In the whole of Australia, the SCG venue is the friendliest for the Indians. When the Indian team moved Down Under they got enough time to acclimatize and settle in those conditions.
There is a sizable Indian population in the capital of New South Wales as the pitches are not so challenging for the Indian batsman. It offers ample turn and is a bit on the lower and slower side.
Despite the fact, India managed just a single victory at SCG and lost 5 test matches in as many as 12 attempts. The only victory came against the team of Bob Simpson as it got weakened because of the Packer breakaway.
But the test match last time when India toured Australia was a pivotal moment for the Indian side. A lot of time was lost because of rain but India managed their first-ever series win Down Under.
In SCG, India suffered three humiliating defeats and the first of those came against a strong team of Greg Chappell in the 1980-81 series. The second wipeout came in the 1999-2000 series as it realized the prediction of the then BCCI secretary of India losing 0-3. In 2011-12, the third of the defeat came when the Australians mounted a huge score of 659/4 and declared the innings. In that match, Michael Clarke scored 329 and was ably backed by tons from Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey. More than 120 plus runs were conceded by four Indian bowlers and Virat Kohli and Sehwag bowled 30 overs together.
Then came the ghosts of the Monkeygate. The Monkeygate scandal happened as the umpire gave some skewed decisions. After the Aussies were reeling at 134 for 6, Andrew Symonds was allowed to score a ton in the first inning. India was required to bat for a length of 70 overs to save the test match but Ganguly and Dravid were wrongly given out and it sealed the fate for the Indians. After the game, the then skipper Kumble said that the spirit of the game was maintained by only one team.
A grounded catch was also claimed by the Australian captain and managed to emulate the feat managed by Steve Waugh’s team of winning 16 tests in a row. But on both counts, history has been repeated as India won the Kolkata test in 2001and India also won the next test in Perth.
Many other controversies plagued the Australians all these years like the brain-fade by Steve Smith as he used the then-new phenomenon called DRS and also his involvement in the scandal for ball-tampering in SA.
Then came the story of follow-ons. The Australians were given follow-ons by India thrice in SCG. The first of those came in the year 1985-86. In 2003-04, Sourav Ganguly’s team made the Australians follow on but India managed only a draw out of the test match. The other test was in 2018-19.