oday is the 143rd birthday of test cricket. Today also happens to be the day India beat Australia in Eden Gardens, making the sharpest-ever comeback after being asked to follow on.
Bengaluru: For any cricket afficionado, March 15 is a red-lettered day.
For the uninitiated, it was on this day that the first ever official test match was played.
And the second reason that should make our hearts swell with pride as Indians is that India beat Australis in the world-famous Kolkata test match.
While the former fact belongs to Australia and England in Melbourne in the year 1877, the second fact was played in the year 2001.
In the first test, the English team were captained by James Lillywhite. Australia were too good for the visitors as they managed to beat them by 45 runs.
Some strange facts:
• Australian opener Charles Bannerman became the 1st Test centurion as he amassed 165 runs in Australia's first innings.
• Allen Hill took the game's first-ever Test wicket while his teammate James Southerton made his debut at 49 years and 119 days. This remains Test cricket's oldest surviving record!
The Kolkata test:
It should certainly go down as one of the most glorious test matches in the history.
The victory gains more importance in the light that Australia had won their last sixteen encounters and Kolkata was the place where their pride would go before a fall.
After batting first, Australia put on a mammoth 445. In their first innings, India were bundled out for a paltry 171. Steve Waugh imposed a follow-on and it looked like Australia were in for their seventeenth victory.
#OnThisDay in 2001, India sealed a historic 171-run win over Australia, becoming only the third side in Test history to win after being forced to follow on! pic.twitter.com/Jx8LJ4Kl6F— ICC (@ICC) March 15, 2020
But as fate would have it, as India followed on, Rahul Dravid and VVS Lakshman displayed a brave display of batsmanship, putting on a 376 runs stand.
While Rahul Dravid scored 180, VVS scored a phenomenal 281. With their contributions, India set a target of 384, but Australia, in their chase, could manage only 212, thus handing over India a magnificent victory.
It is moments like these that spice up test matches and add to the cricketing folklore.
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Last Updated Mar 15, 2020, 4:06 PM IST