India by no means dominated the first three of this four-Test series but a handsome victory at Adelaide matched the Australian’s win at Melbourne.This brought the teams to the New Year’s Test at Sydney on level terms (one-all) and a draw there meant they retained the Trophy named after Gavaskar and Border, on the fifth occasion for which was being played.
The series was closely-fought and entertaining and Steve Waugh suggested the growing rivalry between Australia and India could rival the Ashes, which for some years had produced one-sided cricket
Injuries hampered the Indians in the one-day matches but they nevertheless eased to the VB series finals when tiredness was a factor in causing them to lose to Australia.
The selectors were S M Jagdale,Pranab Roy,Kirti Azad,S M H Kirmani (chairman),K S More,John Wright and S C Ganguly (captain).
They met in Hyderabad on Saturday 15 November but had not resolved the team until 1 am on Sunday.
A 20-member list of probables for the four-Test series in Australia was announced on 13 November. Sanjay Bangar was the only notable omission.Two days later a six-hour meeting of the selectors narrowed the probables down to sixteen.
Not selected :Out of the probables, Murali Kartik, Laxmi Balaji,Hemang Badani and Yuvraj Singh were excluded
Tour Party Announced :16 November 2003
Withdrawn :Avishkar M Salvi (Mb) withdrew with a strained shoulder on 18 November and was replaced by Balaji.
One-day squad announced:28 December 2003.
Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Sanjay Bangar and Hemang Badani were chosen on 28 December to come into the tour party at the expense of Chopra, Ramesh and Dasgupta
Time between selection and departure from India
(16 - 21 November)
The team flew out of Chennai on Friday afternoon 21 November 2003, arriving in Adelaide on 22 November, and moving on to Melbourne on 24 November. An extra tour match against Queensland was arranged and the start of the Indians’ match against Victoria brought forward.
Time spent in Australia
(22 November - 4 December)
On-tour selection committee
The team management wanted to add Sanjay Bangar to their squad before the second Test to open the batting and bowl medium-pace but he was not called up until the one-day series.
Murali Kartik was added to the Test squad and arrived on 11 December after which it was decided that Harbhajan Singh needed an operation on his finger.Harbhajan underwent surgery on his injured right index finger on 19 December.
One-day squad :Main strike bowler, Zaheer Khan was ruled out of the ODI squad due to a left hamstring injury, but like Harbhajan remained in Australia for treatment.
Murali Kartik was retained for the one-day squad.Rohan Gavaskar was then added as a replacement for batsman Mohammad Kaif, who was ruled out by a thumb injury. He was chosen on 4 January and left for Australia next day.
•Ganguly (144) and Zaheer 5-95 were standout performances for India in the First Test at Brisbane
•Sehwag and Chopra’s opening partnerships in the series averaged 57, twice sharing in century stands (at Melbourne and Sydney).
•Dravid (233) and Laxman (148) shared a partnership of 303 at Adelaide. Dravid scored 619 runs in the series.
•Ajit Agarkar picked up his first five-wicket haul in Tests (6-41) to help win the Adelaide Test match
•Tendulkar (241*) and Laxman (178) put on 353, a fourth wicket record for India in the Sydney Test, as India piled on 705 for 7 declared.
•Kumble then took twelve wicket (8-141 and 4-138) but could not force an Indian victory.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
§ One-day internationals
Return to India
Opening batsmen Chopra and Ramesh and wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta returned from Australia after the Test series.
The original travel plans changed after India lost the ODI series finals 0-2 and did not have to play the third match in Brisbane. The team flew from Sydney, via Singapore, where players from Tamil Nadu boarded a flight for Chennai while the other players flew on to Hyderabad and landed at Begumpet Airport. After an overnight rest in a hotel, players left for their respective airport hubs - Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata - by morning flights on Tuesday 10 February.