Editor’s Pick: Is Border Gavaskar trophy becoming the modern era Ashes?

The rivalry between India and Australia has gone from strength to strength in the past couple of decades courtesy of some glorious games and moments.

When cricket rivalries are spoken about, the instant memory goes to that of great battles between Australia and England or the mouth-watering contests between India and Pakistan. However, the rivalry between Australia and India has been growing steadily over the years. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is one of the most anticipated series across the globe. The Australian team was always regarded as the hardest opposition to play against and the Indian team have emerged as another cricketing superpower in recent past.

The Ashes between Australia and England was the arch-rivalry which was regarded as the most fascinating Test series all over the world, but it has lost its prominence since the English side shifted its focus on winning ICC events. As the invertors of the game started losing their dominance on foreign conditions and the Indians started challenging overseas, the focus of fans all over the world has shifted on the battles between India and Australia.

The India-Australia Test series was named after two of the greatest cricketers of all-time, India’s Sunil Gavaskar – the original little master and Australia’s Allan Border – the old school AB. The first Border-Gavaskar series was played in 1996-1997 in India and since then, there have been 14 editions of the series. Currently, Virat Kohli’s Indian team series holds the trophy. Australia has the chance of regaining the trophy during the next four weeks.

The Border-Gavaskar trophy has such importance because of its history. The series has always impeccable memories from Steve Waugh’s final frontier statement to Laxman-Dravid’s heroic knocks in Kolkata test during 2000/01 series.

How can one forget the Monkey gate or the brain-fade saga? The series is also well known for Ponting’s back-to-back double tons and Kohli’s twin tons at Adelaide. Here are the top moments why the Border-Gavaskar trophy stands tall as an epitome of modern-age Ashes.

Steve Waugh’s Final Frontier

In the buildup to Australia’s tour of India in 2001, Steve Waugh the captain of that Australian side, named the tour of India, the final frontier as the tourists who were the world-beaters had never defeated the Indians in India. They didn’t manage to beat India in 2001, but they eventually achieved that feat to establish themselves as one of the best side in the history of the game in 2004.

The Eden Gardens test in 2001

In Steve Waugh’s final frontier test series, the Indians were almost knocked out by the Aussies during the test match at Eden Gardens. While following on in second innings, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid changed the course of the match and the series as well. They escaped from a situation of desperation to that of domination. Harbhajan Singh spun the web in the second innings to help India in registering win against Australia.

Ponting’s back-to-back double tons

The Indians were touring Australia in 2003-04 under Sourav Ganguly’s leadership. Both teams scored heavily on that tour, but the stand-out performer was the Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting. He scored a total of 706 runs in eight innings that included two half centuries and two double centuries. The first one was at Adelaide where he scored 242 runs in a losing cause but his effort was rewarded in the Boxing-Day test where he scored 257 runs and his side won the game by 9 wickets.

Kohli’s twin tons at Adelaide

Whenever the Indian skipper visits the Adelaide Oval, he scores a ton there, and as MS Dhoni said, “They should now name a stand after Virat.” Kohli averages 98.50 at Adelaide Oval, scoring three centuries including his first test ton. He has played three tests at Adelaide and in 2014, he scored twin tons at the venue on his captaincy debut.

India’s historic win in 2018

No subcontinent had won a test series in Australia until 2018. Kohli’s men changed that record by dominating a four match test series. Cheteshwar Pujara scored two tons, while Indian bowlers showed that they can pick up 20 wickets in any conditions. It was a historic moment achieved by Indians, which further adds spice to the ongoing series as Aussies are looking to avenge the series defeat.

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