5 Instances where teams came back from behind to win the Test series

Winning a Test series after coming from behind always makes it an absorbing affair and out of 40 such instances where a team has won a series after trailing in the history of the game, we pick the top five.

Ian Botham of England takes the catch to dismiss Rod Marsh of Australia. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

South Africa won the fourth Test against Australia in Johannesburg by a massive 492-run margin to take the series 3-1. It wasn’t really a surprise that the Proteas would win the Test and hence the series after Australia invited trouble for themselves at the third game in Cape Town which they also lost badly. With their captain and vice-captain who are also two of their premier batsmen banned from the game for allowing unethical means in the third match, it was a herculean task for the visitors to draw the series which they were once leading 1-0.

However, in terms of records, it was one of the best victories for South Africa in a Test series as they came back from behind to win it – for the first time against Australia on home soil since 1970. This is the fourth time South Africa have won a series after losing the first Test and all of them have happened at home (2-1 vs New Zealand in 1994-95; 2-1 vs India in 2006-07; 2-1 vs West Indies in 2007-08 and 3-1 vs Australia in 2017-18).

Winning a Test series after coming from behind always makes it an absorbing affair and out of 40 such instances where a team has won a series after trailing in the history of the game, we pick the top five:

1. India beat Australia 2-1 in 3-Test series in India, 2000-01

VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid
VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid of India leave the field at lunch, during day four of the 2nd Test between India and Australia played at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, India. (Photo by Hamish Blair/ALLSPORT)

Steve Waugh’s men came to India with 15 consecutive victories in Tests and after they won the first game in Mumbai by 10 wickets, not many were of the opinion that the Aussie juggernaut could be stopped, even if it was in Asia – Waugh’s final frontier.

But a Hyderabadi batsman, who was still to complete five years of his career in cricket at that time, thought otherwise. VVS Laxman stood high among the ruins even as India collapsed for 171 in the first innings of the second Test in Kolkata in reply to Australia’s 445 and then came out to bat at number three after Waugh asked the hosts to follow on. The wristy batsman played an innings that only Superman could scoring 281, and was given a solid backing by Rahul Dravid (180) to put the Aussies under pressure. On the fifth day, Waugh’s men were bowled out for 212 to lose the game by 171 runs.

Having stopped the Australian run, India under Sourav Ganguly looked a rejuvenated lot and their lower-order kept the cool to pull off a thrilling 2-wicket victory in Chennai to register an unbelievable 2-1 win in the series. This was the second time that India achieved such a feat after their 2-1 home series win over England in 1972-73 but given the way they returned in the series, this victory has remained evergreen in the mind of each supporter of the Indian cricket team.

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