Lala Amarnath (captain)
Vijay Hazare (vice-captain)
C. S. Nayudu
Kanwar Rai Singh
C. R. Rangachari
The manager was Pankaj Gupta.
Four of the originally selected players were unavailable: Vijay Merchant (who had been appointed captain), Mushtaq Ali, Fazal Mahmood and Rusi Modi. Rai Singh, Rangachari, Ranvirsinhji and Sarwate replaced them.
In addition to the Test series, the tourists played nine other first-class matches against Western Australia (2 games - the tour opener and the last game of the tour); South Australia; Victoria; New South Wales; Australia XI; Queensland; and Tasmania (2 matches). India won two and lost three of these matches, the other four being drawn.1st Test at Brisbane Cricket Ground – Australia won by an innings and 226 runs
2nd Test at Sydney Cricket Ground – match drawn
3rd Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground – Australia won by 233 runs
4th Test at Adelaide Oval – Australia won by an innings and 16 runs
5th Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground – Australia won by an innings and 177 runs
The Indian team had played six first-class matches prior to this match, and they had a below-par win-loss ratio of one win and two losses, both being innings defeats. Australia, though, had a remarkable record in their last ten test series, winning eight of them, and three out of a total three series after the war. Their win-loss record was exemplary as well, winning 29 and losing only 7, out of 45 tests. However, the Indian team had reason to believe that they could punch above their weight, as they had unearthed in Vinoo Mankad, a talented all-rounder, who had taken 39 wickets in those six matches, and had also scored 516 runs from 11 innings at an average of 46.90, and their captain Lala Amarnath's good run with the bat and the emergence of a future batting stalwart for India, Vijay Hazare, made India's prospects look a little brighter. However, Australia's best batsman and captain, and arguably, the most complete batsman of that period, Don Bradman was a major stumbling block in India's path. despite playing only 42 Test matches, he had garnered the reputation of being a heavy-scorer and an outstanding batsman. his record stood thus: 42 Matches, 5773 runs, Average of 97.84. Worryingly, for the touring side, He had already scored heavily against the Indian attack for the Australian XI outfit against India, an imposing 172. So his presence meant definite trouble for Lala Amarnath's side.
The Brisbane pitch was quite benign and did not trouble the Australians, who chose to bat first after winning the toss. The Australian top order were in full control of the match from the start, stringing partnerships effectively. Don Bradman scored 185, piling on runs and misery on the Indian bowlers, who toiled in vain on a pitch that did not support them. He anchored partnerships with the other batsmen, and even when he ran out of partners, Wisden noted, "...but completely demoralised the bowlers by punishing methods which brought runs at a terrific rate." his knock contained twenty fours. Australia ended the first day with their scorecard reading: 273/3, and Bradman being unbeaten on 160.
In the second day, only one hour of play was possible due to rain, and Australia went through the scheduled hour of play without losing a wicket, and adding 36 runs more. Surprisingly, a large attendance of 11,000 people came to watch the day's play. The third day of the match saw yet another burst of rain, which saturated the pitch. Bradman had been dismissed by then for a two-hundred-and-eighty-five-minute vigil that yielded 185 runs, placed Australia on a safe perch at 382 for 8. Realizing that the uncovered pitch could be advantageous for Australia's bowlers, Bradman declared; leaving the Indian side the daunting prospect of negotiating, what, in Wisden's words, was a "treacherous" pitch.
The Indian batsmen, who were accustomed to "...the fast, hard pitches in their own country...", could not cope up with the Australian bowling, and especially struggled against the bowling of Ernie Toshack, who exploited the conditions in a versatile manner, and in an extremely short spell of nineteen balls, returned remarkable figures of 5 wickets for a solitary run. The Indians crumbled to 58 all out.
Trailing by 324, the Indians had to climb a mountain to evade a huge innings defeat, but were unable to do so, as none of their batsmen except Chandu Sarwate, offered any resistance. Sarwate, batted for two hours and forty minutes-160 minutes, to graft a determined 26. However, the other Indians again crumbled in the face of some quality pace, again, by Toshack himself(he took 6 wickets for 29 runs), and collapsed to be 98 all out, thus, Australia wrapped up the match, inflicting an innings-and-226-runs drubbing on the Indians. This defeat, Wisden noted could have been confidence-sapping for the Indians.
