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banner Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 14:02 GMT
India v Australia 1969/70
Gundappa Viswanath made his debut in the second Test
Gundappa Viswanath made his debut in the second Test
The Australian selectors kept faith with the players who had served them so well a year earlier when they beat West Indies 3-1 on home soil.

They faced a very different challenge this time, however, against an Indian attack headed by spinners Bishen Bedi, Erapalli Prassana and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, who were all at their peak.

The opening Test in Bombay was effectively decided on the fourth day as India collapsed in their second innings to leave the tourists to score just 64 victory, which they duly did for the loss of just two wickets.

India were restricted to 271 all out in their first innings, despite 95 from their captain, the Nawab of Pataudi, as fast bowler Graham McKenzie claimed five for 69.

  Ashley Mallett's Test record
Matches: 38
Wickets: 132
Average: 29.84
Batting: 430 runs
Average: 11.62

Keith Stackpole's 103 and an innings of 77 by Ian Redpath helped Australia to 345 in reply, despite some superb bowling by Prasanna and Bedi. Prasanna took five for 121 but slow left-armer Bedi sent down 62.4 overs for superb figures of three for 74.

India made a bad start to their second innings as leg-spinner John Gleeson swept through the top order to reduce them to 59 for five. Ajit Wadekar slowed their decline with 46 before Alan Connolly collected three wickets in quick succession as they were all out for 137.

Stackpole and captain Bill Lawry did not last long as Australia began their second innings but an unbroken stand of 54 between Ian Chappell (31) and Redpath (22) saw to an eight-wicket win.

India¿s response was to reinforce their batting line-up with debutant Gundappa Viswanath for the second Test at Kanpur, but he made a disappointing start to his Test career as he was caught by Redpath off Connolly for a duck.

Farookh Engineer and Ashok Mankad began the match with a partnership of 111 for India before both were caught and bowled, Engineer by Stackpole for 77 and Mankad by off-spinner Ashley Mallett for 64.

Bedi weaved his magic in the series
Bedi weaved his magic in the series
Pataudi (38) and Eknath Solkar (44) also batted well but they could only muster 320 all out as Connolly took four for 91 and Mallett picked up three for 58 from 51.5 overs.

Paul Sheahan was the star of Australia's reply as the 23-year-old Victorian scored 114 batting at number six in a total of 348, with the reliable Redpath contributing 70 and Doug Walters playing some delightful strokes in his 53.

The dimunitive Viswanath put his first day disappointment behind him with 137 as India scored 312 for seven declared in their second innings but it took them 152 overs to do it, and Stackpole and Lawry steered Australia to 95 for nought in reply as the game ended in a draw.

The teams moved on to Delhi for the third Test, where India levelled the series at 1-1 with a magnificent seven-wicket victory after trailing by 73 on first innings.

Mallett blow

Chappell made 138 as Australia batted first but four of the top six were dsmissed for single figure scores and they were all out for 296 with Bedi and Prasanna each taking four wickets.

Mankad missed out on a century by three runs in India¿s reply when he was caught by Walters off Mallett , whose six for 64 prompted a collapse from 176 for two to 223 all out.

But the match then swung decisively in India¿s favour as Bedi and Prasanna bowled Australia out for 107 in 58.2 overs, despite opener Lawry carrying his bat for 49 not out.

The home side were back in again before the end of the third day¿s play with a target of 181 for victory and although they were soon in trouble at 18 for two, Wadekar (91) and Viswanath (44) saw them home the following day with an unbroken fourth wicket partnership of 120.

Australia made their first change of the series in Calcutta with Eric Freeman replacing Gleeson for the fourth Test and he claimed four wickets in India's second innings as the tourists bounced back with a convincing 10-wicket win.

Second innings collapse

Lawry chose to put India in after winning the toss and was rewarded with three early wickets as McKenzie nipped out Engineer and Wadekar without a run on the board and then had Mankad caught by Stackpole for nine.

Viswanath continued an impressive start to his Test career with 54 but they were all out for 212 on the second day with the tireless McKenzie taking six for 67.

Bedi again took the bowling honours for India with seven for 98 from 50 overs, but Australia still made 335 all out, thanks to 99 from Chappell, 56 by Walters and an enterprising 31 by last man Connolly.

The home side batted poorly in their second innings with three wickets going down for one run at one stage as they were dismissed for 161. Wadekar top scored with 62 before being trapped lbw by Freeman, who took four for 54 with Connolly returning figures of four for 31.

  Bishen Bedi's Test record
Matches: 67
Wickets: 266
Average: 28.71
Batting: 656 runs
Average: 8.98

Australia were in no mood to hang about and Lawry and Stackpole raced to 42 for no wicket in just five overs to restore their lead in the series.

India recalled opener Chetan Chauhan for the final match in Madras, enabling wicket-keeper Engineer to drop to number five, and gave all-rounder Mohinder Amarnath his first Test cap .

Amarnath found himself sharing the new ball with Solkar, but the spinners were soon in action and reduced Australia to 82 for four.

The mercurial Walters was their equal, however, and his 102 enabled the tourists to total 258 despite four wickets apiece for Prasanna and Venkataraghavan.

India were soon in trouble as Lawrie Mayne, replacing Freeman, had Mankad caught behind for a duck and Mallett added another five wickets to his Test tally as they were all out for 163 in just 62.4 overs, with Bedi unable to bat due to injury.

Australia's grip on the game was shaken at the start of their second innings as Amarnath bowled Stackpole and Chappell and Prasanna took three wickets as they stumbled to 24 for six.

  Gundappa Viswanath's Test record
Matches: 91
Runs: 6080
Average: 41.93
Centuries: 14
High score: 222
Wickets: 1
They were just 129 ahead with only four wickets standing, but Redpath showed an unflappable temperament as he made 63 with assistance from the tail and although Prasanna took six for 74, Australia made 153 to leave India needing 249 to win.

The tourists quickly dismissed Chauhan and Mankad, only for the match to swing back towards India with Wadekar and Viswanath both making half centuries.

They put on 102 but Wadekar was out for 55 and Viswanath was caught by Redpath off Mallett for 59 and the remaining batsmen were not up to the task.

Mallett took five for 53 for match figures of 10 for 144, giving him 28 wickets in the series, which Australia won 3-1 as India were all out for 171.

It was a tremendous effort by Lawry's men, although they were brought crashing down to earth three months later when a tour of South Africa ended in a 4-0 defeat in the Test series.

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