Nobody moved in the dressing room when Laxman and Dravid batted in epic Eden Test: Sachin Tendulkar
No discussion on the Eden Gardens, Kolkata can ever be completed without the mention of that 2001 Test between India and Australia.
Updated - Nov 23, 2019 4:44 pm
There are matches that go on to define the identity of an entire generation of not only those who featured in that game; not only of those who witnessed it live and still reminisce about it after a gazillion of years, but it also goes on to define the identity of the venue or the ground where it was played. No discussion on the Eden Gardens, Kolkata can ever be completed without the mention of that 2001 Test between India and Australia.
So, how could it be possible that the historic Day/Night Test was being played at Eden Gardens and there is no mention of that iconic come-from-behind heist of Team India against Steve Waugh’s all-conquering Australians? All the protagonists of that historic win- VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar- were present at the venue during the first day of the Pink-Ball Test where there was a special show arranged, allowing them as well as the fans to go down memory lane and once again re-live what was one of the greatest days of Indian cricket.
In 2o01, Steve Waugh’s all-conquering juggernaut masquerading as a Test match unit came to India with a sole objective of what their captain termed as “the final frontier”. And, when the teams’ had reached Kolkata for the second Test, post the three-day hammering of the hosts in Mumbai, it looked increasingly evident that Waugh would finally achieve his objective.
‘Can’t forget that hug from Dravid and Ramesh’ – Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh emerged as the cornerstone of the Indian bowling attack. The Turbanator claimed a hat-trick on the first day which included wickets of Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, and Shane Warne. Talking about the hat-trick, Harbhajan went on to reminisce about the hug that Dravid gave Sadagopan Ramesh, “I got hammered in the first innings. The biggest celebration from my hat-trick came from (Rahul) Dravid and S Ramesh. That hug and embrace, I can’t forget,” he said as quoted by Times Now.
Harbhajan’s hat-trick on the first day did peg the Aussies back but Steve Waugh’s doggedness ensured that Australia went on to rack up 441 in the first innings, and when India- barring VVS Laxman- failed to show any resistance in their reply, a series defeat looked imminent.
Sachin Tendulkar reveals the dressing room atmosphere during the epic partnership
However, it all changed on the third and the fourth day when Laxman (281) and Dravid (171) swapped their positions in the second innings and went on to bat for the entirety of the penultimate day. Sachin Tendulkar spoke about that decision to swap Laxman and Dravid’s batting position while also mentioning that no one moved in the dressing room during the partnership.
“He was in a good rhythm. Nobody moved in the dressing room when those two batted. Drinks, ice packs were all being prepared for them. It was a magical partnership and suddenly there was this hope that we could win if Bhajji and Zak (Zaheer Khan) bowl well,” Sachin said.
India, of course, went on to win the Test match on the final day where they bowled the Aussies out for 212 to notch up a come-from-behind 171-run win.