Cricket is a sport where India has some of its greatest achievements in Sports. In short winning the World Cup in 1983, the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the World Cup again in 2011 is the sum of all India’s achievements in the limited overs game. In this edition of Sports Stats Weekly, we look at some of the most memorable Test match knocks by the Indian batsmen.
Most of the readers would certainly be able to recall VVS Laxman’s 281 against an in-form Australia at the Eden Gardens back in 2001 as one of the best. Let us find out some more such career defining knocks by the Indian batsmen.
VVS Laxman 281 vs Australia
Back in 2001, when Steve Waugh’s Australia visited India they were the top ranked team in Tests and ODIs. And already took the lead in the first Test in Mumbai. Visiting Eden Gardens Australia received an unwanted surprise in the form of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid who steadied the Indian innings in the second innings of the second Test as Steve Waugh enforced follow-on to the Indian team.
The Indian team also received some much needed help from the bowling department as Harbhajan Singh downed the Aussie batting line-up.
Since that day, VVS came to be known as Very Very Special for the Indian team. The victory for India also ended Australia’s 16 test unbeaten-run.
Gautam Gambhir 137 vs New Zealand
Gautam Gambhir’s knock of 137 at Napier may not look so huge. But it is an inning that India will always remember. His solid 137 runs helped the country avoid defeat at the hands of New Zealand. The hosts had two days to get the 10 wickets and the man from Delhi stood in between as a rock on the crease for more than ten and a half hours.
Gambhir could not win it for India but he managed to stall and avoid the defeat that seemed almost certain.
Virender Sehwag 309 vs Pakistan
Who wouldn’t remember this spectacular innings from a young Virender Sehwag. He became the first Indian to reach the three-hundred run mark in a single Test match inning. His performance became sweeter as it came against bitter-rivals Pakistan and in Pakistan.
Since then Sehwag sealed his place in the top order of the Indian team and his opposition destroying aggressive play made him one of the best-openers for the Indian team.
VVS Laxman 73 vs Australia
Laxman was injured and came to bat at 8th down in the first inning. The second inning needed India to be rescued again and Laxman could only remember his heroic at Eden Gardens in 2001 for hope. India chasing a low total of 216 had already lost 5 wickets at just 76 runs. That is when Laxman came to the crease and in no time the score-board read 120 for 8. With another 96 runs needed, Laxman came back to his playing best against the rivals he most prefers.
India took the victory from the clutches of defeat against the Australia, this time at Mohali in 2010 and re-affirmed his title “Very Very Special”.
These innings comprise among some of the greatest Test knocks by the Indian batsmen since the turn of the century.