Home > General > India v/s Australia 1ST Test: India wins a thriller

India v/s Australia 1ST Test: India wins a thriller

VVS Laxman

Source: Cricinfo.com

If ever there was a classic example for the phrase ‘Snatching victory from the Jaws of Defeat’, then this was it. India came back from the dead to squeeze past the finishing line, winning by 1 wicket, their narrowest test win in history to take an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the 2 match test series. India v/s Australia had produced many nail-biting finishes over the years and we can add this to the list of great matches between the two sides.

The test match had pretty much everything what a spectator could ask for. It had the emotions, drama, some sensational and thoughtful batting, some incisive and aggressive bowling and an extremely tense and a close finish to put the icing on the cake.

Australia had won the toss and decided to bat first. Mohali pitch (which is generally lively initially for first 2 days or so) was uncharacteristically slow and low, making run getting quite difficult. Australia had to grind through their first innings, taking 152 overs to score 428, a run rate of 2.82 runs per over. Having said that, credit must be given to Indian bowlers (Zaheer Khan, Ojha, Bhajji) who stuck to their task and kept things tight. After Ishant Sharma was injured and left the field, India did well to not allow Australia to get away with the game. Zaheer Khan was outstanding with his reverse swing, taking 5 wickets for 94. For Australia, Shane Watson (126) and Tim Paine (92) were the men responsible for crossing the 400 mark, playing magnificent knocks.

India’s first innings was built around 3 major contributions from Sachin Tendulkar (98), Raina (86) and Sehwag (59). Unfortunately, India conceded a lead of 23 runs, after being at 354/4. Mitchell Johnson was the tormentor in chief with his 5 for 64.

In the second essay, Australia got off to a good start and were at 90 odd with 8 wickets in hand. Then, once again, the match turned as India fought back to eventually dismiss them for 192. Ishant Sharma came back from injury and took 3 wickets, while all others chipped in nicely too. The match was set up wonderfully, with India needing 216 to win the match on a wearing 4th and 5th day pitch.

At the end of day 4, India had lost 4 crucial wickets (Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Raina), still needing 162 runs to win on Day 5. When after an hour and minutes of play in morning, India were reeling at 124/8, needing 92 more to win with a wounded Laxman (batting with runner) and No 10 Ishant Sharma at crease. It all looked dead and buried as far as Aussies were concerned. Even the most optimistic of India’s fans would not have entertained thoughts of a victory from that stage.

Then came the most dramatic comeback from VVS (Very Very Special) Laxman and Ishant Sharma. Their partnership took India to 205, within 11 runs from a famous win. The most amazing thing about the partnership was that Laxman didn’t protect Ishant and took runs on every opportunity, leaving Ishant to negotiate all bowlers. Ishant played with extraordinary patience, grit and determination, defying all bowlers, scoring 31 invaluable runs and playing as many as 92 balls. At the other end, Laxman, playing with a runner was playing a sublime innings, stroking runs at will, looking at ease and was on a mission.

When Ishant got out to a poor umpiring decision, Ojha walked in to bat and everyone was at the edge of his seat. I haven’t ever seen Laxman as animated and emotional as he literally directed when to run and when not. At one instance, Laxman played the 5th ball of the over to mid off and there was a good chance of a single. Raina, the runner almost ran the entire run, only to find Ojha not responding and had to go back. The single would have meant Ojha had to survive just 1 delivery of the over and Laxman would have had strike the next over. Laxman was furious with Ojha and his frustration was so uncharacteristic of him. That showed how desperately VVS Laxman wanted the win.

Finally came the moment which would remain in our memories for long. India needed 2 to win and Ojha ran 2 leg byes to spark off massive celebrations. The celebrations had to be seen to be felt and they showed how much the win meant for India and how they staged one of the most remarkable wins in the history of Cricket.

Aussies fought very hard right till the end too, but once more had no answer to VVS Laxman, the man they just can’t see the back off, the man who has tortured them so many times, the man who reserves his best for the Aussies, the man who averages an astonishing 50 in the 2nd innings in his career, the man who is simply Very Very Special.

And hence, India won the match and will retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, no matter what happens in the 2nd test at Bangalore. Ponting is still to win a test in India as captain and I wonder whether his dream would come true in the next match, probably his last on Indian soil.

Zaheer Khan was given the Man-of-the-Match award for his 8 wickets in the match, which ensured India’s bowling looked incisive and threatening.

The 2nd test starts at Bangalore on 9th and India have lost Gambhir and Ishant already due to injury sustained in the concluded match. If the 2nd test is anything like the 1st, then we are in for SOMETHING… Do not miss it…

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Categories: General
  1. Shaurya Srivastava
    October 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    The match was Awesome !!!

    “WHILE MANY IN INDIA ARE BUSY PONDERING WHERE RAM WAS BORN, THE AUSTRALIANS ARE WONDERING WHY LAXMAN WAS BORN”

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