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AUS-IND 20-21 vs AUS-ENG 36-37
World Test Championship

The Ultimate Test Series: Two Down Under classics

The Ultimate Test Series

Today, India's momentous triumph over Australia in 2020/21 takes on Australia's incredible Ashes comeback in 1936/37.

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Ahead of the ICC World Test Championship Final, we’re looking to crown The Ultimate Test Series – a Test series that would stand out in any era for both its significance to the sport’s rich history and the level of cricket played.

Over the past week we have invited you to vote on your favourite campaigns from a shortlist of 16 and now we are well and truly into the quarter-finals.

Today, India's momentous triumph over Australia in 2020/21 takes on Australia's incredible Ashes comeback in 1936/37.

Australia vs India, 2020/21
1-2 to India across four Tests

India went into the 2020/21 campaign as the Border-Gavaskar Trophy holders, having won the last time they toured Australia. This time, however, the Australians had back the services of Steve Smith and, belatedly due to injury, David Warner. India on the other hand would be losing star captain Virat Kohli after the first match of the series due to the birth of his first child. As it turned out, Kohli’s departure would be just one of their worries.

Few gave India any chance of taking the series after they were rolled for 36 at Adelaide Oval, losing a Test they had largely been in control of. To make matters worse for the tourists, alongside Kohli they also lost pace spearhead Mohammed Shami for the remainder of the series due to injury.

It was at the MCG the comeback began as they rallied to level the series on the back of a century from Ajinkya Rahane. It came at the cost of another frontline quick, with Umesh Yadav breaking down. The injury toll got worse at the SCG, where they pulled off a remarkable draw, while losing Jasprit Bumrah, Hanuma Vihari, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to further injuries.

At the Gabba, deep into their reserves, they did the unthinkable, winning the match and the series off the back of an incredible 89 not out from Rishabh Pant.

An incredible moment for Indian cricket.
An incredible moment for Indian cricket.

Australia vs England, 1936/37
3-2 to Australia across five Tests

A series that is remembered both for Australia’s dogged fighting spirit and Don Bradman’s innovation as captain. 

Having tasted back-to-back defeats in Brisbane and Sydney, the Australian side were on tenterhooks, staring at a series defeat at home going into the third match. In the first Test they had been blown away by 322 runs as Bill Voce took 10 wickets for the match and in the second they had lost by more than an innings after a Wally Hammond double-century.

A tactical masterstroke by Sir Don in the third Test paid huge dividends: he reversed the batting order in the second innings. The move was thought out by the Australian skipper to counter the wet pitch at the end of day two and make full use of the rest day, allowing the surface to dry out under the sun. It worked wonders as Bradman himself would score an incredible 270 in the second innings and Australia wound up winning by 365 runs. 

The momentum would carry on in the fourth and fifth Test matches as the hosts registered comfortable victories in Adelaide and Melbourne to complete a remarkable turnaround with a 3-2 series win.

Don Bradman's captaincy was key in a 3-2 comeback for Australia.
Don Bradman's captaincy was key in a 3-2 comeback for Australia.

 

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