Melbourne Cricket Ground is undoubtedly one of the most iconic places to play cricket in the world due it’s sheer size and history. For many cricketers, it is a dream to play in MCG but the vocal crowd adds more pressure to the already daunting prospect of playing against Australia.
Only very few from India have been able to soak up the pressure and perform well in MCG. In this article, we take a look at five memorable knocks played by Indians at the MCG,
5. Gundappa Viswanath, 114 off 222 balls, 1981
By 1981, Viswanath had already proved his mettle when the chips were down, bailing India out of trouble several times. Gavaskar’s dismissal triggered a collapse and India were 115/6 with Vishwanath fighting a lone battle.
Viswanath batted beautifully with the tail-enders, attacking the spinners Jim Higgs and Bruce Yardley. The innings was filled with his trademark late cuts and his century would prove to be the difference in the end as India won the game by 59 runs.
4. Sachin Tendulkar, 116 off 191 balls, 1999
The script was similar to Vishwanath’s innings as India were down 31/3 in the second innings after Australia scored 405 runs in the first innings. Tendulkar steadied the ship with a half-century partnership between him and Ganguly.
Soon Ganguly was dismissed but Tendulkar kept going from one end. He targeted Warne whenever he started a spell while giving due respect for McGrath and Lee. He cut and pulled ferociously throughout the innings and registered one of his finest centuries against a world-class Australian bowling unit.
3. Ajinkya Rahane, 147 off 171 balls, 2014
Even before this game, Rahane had played some special knocks in tough conditions but this innings was his crowning jewel. India got off to a decent start in reply to Australia’s mammoth first innings score of 530 but Australia still controlled the game by picking up regular wickets. Rahane realized that counter-attacking can unsettle Australia and hence played positively from the very first ball.
He attacked Hazlewood and Lyon early in his innings and picked apart Ryan Harris, Australia’s best bowler, to bring up his century. When he departed, the momentum was on India’s side and this remains an unforgettable knock from Rahane.
2. Virat Kohli, 169 off 272 balls, 2014
It was a typical Kohli innings until he reached 90’s as he was brisk with his running, put away any loose balls and took a very little risk. But Johnson’s sledging and mind games seemed to have done the trick as Kohli lost the plot and started playing uncharacteristic slogs.
He was dropped by Watson off Johnson and after registering his hundred, he settled down and started playing some exquisite drives and pull shots. India added just three runs after he departed for 169 and gave away a 55 run lead but Kohli’s innings paved way for a draw.
1. Virender Sehwag, 195 off 233 balls, 2003
One of the greatest boxing day innings of all time, Sehwag lit up the series with a blistering century and narrowly missed out on a historic double. He ruthlessly targeted Stuart MacGill throughout his innings and the inexperienced Nathan Bracken also took a huge pounding.
He exploded in a phenomenal fashion after lunch as even Brett Lee was on the receiving end of a captivating assault. He was dismissed by Simon Katich as he went for a six to bring up his double century but the Melbourne faithful gave a rare standing ovation to a truly legendary opener.