Although it was previewed as a
second-rate tour on which India
would be playing against a 'best of the rest' Australian side stripped of its
'Packer' players, this visit to Australia soon captured the
interest of the Australian watching public. They turned away from Kerry
Packer's World Series Cricket and attendances at the 'fair dinkum' Test
matches were always higher than at W S C's 'supertests'.
It turned out to be a
fascinating series with Australia
narrowly winning the first two Test matches before going down heavily in the
next two. The final Test was everything the Australian Cricket Board could hope
for, with the sides level at two-all, and India making a tremendous effort
to score the 493 runs set to win the match and failing by only 47 runs. Australia won
the series 3-2 and this gave a fillip to the establishment version of the
Bob Simpson had been recalled
to the Australian captaincy after nine years in retirement and he proved just
the leader the new team needed, as well as showing he had retained all his
Bedi was just as positive in
his captaincy, as well as being India’s most successful bowler.
However, it was Chandrasekhar who, after a slow start, was the match-winning
bowler when India
Kirmani produced the sort of
performances India had
hoped for since he was on the schoolboys’ tour of England ten years before. Yet the
players of the series were Bedi and Gavaskar, although at one time it had
looked as if they would not be chosen for the tour for disciplinary reasons.
J M Ghorpade (chairman),
Raj Singh, M L Jaisimha, C D Gopinath chose the team at a 3½-hour meeting.
Umrigar was appointed to the manager's
role on 10 September and Bedi to the captaincy on 9 October.They were co-opted on to the selection
29 players were invited to a 16-day
practice camp in Madras.
Six players engaged in English cricket - Bedi, Abid Ali, Doshi, Madan Lal and
Mohinder and Surinder Amarnath - would be considered for the Australian tour
even if they could not attend the physical fitness camp at Madras.
Unavailable: Dilip Doshi, who did not
play in the Ranji Trophy, was not considered.
Tour Party Announced : 12 October 1977.
Not selected:Of those at the camp : S Abid Ali, S Banerjee,
B A Burman, R Goel, R S Hans, R Jadeja, Kapil Dev, S Krishnan, Narasimha Rao,
V Ramnayran, P H Sharma, J Yajurvindra Singh were not selected
D J Rutnagur wrote in Wisden’s
that “Gaekwad should have been in the touring party in the first place.”
Time between selection and departure from India
(12 - 24 October)
The team flew from Santa Cruz
on 24 October 1977 and experienced a 15-hour long delay en route to Perth, where they landed ln 25 October, and left for Adelaide by plane the
Extra security had been arranged because of threats against
Indian nationals in Australia
from a terrorist group.