This match was marred by rain, as only ten hours of play was possible in six days of play, out of which three days' worth of play was washed out, literally. The rain-affected "sticky dog" of a pitch proved terrible for batting, with none of the two teams managing even a score of 200. The Indian team squad changed slightly, fielding two debutants, Dattu Phadkar and Amir Elahi, replacing KM Rangnekar and Ranga Sohoni, the former going on to make an impressive debut. Australia missed Ernie Toshack due to injury, and this might have made a difference, since Toshack exploited the rain-affected pitch in the first match and could have done so this time around, had he played. However, this match is best remembered for the infamous "Mankading" incident, in which the Indian bowler, Vinoo Mankad ran out the Australian batsman Bill Brown for backing up too far, despite being warned in the first test.
However, Don Bradman, Bill Brown's captain, defended Mankad's sportsmanship in his autobiography, saying,
"For the life of me, I can't understand why [the press] questioned his sportsmanship. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the non-striker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early, the non-striker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage."
India won the toss this time around, choosing to bat first, and immediately, Australia drew first blood, taking the first wicket of Sarwate while the score was 2, and then the second wicket-this time Mankad, fell at 16. Then after 22 more runs were added, rain interrupted the proceedings, bringing a close to the day's play. The second day started an hour late, but the Indian batsmen were again facing the brunt of a menacing Australian attack, and could not stitch vital partnerships, except for a noteworthy partnership of 70 between Gogumal Kishenchand, and the debutant Phadkar. Eventually, the Indians folded up for 188.
When it was the Australians' turn to bat, the opening pair of Brown and Morris put on a stand of 25, before Brown got Mankaded (Note that the scorecard lists all the victims of mankading as being run out). The third and fourth days' play was washed out, and on the fifth day, the saturated pitch did not help the batsmen much, as Phadkar and Vijay Hazare made most of the conditions, with Hazare scalping Bradman. Phadkar returned with thrifty figures of 3/14 and Hazare's analysis read 4/29 and Australia's innings wrapped up at 107. However, the Australian captain claimed that, "The Indians dismissed us too quickly for their own good. They, in turn, had to now face the unpleasant wicket and were immediately in trouble, losing seven wickets for 61 before stumps."
At the end of the fifth day, the Australian bowlers, Bill Johnston and Ian Johnson showed that they could exploit the conditions just as well, reducing the Indians to seven down; but with a lead of 142, which was a high target on this wicket, the match seemed set for a thrilling finish. However, rain on the final day dispelled any chances of play.
The match scheduled to be held in Melbourne was held almost two weeks after the second test in Sydney, was held and the Indians had already shown some fight in the second match and so they did in the third, albeit in the first innings only. The match started off with the Australians winning the toss and choosing to bat first. Immediately, the Indians got a breakthrough in the form of Barnes' wicket, bowled by Mankad with the score on 29. Then, Arthur Morris, and Don Bradman staged a fightback by stitching together a 70-run partnership, before Morris was bowled by Amarnath for a patient 45 crafted from 123 balls with three fours. Lindsay Hassett entered the fray with the score poised on 99, with his captain, Bradman batting. Hassett was dropped in the slips off Vijay Hazare's bowling when he was batting on 31. This lapse proved too costly for the Indians, because Hassett and Bradman staged a counterattack on the Indian bowlers with some fast scoring, Wisden's own words, Hassett was "scored as fast as his partner", and that, "...at times runs came at two a minute". Hassett's was the third wicket to fall, with the scorecard reading 268, gifting Mankad his second scalp. Then Bradman fell to Phadkar, for 132 scored only off 204 balls at a strike-rate excess of 60. After his dismissal, the wickets were easy to come by, with the last six falling for a mere 105.
