Dharmsala test being the decider of border gavaskar trophy 2016-17, Let us look into past Four epic India vs Australia series-deciding Tests.
1. Adelaide 1978
This most engaging series duel between the two teams ended in a crushing win for Australia which gave them the series 3-2. Bob Simpson’s home team had gone up 2-0 with narrow wins in Brisbane (by 16 runs) and Perth (by two wickets) before Bishan Bedi’s tourists hit back with big victories in Melbourne (by 222 runs) and Sydney (by an innings and two runs). Thus, it was all to play for at the Adelaide Oval.
India had to chase 493 to win or bat out the remainder of the Test to leave the country with a more than creditable draw. Innings of fits and starts – Mohinder Amarnath made 86, Vishwanath 73 and Vengsarkar 78 – saw Bedi’s men to 445, which was a record total in a losing cause, and India were bowled out for 445. It was stirring from India to get so close and further evidence that the 1978-79 series was one for the ages.
2. Melbourne 1981
India needed a victory to avoid another series defeat. After losing in Sydney and drawing in Adelaide, Sunil Gavaskar’s team defeated Australia by 59 runs after bowling them out for 83 in the second innings. It was one of the most engrossing Tests played between the two teams, not only because of Australia’s stunning collapse but because the tourists nearly forfeited the match.
Australia needed just 143 to claim the series. Up stepped Kapul Dev in one of of his best overseas performance, taking five wickets to send Australia hurtling to 83 all out.
3. Chennai 2001
Matthew Hayden continued his impressive form with a sweep-filled maiden double-century but Harbhajan Singh collected 7/133 to keep the tourists to 391. In India’s reply, Sachin Tendulkar scored a superb 126 and put on 169 with Rahul Dravid as India managed a lead of 110.
Australia battled into the fifth day on 241/7. Harbhajan took the last six Australian wickets for 15 runs in 17.1 overs to finish with a career-best 8/84; that set India a target of 155. Australia chipped away at India’s batting and rescued the hosts to 135/7, raising hopes of a famous series-clinching victory late on day five. India lost their eighth wicket at 151 but Sameer Dighe and Harbhajan kept their nerves to seal a thrilling two-wicket win that gave India the series.
4. Sydney 2004
India’s then record total of 705/7 was centered around an out-of-form Tendulkar’s monumental unbeaten 241 – his 32nd Test century, level with Waugh – in which he made a conscious effort to play the ball to leg (28 of his 33 boundaries and 188 of his runs came to the on-side) and featured in an Indian record fourth-wicket alliance of 353 with VVS Laxman (178).
Anil Kumble’s 8/141 helped secure India a 231-run lead, though Ganguly was criticized for not enforcing the follow-on, after which Dravid (91*) and Tendulkar (60*) extended the lead to 442.
At 196/4 on day five, Australia were seen out of any potential trouble and India had failed to close out a win that would have given them their first series success on Australian soil.