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On This Day: One of the greatest days in India’s Test History
By B Dixit - Mar 14, 2018 6:54 am
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March 14, 2001.

If there was one day in the history which changed the way how others perceived the Indian cricket and how Indians perceived their cricket, it was this day 17 years ago. The day came during the second of the three-match test series between India and Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Having won the first Test at Mumbai by 10 wickets, Steve Waugh, the then Australian captain had won the toss and chose to bat. In reply to Australia’s 445 in the first innings, India were bundled out on 171 in 58.1 overs. After being reduced to 254-4 in 75 overs at Stumps – Day 3, another loss of a match and eventually the series was on the cards for the home team.

India were effectively 20 runs behind and had lost four wickets on Day 3. Coming back from such a position to win the match was a thought next to impossible until VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid did what they did on the given day.

VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid for India.
India’s Laxman and Dravid coming off the ground.

The duo shared a 376-run partnership for the fifth wicket as Australia remained wicket-less on Day 4. They ended India’s day on 589-4 in 165 overs. Laxman was unbeaten on 275 and Dravid was batting on 155. Steve Waugh had tried all his cards, but to minimal effect. Leaving aside himself and Adam Gilchrist, he had tried all other bowling options.

After a slight delay in the declaration, India set Australia a target of 384 runs to win. The visitors were dismissed on 212 in 68.3 overs as India clinched a historic Test victory.

In the process, Laxman had surpassed Sunil Gavaskar’s record of highest individual score by an Indian batsman. It was the then second-highest partnership for any wicket by Indian batsmen. It is till date the highest partnership for the fifth wicket by Indian batsmen. Overall, it is the third highest partnership ever for the fifth wicket.

Watch the full highlights of the match: