We can all recall a defining cricket moment which had us at the edge of our seats – anticipating, hoping, and praying for India’s win. Cricket, then, is not just a sport; it’s a religion, an emotion that ties together the pulse of the nation, a language understood by billions in a land of a thousand dialects. Leading up to the T20 World Cup which kick starts on 16th October in Australia, and on track for the 13th edition of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, to be hosted by India a year from now, History TV18 is premiering a two-part series 2 Nations, 1 Obsession: Australia V India, which follows the evolution of the challenge posed by two giants on the global cricketing stage – India and Australia. The show premieres Thursday – Friday, 13th & 14th October 2022, at 9:00 PM on History TV18.
In world sport, while the rivalry between the Indian and Pakistani teams has a massive fan following with political under currents, there is none as fierce as that between the Australian and Indian cricket teams when it comes to the way the game is played. Australia has always dominated the game, while India were the underdogs for a long time. From India aspiring to be the leading Asian team, to actually becoming the top team globally, this documentary series explores how two countries with such different DNA can be brought together by the love of the game.
Across two incredible series, played 15 years apart, Australia and India cemented their rivalry as the greatest in world cricket and united two diverse cultures. The first part of this History TV18 special explores the remarkable 1986 Tied Test in Madras, the gripping final over bowled by Greg Matthews, and the remarkable nature behind Dean Jones’ double hundred. Hear firsthand how the Australians encountered difficult foreign conditions and culture, with India turning up the heat and serving equal parts hot weather, food, and temperament. Fast-forward to the 2001 test series, widely regarded as one of the best ever played by Cricket purists. In particular, the dramatic Third Test where Harbhajan Singh, a gutsy young off-spinner, ripped through Australia to take 15 wickets for the match, and lead India to victory. Set against the backdrop of deteriorating relations, the second episode delves into Australia’s breakthrough triumph in 2004 and chronicles India’s ascent into a genuine global powerhouse in fascinating detail. No longer is Indian Cricket seen as the poorer cousin to the cricketing giants – it now rules the game. The show also goes behind-the-scenes to learn about the infamous and highly publicized ‘Monkey Gate’ scandal in the 2007/08 series.
Featuring exclusive footage from popular matches, and personal anecdotes and stories being recounted by cricketing legends on both sides who have led their teams to glory, the series travels far and wide on both continents to explore their mutual admiration and fascinating sporting rivalry – from its inception to its transformation of the game and its players. Both India and Australia have forged trailblazers in this gentleman’s game over the years. The show is sure to make cricket fans who grew up watching the era of Ganguly v/s Waugh and Tendulkar v/s Warne nostalgic. Border, Gavaskar, Matthews, Gilchrist, Shastri, Clark, and Bhogle are just a few of the names that feature prominently.
With T20 fever set to grip the nation once again, 2 Nations, 1 Obsession celebrates the competitive essence of the country’s most beloved sport. What’s more, Indian audiences have borne witness to history being scripted in the sporting world, with the evolution and adaptation of cricket in its many formats, and the journey of its cricket team from being underdogs to becoming world champions. Instead of relying on talented individuals to single handedly carry the team to victory, the focus has shifted to the collective, where every player’s contribution to the team matters. History TV18’s latest series is indeed a fitting way to honor the spirit of the game before we head into a new season of the World Cup.