First Test Match

AUSTRALIA v INDIA 1947-48

At Brisbane, November 28, 29, December 1, 2, 3, 4. Australia won by an innings and 226 runs. Unfortunate to be caught on a treacherous pitch, India collapsed twice, and the manner of their defeat must have resulted in loss of confidence for the remaining Tests. There was nothing wrong with the conditions when Australia batted first, and, after the early loss of Brown, Bradman gave one of his superb displays. He lost Morris at 97, but completely demoralised the bowlers by punishing methods which brought runs at a terrific rate. Not a ball could be bowled until five o'clock on the second day, but the surprising attendance of 11,000 watched the hour's cricket that took place. A further downpour saturated the pitch on the Sunday, but next day the sun appeared and India's task was hopeless. Realising the awkwardness of the conditions, the Australians soon declared. Bradman took four and three-quarter hours over 185, which contained twenty 4's.

With the ball doing all manner of unexpected tricks, India, used to the fast, hard pitches in their own country, were completely baffled. Mankad and Gul Mahomed fell in the first over from Lindwall, but the most successful bowler was Toshack, who, with left-arm slow-medium deliveries, dismissed five men in nineteen balls for two runs. All out 58, India followed-on 324 behind, and before the dismal day ended for them four second innings wickets fell for 41.

More rain restricted the fourth day to an hour, and nothing could be done next day, but conditions were not quite so difficult when play re-started on Thursday. Sarwate gave a stubborn defensive display for three hours, but few of his colleagues could cope with Toshack, who again made the most of the pitch. In the match he took eleven wickets for 31 runs.

If India had won the toss the result might well have been different, for in Mankad they possessed a bowler able to exploit the conditions equally as well as Toshack.

© John Wisden & Co