The Indians stated their first innings well, with Mankad and Sarwate putting on 124 for the first wicket, before the latter became the first wicket to fall for 36 scored from 84 balls, dismissed by Bill Johnston. Then the next wicket fell at 145, this time it being that of Gul Mohammad, who was caught and bowled by Bruce Dooland, for 12. Mankad and Hazare contributed a stand of 43 before Hazare was dismissed by Sid Barnes. The next ball afterward, the Indian Captain, Amarnath fell for a duck getting out lbw to Barnes, who got his second wicket. The fifth wicket to fall, at 198, was that of Mankad himself, who had contributed a 116, which created history because it was India's first test century against Australia. He was caught by Don Tallon, the wicketkeeper, off Bill Johnston's bowling for a fine 116. Then Adhikari and Phadkar put up a partnership of 62 to bring some respectability to the score before Adhikari was dismissed for 24. Overnight rain made batting difficult, and after three cheap wickets, Amarnath declared even though India were 103 runs behind. To counter the difficult conditions, Bradman sent his tailenders, Dooland, Johnson and Johnston. But when Sid Barnes fell with the score on 32, Wisden noted that Bradman might have felt worried.
However, there was no reason for him to worry, because he and Morris thoroughly "mastered" the attack. They strung together an unbeaten partnership of 223, and while Morris scored at a strike rate of less than 50, Bradman was all speed. He reached his century first and ended up on 127 not out, made only off 169 balls, with a strike rate of more than 75. This meant that for the first time ever in his largely impressive career which had seen him accumulate big numbers, he had scored two centuries in a single test match. Wisden spoke thus:
Bradman added to his long list of triumphs by hitting a hundred in each innings, the first time he had accomplished the feat in a Test match.
Heavy overnight rain made the pitch responsive to spin and Bradman seizing this opportunity, declared, setting the Indians a target of 337. The Indians fared poorly in the second innings, with only Gul Mohammad and Kanwar Rai Singh making any noteworthy contributions, scoring 28 and 24. Singh stuck around giving a few lust hits here and there, but unfortunately for India, they folded up at 125, a score which seemed probable when they lost half of their side with just 60 runs on the board. Noteworthy performers for Australia were Bradman, Morris, Johnston, Johnson and Hassett. The Indians had some good individual performances in the form of Mankad and Amarnath, the former putting up a good all-round show, while the latter, picking up a match haul of 7 for 130.
After being defeated by a heavy margin of 223 runs and an innings pasting, India still had a chance of winning the remaining two tests to avoid a series defeat, but that was too much to ask against the Invincibles, who were the better team in all respects. This test was the debut test of future Australian great, Neil Harvey.The toss was won by the Australians and on a pitch that was perfectly conductive for batting, Bradman chose to bat first.
The other Australian centurion in the previous match, Morris, was the first wicket to fall, bowled by Phadkar when the scorecard read 20. After that, his opening partner, Sid Barnes, and Bradman did not give the Indians a chance and controlled the proceedings from then, putting on 236 runs for the second wicket before Barnes perished for a "faultless" 112. He had not offered a single chance in his entire innings except when on 61, dropped by second slip. Bradman was once again the bane of the Indian bowlers, and he, along with Hassett, the next batsman (who had, incidentally put on another huge partnership with Bradman in the previous test) added 105 runs for the third wicket before Bradman fell to Hazare, for the second time in his test-career, for a masterful and dominant 201 which contained a six and 21 fours. Hassett, and Keith Miller added 142 runs more to the score, by hitting aggressively and freely. During their dominant and fast scoring spree, Hassett, quickly scoured past his highest score of 128 and was well on his way to an excellent and combative 198 before he ran out of partners. The rest of the batting order made 171 runs more for the loss of 6 wickets after Miller's dismissal for the fourth wicket. Australia were finally all out for 674, their highest total in the series.
When it was the Indians' turn to bat, they made a shocking start to their innings, losing two wickets for just six runs, but they fought back well from that perilous position, to add 127 more runs, albeit at the cost of three wickets. Their overall position, 5 for 133, was not too encouraging, but Vijay Hazare and Dattu Phadkar added 188 runs for the sixth wicket. Phadkar contributed a fine 123 against an Australian attack that had Lindwall Miller, Johnson and Johnston among others. However, the man who was the centre of attraction was Hazare, who cracked a classical and orthodox 116 to provide some resistance before the Indian lower-order crumpled, as their last four batsmen totalled only 20 runs. The only other Indian batsmen who really made any impact were Vinoo Mankad, who made 156-ball 49, which spanned 139 minutes-2 hours and 19 minutes, and Lala Amarnath, who hit a fast, 46, only off 47 balls, which had five hits to the fence. However, India succumbed to a strong Australian attack, which bowled them out for 381 - 293 runs behind. It was a staggering margin of lead and victories after follow-on were rare. The Indians started even worse this time around, losing two wickets quickly for no runs on the board. It was then that Hazare played an innings which made a contemporary daily speak thus:
"It didn't matter what the ball was, on or outside the off stump, what its height or pace, it was played with amazing certainty ... It was a display of batsmanship, which has very seldom been equalled, certainly not surpassed and never dwarfed. It was not so much the pace at which the ball travelled. It was the supreme artistry of it all."
