Chocolate and Gold Coins

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

5YAT: Laxman and Dravid Batted All Day Long

Five years ago today, I woke up a bit early and turned on the computer. I wanted to see what was happening in the Kolkata test match.

The previous day, India followed on. From that point, the hope of winning was gone (or so I thought) and the only hope was to bat out for six sessions and draw the match. But Tendulkar fell early and Ganguly was out short of a half-century. India was down to their last recognized pair: Laxman and Dravid. Laxman had scored a century and Dravid, who usually bats third, just had come in at the end of day 3. Unless the two of them batted all day long, there was little hope for anything other than another loss.

I turn on the computer and Cricinfo announced that Laxman and Dravid were fighting back. I look at the scoreboard. Laxman was on 196; Dravid was on 85. It took a couple of overs but I waited until Laxman scored his double ton. India was fighting back! I thought this was incredible.

People later called this Laxman’s knock, but it was really the great Laxman-Dravid partnership. Dravid is the only player in cricket who could say something like, “I have to go to bed early tonight; I have to bat all day tomorrow,” and not make it sound like a hollow boast.

By the end of the day, India had seen a minor miracle: there have been tens of thousands of test partnerships and only 61 triple century test partnerships. This was one of them. And this one came from the last recognized pair India had left. Laxman had set a new test record high score for an Indian batsman (later bettered by Sehwag). It seems ironic that now five years later Laxman has been dropped, but he was the right guy for the team then.

I thought, “Good, Australia won’t win this one.” But I never thought India could win – not against Australia. Not unless Australia was daft and “went for it” on the last day.

But India had one last miracle in store for day five.

7 Comments:

  • Hi Michael
    I guess you must of heard of the Aus-Sa match by now. Amazing stuff - check out cricinfo.com

    By Anonymous h, at 10:19 AM  

  • Hi H
    That match was a classic. I doubt there will be another run chase like that in 50 years.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 4:06 PM  

  • 14th March 2001 was indeed a day of the Laxmans. Remember this?

    By Blogger Gaurav, at 6:19 AM  

  • Michael,
    I was in the stands at the Eden Gardens for all 5 days of this test match... easily ranks as the best test match featuring India that I have seen

    By Blogger Nirav, at 6:54 PM  

  • Hi,
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    By Blogger Kartik Kannan, at 11:08 PM  

  • Day 3, was returning home and checked the score with someone in the company bus. And I thought, India's gonna win this. A strange thought. 2 days later. Not so strange. I was so happy :-)

    And no thanks from remindering me about this match, coz now I am going dig out all articles about it and read.

    By Blogger The Comic Project, at 7:43 AM  

  • Hi Gaurav
    No I don't remember that. Thanks for the link. Oh well, bad Laxman didn't sour good Laxman's day.

    Hi Nirav
    Thats amazing - something you can tell your grandkids about.

    Hi Comic
    Really? Either you are a prophet or really bad with probability. Interesting though.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 8:22 PM  

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