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The Biggest Turn Around In Test Cricket Ever

Raj Vardhan Srivastva : I must want to drag your attention to the Kolkata test between India & Australia.

The Australian team, rated as the best in the world, had won 16 Tests in a row, a Test cricket record including the previous Test at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai by 10 wickets. Now they were aiming at their 17 consecutive victory.

On the other hand Indian team after losing first test in Mumbai was looking for a comeback in the series.

Steve Waugh won the toss and elected to bat first. Openers Michael Slater and Mathew Hayden gave Australia a very solid start by putting 103 runs stand for the first wicket, at the tea time Australia were 193-1 but in the second session the visitors suffered a dramatic collapse from 193/1 to 252/7 eventually they get bowled out for 445 thanks to the amazing century of the skipper Steve Waugh and a vital contribution of Hayden (97). Harbhajan Singh dismissed Ponting, Gilchrist, Warne on three consecutive deliveries and became the first Indian bowler to take hat-trick in test cricket.

India’s performance in the first innings was very poor as they just only manages to score 171 runs VVS Laxman was the top scorer (59) from India.

As a result India was forced to follow-on the Australian innings, all the Indian spectators were disappointed and annoyed at the same time with the poor performance of team India. The host was trailing by 274 runs in their first innings they were down and out for a count, but destiny had some other plans, Indian batsman showed some determination in the second innings as the day ended with a promising unbeaten century of VVS Laxman, India sensed hoped of saving the match, those spectators who were burning their tickets on the day-3 were ready to give all the money they had to enter the stadium on the next day, the two young boys had turned the game for India Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

They batted the whole day with a healthy run rate of 3+ runs per over. Could you imagine the team who had restricted the Indian innings in just two sessions could not be able to take a single wicket throughout the day.

9 out of 11 players bowled but they couldn’t decimate this pair.

A statement made the commentary in the last session of day 4 by Tony Greg “I think Gilchrist have to put his gloves down now”.

Both the batsman batted very cautiously in the pressure situation. Laxman carried forward the Indian innings brilliantly where he had left the other day and Dravid also looked in complete control, they were timing the ball beautifully well seemed as if both were beginning to make a statement. Dravid scored century (180 Runs) and gain back his form back while Laxman scored double century. They put together an astonishing partnership of 370 odd runs. Laxman became highest run scorer in tests for India (nowadays Virendra Sehwag) surpassing Sunil Gavaskar 236* at Chennai Vs West Indies in 1983. The biggest aspects between Laxman and Gavaskar innings is that both of them came against the best attack of their times. Laxman eventually got dismissed on 281 runs on day-5. After getting a target of 384 Australia could only manage to score 212 thanks to Sachin who picks up three crucial wickets. Harbhajan Singh was the star performer with the ball taking 13 wickets in the match in which six of them came in second innings.

This is the India’s one of the greatest victories beating the mighty Aussies, absolutely from nowhere in the game.

The series leveled with 1–1. India just was not stop there, they rubbed more salts on the wound of Australian team beating them in a very close encounter in the next test at Chennai clinching the series 2–1.

One of best cricket memories in Indian cricket. India Vs Australia 2001 Border-Gavaskar Trophy is simply unforgettable.