Thursday, September 22, 2011

When India beat Australia in the Seond Test at Brabourne Stadium at Bombay in October 1964

That was a pre-television era. The radio commentary was the only means to follow the cricket match. And we were glued to the radio. India needed to make about 256 runs to win the match. Pataudi, the Indian captain, and Vijay Manjrekar, who was really past his prime, kept a seventh wicket partnership going that took India past the 200 mark. Then Pataudi got out. The eight wicket had fallen. It seemed all but over. Then walked out Chandu Borde, the vice captain and one of the most dependable all rounders in the team. And we all believed then, and there is no need to doubt it now, that it was Pataudi's perfect gambit that he held back a solid batsman like Borde till the end. And it turned out to be right. Borde and Manjrekar took India to victory, especially Borde. He hit the victory shot. It was one of the early victories for India. two years earlier, India beat England for the first time in a series. Ted Dexter led the English team. The Brabourne Test win against Australia was a memorable one. The Indian team held its nerve and played till the end. We are all very happy but there was no hysteria.
The Australian team had some stalwarts. There was Norman O'neill, one of the great runners between the wickets of the day. Wally Grout was the wicket-keeper. The surly Bill Lawry was the vice-captain, and Bobby Simpson was the captain. Mackenzie was the pace bowler who opened the Australian attack. But the Indians scored a memorable victory against this team.

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