In fact, the innings was so widely acclaimed that everything else was overshadowed, even Bradman's 201. Hazare later came to recall in an interview that his two centuries in the test were the second most prominent memories of the tour after his wicket of Bradman's in the rain-marred, low scoring Sydney test.
In another interview with Boria Majumdar in October, noted cricket historian, Hazare claimed that:
"Bradman seemed impressed with my batting and we became really close friends since. Some years on, he even found time to write a foreword for my book."
This was an incredible feat, considering that Australia's bowling attack was almost as good as its batting. Their bowling-lineup boasted of some stellar names: Keith Miller, who was a genuine allrounder capable of giving very good performances with both bat and the ball, Ray Lindwall, who was said to possess absolute mastery of bowling in any condition, an who was bowling accurately, with penetrative and attacking bowling, and Ian Johnson and Bill Johnston, who were both equally vital cogs in the team. This particular innings of Hazare's was said to have enhanced India's reputation as well as his. In the process, Hazare emulated Bradman, who did the same in the previous test.
His effort was backed up by Hemu Adhikari's first half-century of the series, 51. Adhikari lent Hazare valuable support and the two batsmen added 132 runs, but the end came soon enough when the Indian tailenders succumbed to Lindwall's pace, as the last three wickets fell for six runs. Australia inflicted another innings defeat to seal a well-deserved series win, but Hazare emerged with his head held high due to his personal triumph. However, the Australian team was too good for the Indians.
The fifth and the final test match was a dead rubber, ultimately, and this match began with one final opportunity for the Indian team to translate their individual performances into solid teamwork. The Australians on the other hand, had already won two successive matches against the tourists and their team had also gelled as one unit. Not only did their captain, Bradman lead with example, but the other team members also proved themselves equally adept. So this match saw the Indians playing with their honour at stake.
Bradman's luck with the coin toss continued in the series, as he won the toss and chose to bat first for the fourth occasion out of five. The Australian openers put on 48 runs before Sid Barnes was run out brilliantly by Adhikari. As usual, Bradman came out to bat at one-down and along with Bill Brown, he added 92 runs for the third wicket before something unfortunate for Australia happened. Bradman discovered that he had torn a rib muscle and was unable to play freely, so he retired hurt at 140/1. Brown was unaffected by this situation and carved a three-hour, twenty-five minute 99, from 216 balls. Again he too was run out, but the other Australian batsmen scored handily. Sam Loxton, making his debut, scored a 155-ball 80, Lindwall, Tallon(the wicket-keeper), Len Johnson, and Bill Johnston contributed to the huge scoreline.
However, the chief honours went to the nineteen-year, four-month old Neil Harvey, who muscled a powerful 153, with one five and eleven fours. He ended the first day on 78, and then hit his century on 7 February 1948. He had been promoted to no.5 in the match and it was effectively a just reward for his promotion. He surpassed Archie Jackson's record of being the youngest centurion for Australia, a record that still stands. His innings was absolutely flawless except for a chance which he gave the Indian fielders shortly before he was dismissed.
Sarwate fell for the first wicket at 3/1 when the Indians began to bat. However, Mankad and Adhikari batted well to bail India out of the crisis, adding 124 for the second wicket before Adhikari fell for 38, made from 202 balls with a solitary boundary. Fresh from his previous match heroics, Hazare came out to bat with Mankad and they put on 79 before Mankad fell for his second century of the series, a well-crafted, five-hour 111. Then Hazare fell for the fifth wicket after a fine 74. The other batsmen except for Phadkar, who made 56 not out, did not survive much longer, as India's batting yet again folded up for a limp display after a strong revival by Hazare and Mankad. Ultimately, India followed on by 244 runs and this time, in their second innings neither Mankad nor Hazare could save their necks as their batting put up a weak performance to be all out for 67. Adhikari top-scored with 17, but other than his "resistance", no other Indian batsmen quite managed to occupy the crease and grind out a draw. The two Australian debutants, Doug Ring and Len Johnson had a field day, picking up twelve wickets between them. While Johnson took 6/74, including 3/8 in the second innings, Ring took 6/120. Johnson went on to play only one more test after that, while Ring went on to become a useful allrounder for the Australian team. This capped a miserable tour for the Indian team, who could, "with reason, complain of ill-fortune in most of the matches."
