Historic comeback: Team India 61 for 4 to 626 all out
The Indian team were humiliated by visiting South Africa at the Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack. Fans got angry over India’s slack attitude to the game. So, they released their frustration, throwing plastic bottles on the ground. You can say, this was a sport it can happen, but why Barabati fans were behaving like a barbarian. BCCI marketed the series well, naming it ‘Freedom Series’. When ‘freedom’ is at stake, then why not ‘patriot’ get angry.
Yes, whatever it is you can’t make your guest to suffer. Before the bat and the ball clash for this much hyped series one Indian e-portal promised the best hospitality to our ‘guest’ from Africa. On the other hand, just one day before the match against South Africa captain cool MS Dhoni lost his cool and bashed the DJ.
So, hospitality, peace and everything came under serious question before the series shift its gear. The one T20, five ODI and four Tests are yet to take place. But, what did make Barabati a nightmare for Indian team. Nothing, India needed one partnership and that too for just 20 overs. Indian batsmen failed to do that. As a result of team India’s slackness South Africa won their first T20 series against India an that too on Indian soil.
So, here we should remember one of the great partnerships of Test cricket to take inspiration. In 2008, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was playing the last series of his career at home. The visitor were the arch rival Pakistan. India won the first Test, but when the third and final Test came in Bangalore hungry for a win Pakistan took India by surprise as their bowlers paved the way for dressing for Indian batsmen. In the foggy December morning Pakistan bowlers utilizing the dew ripped apart Indian top order. 4-61. Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman all left. A cold wave shivered around the Indian dressing room.
Sourav Ganguly’s 239 v Pakistan at Bangalore
But, Sourav Ganguly got one of his trusted warriors on his side. Yuvraj Singh. Together they went on to build a 300 run partnership. When they were batting Pakistan bowlers were looked hopeless. Both, Sourav and Yuvraj were hammering Pakistan bowlers. Sourav and Yuvraj hot 30 and 28 fours respectively. Sourav notched up his first double ton while Yuvraj his career best 169. Their partnership saved India from humiliation and obviously ensured a 1-0 home series win.
When Mohammad Sami picked up Yuvraj’s wicket, the black cloud, which was hovering around the Indian dressing room, passed through. After Yuvraj’s departure, Dinesh Karthik failed. But, Sourav Ganguly, built another 178 runs partnership with Irfan Pathan, who scored a brilliant hundred with 10 boundaries and 4 sixes. Their partnership ended when Danish Kaneria bamboozled Sourav. The fighter Sourav Ganguly left his head held high. M. Chinnaswamy spectator gave him standing ovation while Sourav acknowledged their appreciation raising his bat towards them. India final score was 626 all out.
Pakistan also replied back to India’s total posting an imposing 537 on board. In India second innings, once again played a 91 run innings.
Yuvraj Singh’s 169 v Pakistan