Ind vs WI, West Indies managed to pull a draw against the mighty Indians, thanks to Roston Chase’s unbeaten 137 and support from his partners.
IND VS WI
14 years ago, a mighty West Indies side, a side which might be the last strongest side in West Indian Test Cricket history. Had toured India in October and November for playing 3 Tests and 7 ODIs. Saurav Ganguly captained India, while Carl Hooper was the West Indian captain. In the INd vs WI Test at Mumbai, Sehwag’s 147, Dravid’s 100* and Harbhajan’s 7 wickets haul gave India a comfortable innings win. It was a big achievement, unlike today, when beating West Indies by an innings is the expectation when every Test starts. In the IND vs WI 2nd game at Chennai, West Indies offered some resistance but Harbhajan was running in top form. He picked 7 wickets and was the Man of the match in the test which ended on Day 4.
Sachin meanwhile had managed 94 runs in 3 innings at an average of 47. India wanted their national hero to perform in the last test at Kolkata, and also wanted India to complete whitewash. Sachin had scored a century in winning cause in Caribbean in May 2002. The series which was a 1-1 draw and which was the last time West Indies beat India in a Test match. West Indies team- Chris Gayle, Hinds, Carl Hooper, Samuels, Sarwan and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul. They were hungry for a win and were not going to let it go. All in all, Kolkata was going to produce a great encounter. We always say nowadays that “ROHIT SHARMA is the KING OF EDENS”. Earlier they used to call Ganguly as “PRINCE OF EDENS”.
KNOCK OF THE CENTURY
But there was a guy who used to perform well at Eden. Just a year and half ago, he had hit the ‘Knock of the Century‘, 281 vs Australia here. Yes, VVS Laxman. INd vs WI, 3rd Test, India won the toss and elected to bat. India before the Lunch of Day 2 were bowled out for 358. Bangar 77 was the only half centurion. Sachin scored 36, which meant he averaged 43 this series before he started the second innings of the Test. West Indies batting did show some promise. They finally performed the way they should have. Harbhajan picked 5 wickets, giving 115 runs. Kumble’s figures were 3/169.
West Indies scored 497 which included 3 centuries; 100 by Hinds, 140 by Chanderpaul and 104 by Samuels. India came in to bat after some overs on Day 4 with a 139 run trail. Within no time, just post lunch they were reduced to 87/4 as Dillon picked the openers early. Laxman joined Sachin, who was already in his 40s. With about 150 overs still remaining in the Test, India had to bat at least till Tea at Day 5 to save the match. Winning from here was tough, so drawing the Test was a better option. Laxman and Sachin, both committed to save the match played till stumps. Sachin got a century. He from one end was scoring runs at a pretty quick rate. His century took just 160 balls.
Laxman was protecting the other end. He took 175 balls to score 50 on Day 5. The pair batted till lunch at Day 5. However, after lunch, Sachin departed after scoring 176 off 298 balls. By the time, Laxman was batting on 68. India 301-5, after a 214 run stand for 5th wicket. He got a century, converted it into 150 and as the play ended, he stayed unbeaten at 154. India got till 481/8. The test match was drawn, India won the series 2-0. They followed it up with a 4-3 ODI series win. Sachin emerged as India’s leading run scorer with 306 runs in 5 innings at an average of 76.5, Harbhajan was the leading wicket taker with 20 wickets. VVS Laxman got his second 150+ score at Eden Gardens, which preceded and succeeded by 281(vs Aus, 2001) and 176 (vs WI, 2011).
INDIAN TEAM [2002 AND 2016]
Indian team between 2002 and 2016 has changed quite much. The 2002 team looks a much better unit. So is the case with West Indies, the difference in this 14 years is huge unlike India.They are not even a formidable test side currently. A draw in the second test just gave us an idea that team has a great intent to fight, but the current Indian team seems too mighty. The current Indian team is just a junior replica of the 2002 team. Sehwag gave his traits of aggressive opening to Dhawan, Dravid and Laxman’s defence has reduces to Rahane and Pujara, the role of captaincy is being carried out by Kohli, who is very far from Ganguly’s legacy. Ashwin and Mishra replace Kumble and Harbhajan. Shami and Ishant instead of Srinath and Nehra. Most of the cricket fans would vote for 2002 team.
The third Test begins on Tuesday. Will India dominate the Windies again or will West Indies give some more surprises?
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