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India v Australia 2023

Wisden’s all-time Border-Gavaskar Trophy XI

Wisden’s All-Time Border-Gavaskar Trophy XI
by Patrick Ardill 4 minute read

The highly anticipated 2023 series gets underway this week, the 16 time Australia and India have contested the trophy – here’s Wisden’s all-time Border-Gavaskar XI.

Matthew Hayden

18 Tests, 1888 runs at 59.00, 6 100s, HS: 203

Matthew Hayden enjoyed more success against India than he did against any other nation in the Test arena. His record-breaking year of 2001 gathered steam on the subcontinent, despite Australia’s 2-1 series loss, during which he scored 549 runs at 109.8, including the first of his two Test double centuries. Hayden would go on to strike four more tons against India in the following four series, including some imperious hitting in 2007-08, hitting three centuries in five innings as Australia retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Murali Vijay

15 Tests, 1,324 runs at 48.73, 4 100s, HS: 167

Despite averaging under 40 during his ten-year test career, Murali Vijay shone away from home when so many faltered, averaging 44.25 in Australia during 6 Border-Gavaskar Trophy matches down under. His 144 in Brisbane in 2014 was a particularly fine knock during a series where only Virat Kohli was capable of standing up to Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. The 167 he scored in Hyderabad as part of a 370-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara in 2013 was one of the highlights of India’s 4-0 series win in which he top-scored.


Cheteshwar Pujara

20 Tests, 1,893 runs at 54.08, 5 100s, HS: 204

The battle between Cheteshwar Pujara and the Aussie attack has encapsulated spectators for countless Border-Gavaskar series. His 521 runs in Australia in 2018-19 earned him Player of the series, scoring three centuries during the visit. Pujara has also had praise heaped on him for his determined, albeit less run-heavy, performance during India’s 2020-21 away series win. Former England opener Nick Compton reckoned India would have ended up losing the series 3-0, instead of the eventual 2-1 win, if it wasn’t for Pujara’s unflappable grit and patience. He scored 271 runs off 928 balls and allowed the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill to flash the willow.

Sachin Tendulkar

34 Tests, 3,262 runs at 56.24, 9 100s, HS: 241*

The price on the Little Master’s wicket during his 22 years of facing Australia will most likely never be superseded. With 3,262 Border-Gavaskar trophy runs, he is over 700 clear of Ricky Ponting in second place, while only Hayden and Steve Smith average more. A dominant Australia side were frustrated by an 18-year-old Tendulkar in 1992 when he hit an obstinate 114 in Perth, before taking the sword to Shane Warne in Chennai in 2018 with an unbeaten 155. His top score of 241* arrived in the 2003-04 series’ conclusion, bouncing out of a rare patch of poor form in vintage style.

Steve Smith

14 Tests, 1,742 runs at 72.58, 8 100s, HS: 192

The man who has claimed that victory in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy would be ‘bigger than the Ashes’ has, unsurprisingly, an incredible record in the rivalry. Steve Smith holds the record for most runs scored in a single edition of the Trophy, amassing 769 runs in the four 2014-15 Test matches at a colossal average of 128.17. He hasn’t let that form up either, striking a further four tons in his two following series. He is one of the few Aussie batters to find form in India in recent years, and will no doubt be instrumental if the Baggy Greens are to rediscover success on the subcontinent.

Michael Clarke

22 Tests, 2049 runs at 53.92, 7 100s, HS: 329*
14 wickets at 35.78, BBI: 6-9

Michael Clarke’s 626 runs at 125.2 during Australia’s 4-0 whitewash of the visiting India side in 2011-12 featured two of the great Test knocks, including his 329* at the SCG which was the 25th triple century in Test cricket. Since then, only Virat Kohli in 2017 has scored over 200 twice in the same series between the sides. However, it was Clarke’s Test debut series that produced one of the most memorable Border-Gavaskar trophy moments. In his very first innings after receiving his maiden cap, Clarke hit 151 to help put Australia 1-0 up in Bangalore.

In the fourth Test of that series, Clarke picked up 6 wickets for just 9 runs on a turning Mumbai deck, in part courtesy of some phenomenal fielding from Ricky Ponting. They remained his career-best figures by his retirement in 2015.

Rishabh Pant

7 Tests, 624 runs at 62.40, 1 100, HS: 159*

Rishabh Pant spearheaded the highest-ever Border-Gavaskar Trophy chase – 328 – to clinch the series in 2021, with one of the finest and most mature middle-order batting displays in recent years. With many pundits predicting an Indian whitewash, Pant’s unbeaten 89 in Brisbane sealed a memorable India win in the face of adversity. His highest-ever test score arrived in 2019 at the SCG, when he cruised to 159 off just 189 deliveries to become the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a century down under. In one of India’s greatest series wins, his contributions were invaluable.

Ravindra Jadeja

12 Tests, 63 wickets at 18.85, BBI: 6-63
387 runs at 29.76, HS: 81

Allrounder Ravindra Jadeja enjoys bowling against Australia more than any other Test opponent. He has picked up 63 of his 242 Test scalps against them at 18.85, compared to a 24.71 career average. His skiddy left-arm spin earned him Player of the series in 2017 as India bettered the Aussies 2-1 at home, with a marvellous second Test bowling display the pick of his performances. His 7-66 match figures helped reduce the visitors to rubble and continued to affirm Jadeja as a mainstay in the Indian spin attack beside R Ashwin.

Anil Kumble

20 Tests, 111 wickets at 30.32, BBI: 8/141
512 runs at 21.33, HS: 87.

The only bowler to top 100 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Anil Kumble is no stranger to the record books. 62 of these scalps came on the subcontinent where spinning conditions inevitably favoured his leg spin. Kumble’s 8-141 at the SCG during the climax of the 2003-04 tour of Australia were his second-best career figures in Tests, second only to his famous 10-wicket innings against Pakistan in 1999. Although the game finished in a draw, Kumble picked up 12-279 for the match on an extremely flat track, continuing to reaffirm his status as one of the true great spin bowlers.

Josh Hazlewood

15 Tests, 51 wickets at 26.94, BBI: 6/67

The announcement that Josh Hazlewood will miss the first Test of the upcoming series comes as a massive blow to Australia. Of the oft-discussed pace trio alongside Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, he has the most wickets to his name and the best economy rate – with an average superior to Nathan Lyon. He has claimed Pujara’s wicket six times, and his spell of 5-8 in Adelaide in 2020 is widely considered one of the finest by an Australian pacer which skittled India out for just 36 runs.

Glenn McGrath

11 Tests, 51 wickets at 18.64, 2 5WIs, BBI: 5/48

Along with the rest of his opponents, India batters also often fell victim to Glenn McGrath’s metronomic threat. He picked up the most wickets during Australia’s 3-0 series win in 1999-2000 as well as one of three career test ten-fors when he decimated the India batting line-up in Sydney. Though he would not pick up any more five-wicket hauls against India; of the teams he played more than once – had a better average against India than any other nation.

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