New Delhi. Test cricket is considered to be the purest form of cricket. It tests the patience of a batsman, the consistency and versatility of a bowler and above all the fitness of the players to play five consecutive days. Usually a team uses three-four main bowlers and some part-time bowlers so that the opposition team can be dismissed. But there have been four such occasions in cricket history, where all 11 players came out to bowl in a Test innings. The first happened in 1884 during the third Test of Australia’s tour of England. The next instance happened in 1980 during the second Test between Australia and Pakistan at Faisalabad. The third occasion is the one in which India toured the West Indies in 2002. The last time all 11 players bowled was in 2005 during the fourth Test match between South Africa and West Indies.
Let’s look at the occasion when India vs West Indies match took place in 2002. In this match, West Indies won the toss and decided to field first. India lost the wicket of opener Shiv Sunder Das (3) early, but Wasim Jaffer (86) and Rahul Dravid shared a 155-run partnership for the second wicket. Even though Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed on the first ball, Sourav Ganguly along with Dravid ensured that India lost no more wickets that day.
The second day began with the dismissals of India’s Sourav Ganguly (45), Rahul Dravid (91) and Anil Kumble (6) in quick succession, but wicket-keepers Ajay Ratra and VVS Laxman put on an unbeaten 205-run partnership for the 8th wicket. Ki, who ended the day with India in the driving seat. India lost the wicket of VVS Laxman (130) the next day, but Ajay Ratra (115) completed his century and added 40 more runs with the help of tail batsmen. After this, Ganguly decided to declare the innings with 513 runs at the loss of 9 wickets.
Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds got off to a slow start as they knew there was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers. Two and a half days of Indian batting had taught him that if you stay patient at the crease, it will not be difficult to score runs. Zaheer Khan got the first breakthrough by sending back Chris Gayle (32). When the danger of partnership between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Wavell Hinds started increasing, then Sachin Tendulkar gave success. He showed the well-set Wavell Hinds the way to the pavilion for 65 runs. Brian Lara was able to score only 4 runs and was sent back by Anil Kumble, but Carl Hooper along with Ramnaresh Sarwan ended the day without the loss of any more wickets.
West Indies lost the wicket of Sarwan (51) in the first session of the next day. West Indies’ score was 196 runs at the loss of 4 wickets. The balance of the match was looking towards India, but the entry of Shivnarine Chanderpaul broke Indian hopes. Both Hooper and Chanderpaul showed immense patience at the crease. The Indian pace trio – Javagal Srinath, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan tried everything they could, but the West Indies batsmen stood firm on the flat pitch. In the end, it was Tendulkar who got India the crucial breakthrough by sending back skipper Carl Hooper (136).
India may have planned to take the early wicket of Ridley Jacobs, who had replaced Hooper. India’s plan was probably to restrict West Indies below 460 and take an easy lead. But it was not easy, because Jacobs and Chanderpaul were seen overshadowing the Indian bowlers. Captain Sourav Ganguly was clueless about the bowling options and decided to give the ball to each player in the team. Even wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra came and bowled an over. When Ajay Ratra bowled, Rahul Dravid did the wicketkeeping at that time.
Out of all the experienced and inexperienced bowlers, it was ‘The Wall’ – Rahul Dravid, who brought back the smiles on the faces of the Indian fans. He sent Ridley Jacobs (118) back to the pavilion, who was batting very aggressively. This day was the first wicket-taking day for many brilliant batsmen. Wasim Jaffer took the wickets of Mervyn Dillon and Pedro Collins. The next opportunity was for VVS Laxman to register his first wicket and he sent back the last batsman, Cameron Cuffy. However, the result of this match was a draw.
Bowling statistics of Indian players:
Javagal Srinath had given 82 runs in 45 overs. Srinath could not get any wicket. Ashish Nehra also did not get any wicket. He gave 122 runs in 49 overs. Zaheer Khan bowled 48 overs and gave away 129 runs. Along with this, two wickets also came in Zaheer’s account. Sourav Ganguly gave 44 runs in 12 overs. He also did not get any wicket. Two wickets came in the account of Sachin Tendulkar. He bowled 34 overs and gave 107 runs.
Anil Kumble bowled 14 overs and gave away 29 runs. Kumble got a wicket. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid also took one wicket each. Wasim Jaffer took 2 wickets for 18 runs in 11 overs. SS Das and Ajay Ratra also bowled, but they could not get any wicket.
FIRST PUBLISHED : March 14, 2023, 15:21 IST