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We’re getting a FIVE-Test Border-Gavaskar series for the first time in 3 decades

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Border-Gavaskar, Australia v India, 2024-25, cricket

For the first time in over 30 years, the Border-Gavaskar trophy will be contested over a five-match Test series. Here’s everything we know.

Outside of the Ashes, there is arguably no fiercer rivalry in world cricket than the one contested between India and Australia. Both sides have been the sport’s form sides since the beginning of the 2020s, and boast two of the greatest batsmen of all time: Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.

And for the first time since 1991-92, the Border-Gavaskar trophy will be won over a five-test series. From 2022-23 to 2011-12, the series was contested over four tests, meaning Australian and Indian fans will get an extra game to watch their teams battle for bragging rights and glory.

Ahead of the series, which kicks off the 2024-25 Australian cricketing summer, here’s everything you need to know & what to expect.

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The 2024-25 Border-Gavaskar trophy: A return to a five-test series

When will the series be played?

1st Test: 22-26 November 2024, Optus Stadium, Perth

2nd Test: 6-10 December 2024, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

3rd Test: 14-18 December 2024, The Gabba, Brisbane

4th Test: 26-30 December 2024, MCG, Melbourne

5th Test: 3-7 January 2024, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Border-Gavaskar, Virat Kohli
India’s Virat Kohli is one of his generation’s finest batsmen

Why the move back to five tests?

According to Jay Shah, secretary of the BCCI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the decision comes with the good of the Test format in mind.

“The BCCI remains committed to preserving the rich heritage of Test cricket, a format we hold in high regard. Our continuous partnership with Cricket Australia to expand the Border-Gavaskar trophy to five Tests demonstrates our shared commitment to developing and enhancing Test cricket’s importance,” Shah explained.

At a time when lucrative T20 competitions have threatened Test cricket’s very existence, the five-test series would be an ideal advertisement of the five-day game’s skill and drama. India and Australia are two of the greatest Test sides of the modern era, showcased in 2023’s World Test Championship at Lords.

For Australia, adding the extra Test would give Pat Cummins’ side a chance to reclaim the trophy, which has been in Indian hands since 2016-17. This is especially true given the Aussies have lost each of the last three Border-Gavaskar trophies 2-1, with a fifth Test providing them a perfect chance to draw, not lose, the series.

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What happened in the last five-test Border-Gavaskar series?

Let’s set the scene; it’s 1991-92, Daryl Braithwaite’s Horses is near the top of the charts, iPhones don’t exist, neither does Foxtel and Bob Hawke is Prime Minister. An Australian side at the top of their game, led by Allan Border, hosts a young, promising Indian side.

It’s the series where a baby-faced Sachin Tendulkar announces himself to the sporting world. On top of 114 runs in the fifth Test, against a ferocious Australian bowling attack led by Merv Hughes and Craig McDermott, making the 18-year-old Tendulkar the youngest batsman to score a century in Australia.

Not only was this series Tendulkar’s breakout but also when the world got its first taste of Shane Warne. Making his debut in the third Test, Warne famously finished with figures of 1/150. He would not take a wicket during the remainder of the series.

Fortunately for Warne, and Australia, his debut was hardly a sign of things to come. There’s been no greater Australian bowler, and arguably no greater bowler in the sport’s history. It just so happened that the Victorian’s first taste of Test match life was by fire.

In good news for Pat Cummins’ side, Australia won that series 4-0, which given his nation hasn’t won a Test series against India in a decade, is a good omen.

With 556 runs at an average of 79, David Boon was Australia’s, and the series, top run scorer, while towering fast bowler Craig McDermott was the leading wicket taker with 31.

Australian wicket-keeper, Ian Healy, scored his 1,000th Test run during the fifth Test, a match in which Kapil Dev took his 400th Test wicket.

Picture of Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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