Cricket is regarded as Batsman’s game and rightly so considering the fact that in every country batting stalwarts are way more popular than their bowling counterparts irrespective of the performance. To win test matches, a team needs a bowling lineup that is capable of taking twenty wickets and against world-class opponents like Australia every team needs a bowler who is capable of changing the flow of the game. In this article, we will look at India’s most prolific bowling superstars with most test wickets against mighty Australia.
5. Zaheer Khan
India’s greatest left-arm pacer has a solid record against Australia with 61 wickets from 34 innings. He has been expensive, with an average of 35 against the Aussies but it must be noted that he bowled against one of the greatest batting lineups of all time. He has three 5 wicket hauls, with two of them coming in difficult subcontinent conditions.
Interestingly, Khan’s first match against the Aussies was the famous Kolkata test of 2001. Zaheer’s best performance against the Aussies came at the Gabba in 2003 as he picked up the wickets of Hayden, Ponting, Steve Waugh, Katich and Gilchrist in the very first innings of the series.
4. Ravi Ashwin
Ashwin’s first test against the Aussies came at Melbourne, 2011 and India were completely outplayed in that series. However, India did take their revenge on the Aussies in home conditions, thanks to the contributions of Ravi Ashwin, whose 12 wickets in the first game in Chennai set the series up beautifully for India.
He continued his demolition job and picked up two more 5 wicket hauls in the same series and registered 29 wickets in total. He has been outstanding at home against the Aussies and has performed decently in Australian conditions not suited for him.
3. Kapil Dev
India’s third-highest wicket-taker and by far India’s best bowler against Australia, Kapil has picked up 79 wickets at a superb average of 25.35 against the Aussies. He picked up 23 five-wicket hauls in his career and astonishingly seven of them came against Australia. In the Melbourne test of 1981, Australia were set an easy target of 143 runs to win the series.
However, Kapil Dev produced one of the all-time great spells by an overseas player in Australia as he picked up five wickets for just 28 runs and Australia were dismissed for 83 runs.
2. Harbhajan Singh
No Indian cricket fan will ever forget the sight of a young Harbhajan Singh ripping into Australia’s famed batting order in the 2001 series. He had a quiet start to the series with just 4 wickets in the first test but picked up 13 wickets in the second test to help India level the series.
In the last test at Chennai, he literally won the test single-handedly with 15 wickets. He was a nightmare for Aussies at home but could not impose himself on the tests in Australia like the way he did in India. Almost 25% of his test wickets have come against the Aussies, and he has 7 five-wicket hauls against them.
1. Anil Kumble
“Jumbo” as he was fondly called by his fans is India’s most prolific wicket-taker against Australia. He had a dream start against the Aussies in test cricket as he picked up 31 wickets in his first four innings. A lean patch followed this start but he was back at his best in the 2003-04 tour of Australia. He picked up three five-wicket hauls in three test matches, including a spell of 8/141 versus Australia at Sydney.
His last two series against Australia did not yield the expected results but with 111 wickets, he has established his legacy as a bowler the Australians hated to play against.