24 June, 2021

Our Golden Squad Of Revenants

Twenty years ago, over two hot March days at the Eden Gardens, India came back from the dead to beat Australia. We bask in the sunshine of that past glory, in the company of some heroes who made it happen.

Harbhajan gets the final Aussie wicket, and the Test is won
Photographs by AP
Our Golden Squad Of Revenants

If the most pulse-quickening drama in sport is about rising from the ashes and rallying back from despair, India’s cricket history is studded with gems. The win at Brisbane’s Gabba in January showed how a precociously talented bunch of young cricketers summoned up the skills, fortified by unlimited courage, to overpower a formidable opponent. Perhaps, the DNA of this Ajinkya Rahane-led injury-ravaged Indian team that retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy—two years after defeating the Australians Down Under—mutated into being 20 years ago by an outfit that overcame great odds and stopped an Aussie juggernaut with an exhilarating show of ability and belief.

It all happened at the Eden Gardens from March 11-15, 2001. India became only the third team to win a Test after following-on. The Calcutta victory against Steve Waugh’s ‘invincibles’ ended their 16-match winning streak in Tests (in 1984, the mighty West Indies under Clive Lloyd had won 11 Tests on the trot). India went on to win the series 2-1 to deny Waugh his goal of winning at...

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