Indian Triumphs Post Conceding The Lead In Tests

After the humiliation at Headingley, nobody expected Team India to excel at Leeds but they did in the unlikeliest fashion. England would be scratching their heads in despair over the loss as they never had the illusion of the match going into the penultimate day of the Test after taking a decent enough first-innings lead of 99 runs. But Team India reserved their best in their second essay to shock everyone with superlative batting and bowling efforts. The ‘Oval take over’ happens to be one of the several accomplishments of Team India after conceding a lead, their 7th since 2000. Now, let us press the rewind button to reminisce the times they won in similar circumstances. 

Indian Victories Post Giving A Lead 

Against England at Lord’s (2014) 

Image Credits: Sify

This was the second Test and India were still being led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in all three formats. After winning the toss, England led by Alistair Cook put India into bat. The team, due to the century of Ajinkya Rahane (103), put up a score of 295 runs. In reply England score 319 in their first essay, cornering a slender lead of 24 runs. However, India; thanks largely to Murali Vijay (95), Ravindra Jadeja (68) and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (52); post 342 in their second essay and set a challenging 319 for the hosts to win the Test. Then Ishant Sharma’s incredible 7/74 in the fourth innings of the match helps India lord over England at the Lord’s by 95 runs. 

Against Australia at Adelaide (2003) 

Imaged Credits: Infotonline

This was the farewell series of Steve Waugh and India almost ruined the send-off party of the veteran cricketer however the rub of the green did not their way. This was the second Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy of the year 2003. Batting first Australia scored a mammoth 556, courtesy of a magnificent 248 by Ricky Ponting. But, India in the first innings scored an equally good 523, helped by Rahul Dravid’s 233 and VVS Laxman’s 148. This effort by India ensured that the lead garnered by Australia was restricted to a meagre 33 runs. In the second essay, Australia were dismissed for a modest 196, setting India a tricky score of 233 to win the match on the final day of the Test. However, Dravid’s unbeaten 72 helps India go one up in the series after a few nervous moments on the last day. 

Against Australia at Brisbane (2021)

The series was evenly poised at 1-1 going into the decider at Brisbane, the fort India has never breached before. After putting up a challenging 369 by Australia, the pressure was immense on India. But in a surprising lower-order flourish, Shardul Thakur (67) and Washington Sundar (62), Oz’s First innings lead was limited by India to a minuscule 33 runs. After 336 by India, Australia finish with 294 in the second innings, giving India an improbable target of 328 runs to create history and win the series. And India exactly do the same in the fourth innings of the match by vanquishing the hitherto impenetrable Brisbane to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

Against Sri Lanka at Kandy (2001) 

Image Credits: Sports Keeda

This was a different Sri Lankan side from the present one as it had the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya, wily Muthiah Muralidharan, relentless Chaminda Vaas in the mix. In the Test (second) Sri Lanka posted a competitive 274 in their first essay and India scored 232 in reply. With a lead of 42 runs, Sri Lanka put up a fighting 212 in the second innings, giving India a tough 264 run to chase in their second innings to win the match. However, Saurav Ganguly with an unbeaten and a classy 98 and Rahul Dravid with a sedate 75 script an unlikely triumph against the formidable Lankans in the island nation. 

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