#OnThisDay: VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid script history at Eden Gardens; Laxman recalls memorable Test
On March 14, 2001, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid added 330 runs in a day as India did not lose any wicket agaisnt Australia at Kolkata's Eden Gardens. This is one of the greatest Test matches in cricket history. Laxman scored an epic 281 while Dravid made 180
Bengaluru: One of the greatest comebacks in the history of Test cricket was witnessed on March 14, 2001 at Calcutta’s (now Kolkata) Eden Gardens with VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in the middle.
In what is one of India’s greatest Test match victories, on that day, Laxman and Dravid had a triple century partnership to stop the mighty Australians led by Steve Waugh.
On March 14, 2001, with backs to the wall, after following on, India bounced back, thanks to Laxman and Dravid. The duo added 330 runs in 90 overs as India did not lose a wicket in the entire day.
Exactly 19 years back to day, Laxman recalled that match. He took to the micro-blogging website Twitter and wrote, “19 years ago #OnThisDay ,had the fortune of playing my part in a memorable Test match victory against at the Eden Gardens against Australia. Was an absolute team effort, and a test match victory I feel very privileged and honoured to have been a part of.”
India had begun the fourth day of the Test at 254/4 with Laxman on 109 and Dravid unbeaten on 7. By the end of the day, the pair was not separated as Laxman was 275 not out and Dravid 155 not out.
Laxman had achieved the best individual Test score by an Indian batsman. The next day, he was dismissed for 281. Thanks to his epic knock, India set Australia a target of 384. Australia were bowled out for 212 as India won by 171 runs to level the three-match series 1-1. India won the final Test in Chennai to bag the series 2-1.
The match is forever remembered for Laxman-Dravid’s partnership of 386 for the fifth wicket. Dravid scored 180 off 353 balls with 20 fours. Laxman batted for 452 balls with 44 fours. India declared their second innings at 657/7 after following on.
Earlier, Australia had scored 445 and in reply India were all out for 171. They were asked to follow by Steve Waugh. In the second innings, India were 232/4 when Laxman and Dravid joined to script one of the greatest turnarounds.
The Test also saw off-spinner Harbhajan Singh taking a hat-trick. He had a match haul of 13 wickets, seven in the first and six in the second.