New Delhi, How about Caribbean cricket: Although the cricket series between India and West Indies (India vs West Indies) has been played in a friendly atmosphere, but the test series of the year 1975-76 can be considered as an exception. In the fourth Test of this series, the Caribbean bowlers played such a ‘bloody game’ that the leading Indian batsman was badly injured and could not come for batting in the second innings (21 to 25 April 1976). In the second innings, at the score of 97 for 5 wickets, the Indian innings had to ‘pause’ and Absent hurt had to be written in front of the names of the remaining five batters.
The quartet of West Indies fast bowlers Michael Holding, Wayne Daniels, Bernard Julien and Wenburn Holder targeted the body instead of the wickets of the Indian batsmen in this Test and Anshuman Gaikwad, Gundappa Vishwanath and Brajesh Patel were badly injured.
According to media reports of the time, Gaikwad suffered injuries to his ear and Brajesh Patel’s mouth, while Vishwanath’s finger was fractured. Due to injury, these three batters, while captain Bishan Singh Bedi and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, did not come down for batting in the second innings to avoid the havoc of the opposition bowlers. This was the era of cricket when there were no rules regarding bouncer and helmet was also not in vogue. ‘Blood Ranjit’ Indies won this test by 10 wickets and captured the series 2-1.
This was the reason for Caribbean team’s ‘bodyline bowling’
In fact, the Caribbean fast bowlers threw balls targeting the body of the Indian batsmen with the intention of teaching them a ‘lesson’ in this test. In the third Test of the series held at Port of Spain (7-12 April 1976), the Indian team achieved the target of 403 runs in the fourth innings by losing four wickets and shattered the pride of the West Indies. Julian and Holding were included as fast bowlers while Albert Pedmore, Zulfikar Ali and R.K. Jumadeen was in the team. Indian batsmen took the news fiercely in the second innings of this attack full of spinners.
Sunil Gavaskar scored 102, Mohinder Amarnath 85 and Gundappa Vishwanath scored 112 runs and India achieved the target by losing 4 wickets. Enraged by this victory of India, the Indies team had given place to four fast bowlers in the team in the Kingston Test and made a strategy to target the Indian batters.
West Indies won the series 2-1
West Indies won the first Test of Bridgetown by an innings and 97 runs under this series of four Tests. The second Test at Port of Spain was a draw, while the third Test was won by Team India by 6 wickets. Playing a ‘bloody game’ in the fourth Test on a Kingston fast bowler pitch, the Indies won by 10 wickets and The series had taken its name.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 27, 2023, 09:48 IST