Greatest Test innings by Indian batsmen post-2007 that wasn't a century
Test centuries are often considered highly prestigious achievements, and rightly so. A century at the highest level of the game in the oldest format is considered to be the zenith of a batsman's career.
At the highest level of the game, centuries often define a batsman's career. A Test ton, especially in overseas conditions, often propels a batsman's career graph to the pinnacle of batsmanship.
This holds true especially in a batting obsessed country like India. More often than not, centuries are given much more coverage than other highly valuable innings that failed to cross the three-figure mark, even if the latter held much more value.
Indian batsmen have essayed many memorable knocks that had failed to cross the elusive three-figure mark but have been potential match-winning performances. More often than not, it's these 70s and 80s have contributed greatly to the team's cause.
Here we have a look at some of the high impact innings by Indian batsmen in Test post the year 2007 that did reach three figures:
#1 MS Dhoni 76* vs England, 2007
MS Dhoni is often criticised for his uncanny technique and unconventional batting style that had led to his struggle against genuine pace bowling attacks outside the subcontinent while dealing with the swinging red ball. In fact, he averages a dubious 19.44 in Australia in Tests, a reflection of his struggle against genuine pace in unfriendly conditions.
However, this has not acted as an impediment to MSD while playing the role of rescuer whenever team India has been in trouble in Test Cricket. One of his most impressive innings in Tests was his 76 not out against England at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord's, in 2007.
Having been set a daunting target of 380 to be chased in the fourth innings by England, team India got off to a nightmarish start as Jaffer, Dravid, and Tendulkar fell cheaply. With team India teetering at 145-5 at a stage, it was all but over for the men in blue with no hopes of survival. However, MSD had other ideas. His uncharacteristic innings was the difference between a loss and a draw and he acted as the obstructionist who denied an English victory.
In a rain-affected Test where most of days 4 and 5 were washed away, Dhoni stood like a rock and curbed his natural flamboyant style of play to essay a workaholic 76 that included 10 boundaries. He protected one end of the wicket and in the course of his knock, received several blows on his body as he ensured that the English bowlers did not pick up the final Indian wicket. In the end, rain and a gritty Dhoni ensured that India did not lose more than 9 wickets in the final innings as bad weather conditions ensured that there could be no full day's play, helping India cling on to a draw.
India went on to win the series 1-0 eventually and Dhoni's innings played a huge role in that historic series victory. However, this knock of his sadly doesn't get the coverage it deserves.