This tour can best be remembered for being India's first tour to Australia and also for being Bradman's last test series at home and his second last series. It was perhaps because of this that it was assumed that the Indians were actually keen to watch Bradman play. Even though India capitulated for scores less than hundred four times on the tour, their batsmen performed well individually. In fact, Dattu Phadkar, who cracked a century in fourth test, and hit three fifties as well, headed the averages. Vijay Hazare became a sensation after his two centuries in the same match. Vinoo Mankad hit two centuries, in the third and fifth tests, however, it was the failure from an experienced campaigner and their team captain Lala Amarnath, which hastened the team's heavy loss.
On paper, it was a strong Indian team which included the likes of Mankad, Hazare, Amarnath and CS Nayudu. But these players never performed collectively, which was what the Australians did. Don Bradman accumulated runs better than before, and his average in this series of 178.75 was nearly the double of his career average. He was the series' top run-scorer. While ray Lindwall, was the series' highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets. For India, Vijay Hazare scored 429 runs and Lala Amarnath took 13 wickets from six innings. However, Amarnath's string of poor scores with the bat cost India the services of another specialist batsman, who could have at least reduced the margins of defeat.
The Australians, on the other hand coordinated perfectly as a unit: their batsmen piled up big scores and their bowlers ran through the Indian lineup, evident by the fact that the Indians never scored more than 400 in the whole test series.
Moreover, the series also magnified the deficit of a strike bowler in India who could take wickets regularly and could contain the run-flow. Don Bradman noted:
"I first saw them play in Adelaide when South Australia were their opponents. I made a century in this match, and in doing so formed the conclusion that our Test team would make a lot of runs against them for two reasons,...Firstly, their bowling, whilst reasonably steady and sound, lacked a really fast bowler, and what is probably more important, a really high-class spinner. Secondly, to my surprise, they were weak in the field."
It was of the opinion that this side was one of India's strongest to play, but Rusi Modi, Vijay Merchant, Mushtaq Ali and Fazal Mahmood all missed the tour, which crippled India, because Modi and Merchant were India's most reliable batsmen on all types of pitches and surfaces. They also lost a strike bowler, which Fazal Mahmood would go on to become for Pakistan.
Amarnath's lack of success with the bat (140 runs at 14.00 in 10 innings) was an aberration from his performances in the tour, where he scored 1162 runs at an average of 58.10, and picked up 30 wickets. The 228 he made against Victoria in the tour matches was described as "one of the greatest ever played" in Australia, by a recognized member of Bill Woodfull`s 1932 Bodyline side, Victor Richardson. His captaincy was also said to have been criticised for the frequent changes he made in the batting order, but all the players were reported to have unanimously agreed that his management was fine. Bradman also had written thus of his captaincy, describing an incident when he was playing for the Australian XI side against India in the first-class matches, when he was batting on 99, and Amarnath brought on Gogumal Kishenchand to bowl.
"He had not bowled before and I had no idea what type of bowler he was. It was a shrewd move, as one could have so easily been deceived, but I treated him with the greatest respect until eventually came a single to mid-on and the greatest moment had arrived."
Hazare, Mankad and Phadkar were given praises by Wisden. Wisden asserted that Mankad proved his credentials as the best allrounder of his generation. His left-arm spin brought him 61 wickets on the tour. Hazare's achievement of hitting two back-to-back centuries in the Adelaide test was describe as the series' best performances. He was only the second Indian to score 1000 runs on the tour. Dattu Phadkar was hailed as being the "fastest" Indian bowler. But his achievement of topping the averages for India with 52.33 was mentioned as being a "welcome surprise". His 123 in the fourth test was described as a capital century.
This series was also one in the line of many memorable tests between India and Australia.Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1949