The year 2011 will always be remembered in Indian cricket for a World cup triumph. It started with a One-Day series loss to South Africa and ended with a Test match defeat to Australia. The first two-quarter months were quite successful for Indian team but the year ended on a lower note as Indian team was exposed on foreign soil. But during all this the West Indies was one thing that really cheered up the team as it was the one team that we easily conquered.
To start with what I can say is the West Indies tour was a strange call as Indian team had travelled to the island just 4 months prior to this and played a full-fledged series consisting of all the formats of the game, so what is use of playing 6 Test matches and 10 ODI’s against a country in a single calendar year. Obviously, it’s not an Ashes type series that have a tendency to bind the fans for ten Test matches as we saw in the year 2013-14 but Indian administrators seemed to be quite happy in extending their love to the West Indies board.
Fidel Edwards last over at Wankhede Test and a double century by Virender Sehwag were only two things that really caught the attention of fans as rest of the matches were played in same old fashion i.e. Indian team dominating Caribbean in Test matches followed by some resistance in the ODI’s.
The Touring party kicked off the tour from Feroz Shah Kotla ground where the debutant off-spinner announced his arrival with 9 wickets in the match. Indian team won the game by five wickets. The second Test was a cake walk again as the hosts showed their brilliance against West Indies in Test matches by defeating them by an innings and 15 runs.
Both the teams traveled to Mumbai to play the dead rubber.
The match had a dramatic end which forced everyone to stick to their seats till the last ball of the match. Batting first, for the first time in the series West Indies team showed some spirit and posted a total of 590 on the board. Indian team followed them with 482 runs and made an immediate comeback in the third innings by bundling out West Indies on 182.
The Indian team had to chase just 243 runs which seemed to be quite easy for Indian team until the West Indies made a comeback for the first time. The story of the last over of match is something that no can afford to miss.
Indian team needed just 3 runs off the last over with 2 wickets in hand. Varun Aaron and R. Ashwin were on the crease and experienced Fidel Edwards was ready on the other end with the red cherry in his hand. He had his intentions clear in his mind, to bowl full and straight as possible.
Starting off with a short of length delivery that resulted in a 0, another 0 was something that followed. Pressure mounted on Aaron and he missed the third delivery too.
Aaron luckily collected a single on the fourth ball as Marlon Samuels fumbled the ball which delayed his reaction. Chasing 2 runs off last 2 deliveries, Ashwin played a dot ball to ensure that Indian team was in a safe position as a loss was something that was not going to happen now.
The last ball, two runs and just a single. Fidel had done it; he kept his nerve to save the Test match for West Indies.
The fearless Edwards act was something to celebrate for the islanders for the first time in the Test series. It was a big turnaround of Edwards himself as prior to this over, he was bowling at an economy rate of more than 4.00 but in the last over he showed that experience is something that comes to play with time.
A tie, in the end, was something that brought a smile on the face of West Indies team as they were happier in avoiding a defeat rather than winning the game – it seemed.