The upcoming India-Australia Men’s Hockey Test Series to be played at Adelaide from November 26-December 4 would be the fifth Test series to be played between the two countries over the last 25 years. The last time India-Australia featured in a bilateral Test series was way back in May 2019 at Perth, where India under the captaincy of Manpreet Singh lost the two Test series 0-2 – they had lost the first Test 0-4 and the second Test 2-5. Interestingly, this was Graham Reid’s first assignment with the national team. This is also the first time that both teams would feature in a five Test series. The previous Test rubbers have been either two, three, or four Test affairs.
Prior to the 2019 Test series, India led by Vokkaliga Raghunath, again toured Australia for a two Test series held at Bendigo in November 2016, where the Blueshirts riding on a brace from Affan Yousuf pipped the Kookaburras 3-2 in the first Test and lost the second Test 3-4, where drag-flicker Vokkaliga Raghunath fired a brace. A year before both teams featured in a three Test series held at India in November 2015 – the Sardar Singh-captained India drew Australia 2-2 in the first Test at Rajnanadgaon, where Vokkaliga Raghunath scored a double. India lost the second Test 1-2 but won the third Test 3-2 riding on a final-minute goal from Akashdeep Singh in both games held at Raipur.
India again under the capataiincy of Sardar Singh, put up their best-ever performance in a four Test series held at Perth in November 2014. The Blueshirts were inflicated a 0-4 defeat by Australia in the first Test at the Perth Hockey Stadium but they clawed their way back to win the second Test 2-1 to level the series. With an extra spring in their strides after the win, India won the third Test 2-1 and the fourth and final Test 3-1 to win a Test series against Australia for the first time. The Test series would be remembered for SV Sunil’s brilliant solo goal in the third Test when he darted down from near the centre-line to score.
Over the last 25 years, India and Australia have played in just five Test series. Of course, India have travelled to Australia on eight occasions after the 2014 Test series but all these tours comprised either Three Nation or Four Nation Tournaments. India have visited Australia in 2011, 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, and 1998.
India travelled to Australia in October-November 2011 to play in a Double-leg Three Nation Tourney that featured hosts Australia and Pakistan held at Busselton, Bunbury, and Perth – the Bharat Chetri-captained Indian side were inflicted a heavy 3-8 defeat by the Kookaburras in that tournament. In 2008, Tushar Khandker-captained Indian side toured Australia to play in a Four Nation Double-Leg Tourney that featured hosts Australia, Korea, and China held at Perth and Darwin.
The Dilip Tirkey-captained Blueshirts toured Australia to play in a Four Nation Hockey Challenge Tourney held at Canberra and Sydney in April 2004 – a tourney that featured hosts Australia, Malaysia, and South Africa. Two years earlier, it was again Dilip Tirkey, who led the national side for a Four Nation Tourney featuring hosts Australia, Malaysia, and Korea – the tournament was held at Melbourne and Adelaide in May-June 2002. India played in a Three Nation Double-leg Tourney featuring Australia and Pakistan in June 2003 and went on to win the tournament.
In April 2000, Indian team under the leadership of Ramandeep Singh toured Australia for a Four Nation Double-leg Tourney featuring Germany, South Africa and hosts Australia held at Sydney and Perth. In September 1999, the Mohammed Riaz-led Indian team played in a Four Nation Double-leg Tourney featuring Canada, Korea, and hosts Australia held at Canberra and Sydney. Prior to that event, the Baljit Singh Saini-led nationsl side played in the 1998 Colorado Cup featuring hosts Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina held at Sydney and Melbourne.
India vs Australia Encounters in Last 25 Years (Test Series & Three/Four Nation Tourneys Only)
|2019 Two Test Series||Perth|
|2016 Two Test Series||Bendigo|
|2015 Three Test Series||Rajnandgaon/Raipur|
|2014 Four Test Series||Perth|
|2011 Double-leg Three Nation Tourney||Busselton, Bunbury & Perth|
|2008 Four Nation Double-Leg Tourney||Perth & Darwin|
|2004 Four Nation Hockey Challenge Tourney||Canberra & Sydney|
|2003 Three Nation Double-leg Tourney||Wollongong & Sydney|
|2002 Four Nation Tourney||Melbourne & Adelaide|
|2000 Four Nation Double-leg Tourney||Sydney & Perth|
|1999 Four Nation Double-leg Tourney||Canberra & Sydney|
|1998 Colorado Cup||Sydney & Melbourne|