Tour of Australia & New Zealand 1980-81Captain: Sunil Gavaskar
Nineteenth Test tour
Fourth official Test tour of Australia by India
Third official Test tour of New Zealand by India
( November 1980 –
Australia was at full strength now that Packer World Series Cricket had ended. This tour of Australia was deferred from 1979-80 to allow England to participate in the first post-WSC Test series and a triangular tournament of one-day internationals, so the Indians visited in 1980-81. The schedules imposed by the requirements of television since the settlement with World Series Cricket caused difficulty for players switching from one format to another This is well illustrated by the Indians’ tour programme, as shown in ‘Highlights’ below.
Australia seemed to be coasting to a comfortable series victory needing only 143 runs to win at Melbourne when they were dismissed by Kapil Dev and Doshi’s bowling for 83, their lowest total against India.
Gavaskar, back again as captain, came close to forfeiting this Test match when, after he and Chetan Chauhan had put on an opening partnership of 165, Gavaskar was very unhappy with a leg-before decision against him. He told Chetan to leave the ground along with him, and the two had almost reached the gate when the manager intervened and sent Chauhan back.
In New Zealand, the Indians fared poorly against seam bowling in two Tests and Bracewell’s spin in the third.New Zealand completed a win only at Wellington but this was enough to gain their first victory in a series against India.
Gavaskar rested from the captaincy in the match against Queensland. When Viswanath and Gavaskar both took a game off for the match against Tasmania, Chauhan took over as captain
Shastri was called up after Doshi fractured his instep playing against Victoria. He hobbled through the third Test with the injury undiagnosed.Yadav had also broken a toe on his left foot. Neither of these two players returned home and both played again on the tour.
•A brilliant 174 by Sandeep Patil at Adelaide was India’s highest score against Australia.
•Ghavri and Yadav survived for 9 overs and 31 minutes to save the match at Adelaide.
•India went on to win at Melbourne and halve the series, dismissing Australia for 83 (Kapil Dev 5-28).
Other first-class matches
Return to India
The touring party had arrived in New Zealand at Auckland on 12 February. It departed from there to Sydney on 20 March, and on to a brief tour of Fiji.Patil went directly back to Bombay, where he arrived on 22 March for treatment to a back injury.
The team landed at Santa Cruz Airport, Bombay, flying again via Sydney, on 28 March.
After two days of rest, they were flying off again, to Sharjah to play in a benefit match for Asif Iqbal.
Time away from India
130 days(18 November to 28 March)
in “Sandy Storm”by Sandeep Patil
“Test Cricket: Australia vs New Zealand and India”Richie Benaud (Sydney, 1981)