Tuesday, February 05, 2008

India on Tour - memories

Since Test cricket is on its last legs, with cricket going the club way, I thought of going through the various away test series I have followed over the years. For old times' sake.

Tours of England:

1979 - Best remembered for Bharat Reddy being picked over Kirmani and other selection goof-ups.

1982 - Entire theme of the tour for me was Vishy. Glued to the transistor and hoping against hope that he finds his touch. I think he scored a couple of fifties. Don't remember much else.

1986 - Probably one of the best cricketing memories of my life. Having just finished gruelling PU exams and engineering entrance test with flying colours, was enjoying a long break (May to October). So nothing to do all day. Get up very late, have a lazy bath and breakfast, do crossword, read some book or magazine and wait for clock to turn 3:30pm, tune into BBC TMS, enjoy their wonderful coverage. Off to play cricket with friends at 5pm and after a three hour cricket and katte session, come back to watch the highlights of previous day's action on DD and to catch the final session on radio. Abiding memories - Chetan Sharma inducing a collapse with two quick wickets, Maninder's mesmerising spell, Kapil scoring the winning runs early on day 5 of second test sealing the series victory.

1990 - Again mostly on TMS with highlights on DD. Pathetic bowling from India but more than made up by Azhar's batting. Blofeld on Azhar - "Out comes the feather duster again". Tendulkar's hundred to save a test at Old Trafford. Remember listening to Kapil's four sixers and not getting too excited (he was by then on my hit list). Kumble's debut. TMS comms getting all excited to watch two leggies bowling in tandem.

1996 - First time watching a test series from England live. Srinath and Prasad's spells particularly in second test I think against Hussain and Stewart. Ganguly's debut hundred and Dravid missing it by 3 runs. Collapse against Ronnie Irani.

Tours of Australia:

1978 - Chandra's 6-52 & 6-52 at Melbourne. The heroic chase. Remember elders talking about this being a Packer-depleted side, but didn't understand all that then.

1981 - Melbourne win. Being informed by the neighbour as soon as we got up amidst huge cheering and shouting. The Gavaskar incident.

1985 - Rain, Border and Tail frustrating us, not once but twice. Remember Shastri and Yadav running through the aussie batting line-up early one morning. Gavaskar, Srikkanth and Mohinder all getting a hundred.

1991 - Plenty of memories. Mostly sad. Whitney and Hughes running through us. Age finally catching up with Vengsarkar. Manjrekar failing to live up to expectations. Azhar raising hopes in Adelaide, albeit briefly.

1999 - First time watching a test series from Australia live. Sachin shoulder before wicket. Sachin's Melbourne hundred. VVSL Sydney hundred. McGrath showing Dravid his 'aukat' :-) Srinath bowling a good first spell but not able to maintain it longer. Agarkar getting lots of dharma wickets.

Tours of West Indies:

1982 - Mohinder standing tall amidst ruin. Windies chasing 200 after tea. I don't remember listening to any commentary. Mostly newspaper reports.

1989 - We had commentary this time and it was a funny feeling with a Test match starting at 7pm. Insipid Indian bowling. Hirwani in particular disappointing. Shastri and Sidhu's decent batting. Azhar flaying at everything.

1997 - First time watching a tes series from West Indies live. Dravid standing like a rock. Azhar getting out to Hooper. Barbados collapse.

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