(Last Updated on : 21-12-2010)
The Indian team's morale was somewhat down after losing the final of World Cup, 2003, against Australia and the team became successful to lift that up, when it toured Australia, in 2003-04. The tour is still remembered to be one of those rare overseas tours of India, where the team competed with the home team equally. India became successful to eventually draw the four-match series 1-1 and they did prove that they are also capable of taking the cricketing superpowers like Australia on their home soil, quite successfully. The captain of India in the tour, Saurav Ganguly set the theme song for India with his brave and courageous innings of 144 runs in the first Test of the series in Brisbane, and that innings really encouraged the Indian players, a lot. He was also adjudged as the Man of the match for the first Test.
India's tour of Australia in 2003-04 proved the general idea of the people that the Indian batsmen are afraid of real fast bowling and the tour also proved that the Indians are no longer on the receiving side in overseas tours. The top order of India batted wonderfully throughout the tour, as the two openers Virender Sehwag and Akash Chopra provided solid starts for their team in almost all the matches. Apart from the openers, the other Indian batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were also in tremendous form in the tour.
The Indian bowlers were also not that much behind to prove their capabilities in the tour, as the likes of Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan bowled some important and decisive spells time to time in the tour. The Indians stated the tour with a draw in the first Test at Brisbane with the help of the heroic innings of their captain, Saurav Ganguly. It was a nicely contested match where both the teams played well and could not just get a result. However, the second Test at Adelaide saw a memorable and extraordinary performance from the Indians, as they excelled in all the departments of the game, in the match. Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid some superb timely innings in the Test to set the right mood for the Indians and then a dream spell from Agarkar, where he took 6 wickets, helped India clinch a 4 wickets' victory in the series and to go up 1-0, in the series. Rahul Dravid won the man of the Match award in the second Test.
However, the Australian sides made a brilliant come back in the third Test, with the help of extraordinary performance by Aussie pace star, Brad Williams and they won the match by a huge margin of 9 wickets. The star Australian batsman, Ricky Ponting also made a great contribution with a wonderful innings and he was also adjudged the Man of the Match in the third Test. The fourth Test was the last match of the coulourful career of the legendary Australian batsman and captain, Steve Waugh and though the Indians got very closer to clinch a victory in the match, Steve saved his team. It was mainly because of Steve's extraordinary in the last day that the Australians became able to save the match and keep the series drawn 1-1, eventually. It was undoubtedly one of the best overseas tours for India, as it lifted the status of the team, even further. The Indian cricket enthusiasts always remember the tour, as a jewel in the crown of the glorious history of Indian cricket.