, albeit it becoming a batsman-friendly wicket during its twilight as the host of Western Australia’s international matches.From Friday, the Perth Stadium – a state-of-the-art facility that is on the other side of the Swan River – will take over from the WACA, which hosted its last international fixture during last year’s Ashes.A lot has been said about the new stadium’s pace and bounce that is expected to mirror the terrorising WACA conditions. Despite being a drop-in wicket, which has become the norm at Australian stadiums, the clay that it is made from is sourced from same place from where WACA got its soil, according to a Cricket Next report.Perth Stadium’s Chief Executive, Mike McKenna, according to the media report, insisted that there was a lot of hard work done over the last three years to make sure Perth remained one of the most-feared venues for visiting teams.Captain Tim Paine, coach Justin Langer and former skipper Ricky Ponting have all talked up the pace-rich nature of the wicket at the Optus Stadium.On the other hand, visiting captain Virat Kohli, who has the cushion of a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, has insisted India won’t be nervous about the green-tinged Perth wicket and rather would be excited to unleash their pacers there.advertisementPerth – We are here! ?????? #TeamIndia #AUSvIND (@BCCI) December 13, 2018India have the pace attack to trouble the Australian batsmen. In fact, Jasprit Bumrah & Co. outshone their Australian counterparts during their 31-run win on a sluggish wicket at Adelaide Oval. Also, India recent track record on lively wickets is something that Australia should be wary of.However, the WACA remained a hostile venue for Indian visiting teams in the past. From four matches played at the iconic venue, India managed to win only one as they were outclassed on three occasions. Sachin Tendulkar was part of the Indian team that beat Australia at the WACA in 2008 (Reuters Photo)1977: India lose close contest after Amarnath, Gavaskar brillianceLed by the brilliance of Mohinder Amarnath and Chetan Chauhan, a Bishan Bedi-led side posted 402 in the first innings and gave themselves a chance against the hosts. However, Jeff Thomson and Sam Gannon combined to pick up 13 wickets in the match to help the Bob Simpson’s side clinch a close win at WACA.Sunil Gavaskar and Amarnath scored tons in the second innings and Bedi finished the match with 10 wickets but it wasn’t enough for the visitors to avoid a defeat.1992: Sachin Tendulkar shines but India falter on spiteful trackIndia’s next trip to the WACA came 15 years after their first. A Mohammad Azharuddin-led team endured a baptism by fire as Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes and Mike Whitney wreaked havoc on a spiteful track.Sachin Tendulkar came up with a masterclass – a valiant 114 off 228 deliveries but a second innings disaster which saw only three Indian batsmen get to two-digit scores ended with a 300-run run defeat to the visitors.2008: Young pace quartet help India crack Perth code A young Indian pace attack shone in India’s only Test win at the WACA in 2008 (Reuters Photo)16 years later, India, it seemed, had cracked the code to conquer the Perth track, which was a shadow of its former self despite being a track with decent pace and bounce.Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar scored fifties in the first innings after which a then young pace attack, consisting RP Singh, Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma gave Australia a dose of their own medicine.With a massive lead of 118 runs, India made sure they made the best use of the advantage by posting 294 in the second innings. VVS Laxman made a crucial 79 after coming into bat at No. 7.The pace trio picked up six wickets in the second innings and it was ably supported by leg-spinner Anil Kumble and part-time bowler Virender Sehwag as India secured a historic 72-run win that came as a much-needed boost for the team that was bogged down by the Monkeygate scandal.advertisement2012: MS Dhoni’s men handed a thrashingNonetheless, a four-man bowling attack that had Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, and Peter Siddle blew away an MS Dhoni-led side in 2012 wherein India lost 4-0.Indian batsmen had no answers to the class of the opposition attack as they were bowled out under 200 in both the innings and the visitors eventually suffered an innings defeat.Also Read | ‘India outbowled Australia, hosts taking a risk with green pitch in Perth’Also Read | India have a sniff of something special and we have to be careful, says Tim PaineAlso Read | More excited than nervous looking at lively pitches, says Virat Kohli ahead of Perth TestAlso See:last_img