Highlights of the Nagpur Test (2023)

The first Test between India and Australia was concluded well before the close of the 3rd day. As you may guess, some records for low totals and highest defeats were set. There were also near-records in bowling figures on debut.

Let us first look at margins of defeat:

Worst innings defeats against India:

The result at Nagpur is not near the top. From the above list we see that the margin of an innings and 132 runs is the 3rd

worst by Australia vs India, after an innings and 219 (Kolkata, 1998), and 135 (Hyderabad, 2013).

Next we see the lowest team scores against India:

Australia’s 91 is not their lowest total against India. That was 83 at Melbourne in 1981 (which was the first time that any team was dismissed under 100 against India). But it is the lowest total for Australia in India, lowering the record of 93 at Mumbai in 2004.

There was some cheer for Australia in Todd Murphy’s 7-124 on debut. It is not quite a record for an Australian on debut against India:

Best innings bowling against India on Test debut:

It is the 5th highest haul, and the second highest by an Australian after JJ Krejza’s 8-215 in 2008. That Test was also at Nagpur and also ended in defeat (by 172 runs) for Australia. Krejza was, like Murphy, an off-spinner.

Mallett, Davidson and India

Australia lost two of its Test stalwarts on successive days; Ashley Mallett on Oct 29 and Alan Davidson on the 30th.

While Mallett was somewhat overshadowed by the Australian fast bowlers of his time, he often played an useful role as the sole spinner.

He did well bowling against India, as you can see here:


His bowling average against India was his best against all Test countries. He only played one series against India, in 1969-70. He took 28 wickets including his only 10-for in the last Test at Madras, which gave Australia a 3-1 win. Indian fans of that period remember it more for Viswanath’s debut and numerous crowd disturbances.

Davidson is better-known for being the first to score over a 100 runs and take a 10-for in the same Test. This was at the Tied Test at Brisbane:


In later years this was overshadowed by the feats of Botham, Imran and Shakib who scored centuries along with 10-fors. No one else has emulated Davidson.

He did not do too well as a batsman against India: https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/4902.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting

But did somewhat better as a bowler:


His bowling average against India was his best against all Test countries. His best innings figures (7-93) and match figures (12-124) were also against India.

This was at Kanpur in 1959-60, which marked India’s first win against Australia:


Australia batted first, took a first-innings lead, and lost. An Australian left-arm pace bowler took 12 wickets.

20 years passed. 7 Tests were played at Kanpur and all were drawn (including the one against Australia in 1969-70).

In 1979-80, a weakened Australian team toured India.

The story was the same as in 1959-60:

Australia batted first, took a first-innings lead, and lost. An Australian left-arm pace bowler took 12 wickets.

The only difference was that the bowler was Dymock instead of Davidson:


Like Davidson, Dymock took 5 wickets in the first innings and 7 in the second.

Unlike in 1959 when Jasu Patel took 14 wickets, here the spoils were shared by Kapil, Ghavri and Shivlal Yadav.

But these two Tests at Kanpur had a remarkable number of similarities, more than those of the two Australia-England Tests of 1877 and 1977.