After a prolific Test match stalemate at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the Aussies, the Indian team’s morale will be on a higher note before they face the hosts at The Gabba. The cricket fraternity praised India’s gritty display of cricket on saving the Test match on Day 5. Australia set up a target of 409 for the Indian team on Day 4 with four sessions to bat. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill gave a good start with the bat, as the former went on to score his first half-century as an opener in the Test cricket in Australia. Rishabh Pant’s counter-attacking approach and Cheteshwar Pujara’s defensive knock kept the Indians in the game. After the two set batsmen collapsed, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari batted for more than 3 hours to set the Test match for a draw. The Aussie bowlers started attacking the two batsmen with the short ball. Vihari got injured while taking a quick single, Ashwin took several blows on his body and elbow. Vihari scored 23 off 161 balls while the off-spinner scored 39 off 128 balls. This is one of the instances where the draw itself is bigger than the win. Let’s put some light on several occasions when the Indian batsmen batted their heart out to save the Test match for the team in the overseas conditions:
1979-80 vs England (The Oval)
England set up a target of 438 on the final day for the Indian team. Sunil Gavaskar played one of the best innings of his life when the legendary batsman scored 221, his 213-run first-wicket partnership with Chetan Chauhan and 153-run 2nd wicket partnership with Dilip Vengsarkar gave a chance for the Indian team to grab a historic win. India fell short of 49 runs and eventually the match ended in a draw. India 429/8, Gavaskar 221.
2007 vs England (Lord’s)
England set up a competitive total of 380 on the board for the visiting Indian team. The visitors had four sessions to play to clinch the mammoth total. After the top order collapsed, Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the matter in his hand and played an unusual inning as per the wicket-keeper’s standard. He scored 76 runs off 150 balls and stayed unbeaten till the final session was washed. India 282/9, Dhoni 76*.
2009 vs New Zealand (Napier)
India were put to follow-on with five sessions to play, Gautam Gambhir opened the batting for the Indian team. Gambhir went to play one of the greatest knocks of his career and saved the match for his team. He scored 137 off 436 balls along with a century from VVS Laxman. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar also scored half-centuries respectively. Indian 476/4, Gambhir 137.