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SK Flashback: India create unique bowling record against West Indies

Ram Kumar
FEATURED WRITER
Feature
2.28K   //    14 May 2017, 00:56 IST
Indian Test Team 2002
Sourav Ganguly’s men etched their names in the record books during the 2002 Antigua Test

On this day fifteen years ago, a unique record was created by India during their 2002 tour of West Indies. In the drawn fourth Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground in St John’s, all eleven of their players bowled in the same innings. In doing so, Sourav Ganguly’s troops carved a distinctive place in the illustrious history of the game.

On a placid track, India had won the toss and amassed a formidable first-innings total of 513 for the loss of nine wickets before declaring. While Wasim Jaffer and Rahul Dravid fell short of the three-figure mark, VVS Laxman and wicket-keeper batsman Ajay Ratra brought up their respective centuries.

What followed was a rarity in cricket. For only the third occasion (at that time), all eleven members of the side came on to have a bowl. The previous two instances had come when England sent down 311 four-ball overs against arch-rivals Australia at The Oval way back in 1884 and the Aussies themselves used their full array of bowlers against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1980.

Later on, history would repeat itself in Antigua as South Africa followed India’s lead and utilized every bowler at their disposal during the final Test of the 2005 series against West Indies.

*Instances of all 11 bowlers used in a Test innings

TeamOppositionInnings NumberOversRuns ConcededMatch ResultVenueYear
EnglandAustralia1311 (4-ball overs)551DrawThe Oval, London1884
AustraliaPakistan2126382/2DrawIqbal Stadium, Faisalabad1980
IndiaWest Indies2248629/9 declaredDrawSt John’s, Antigua2002
South AfricaWest Indies2235.2747DrawSt John’s, Antigua2005

(*Note: All Statistics are as of 14th May 2017)

Let us take a close look at how the events of that fateful innings of the 2002 Antigua Test unfolded.

Tireless toil on a flat pitch

Anil Kumble
Kumble bowled with a broken jaw and managed to dismiss Brian Lara

The experienced Javagal Srinath shared the new ball with Ashish Nehra. Up against the opening combination of Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds, the duo were unable to land an early breakthrough. The first wicket came only in the 26th over when Zaheer Khan snared the aggressive Jamaican.

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Upon being struck on the jaw by a rearing delivery from Mervyn Dillon, leg-spinner Anil Kumble had been taken to a local hospital and was set to leave for his hometown of Bengaluru for a surgery at the end of the third day’s play.

But, that did not deter him from grabbing the ball for a brief spell. Showing remarkable determination, he delivered 14 tight overs and even got the prize scalp of Brian Lara. 

Extra Cover: Anil Kumble reveals how he dismissed Brian Lara with a broken jaw in 2002

Before the fourth day’s play began, India had employed six bowlers with skipper Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar joining the four specialists. From their full quota of 90 overs, the visitors toiled extremely hard to break the blossoming partnerships. They watched Carl Hooper dazzle his way to a hundred even as Shivnarine Chanderpaul remained dogged in defence. The day ended with Laxman trying his hand at off-spin. 

Perhaps resigned to the prospect of stalemate, Ganguly interspersed his seamers with the part-timers. Having been introduced into the attack, Dravid got rid of Ridley Jacobs who had pocketed a rapid century.

After West Indies crossed the 600-run mark, Wasim Jaffer picked up two wickets to bring some reward for all the hard work done earlier. As the day meandered along, Shiv Sunder Das joined in on the fun. The full set of bowlers was complete when Ratra shed his gloves and ran in to have a bowl. 

Meanwhile, Chanderpaul was batting at his own sedate pace at the other end. He remained unbeaten on 136 from a staggering 510 balls. By the time West Indies finally declared their innings, Laxman‘s name was amongst the wickets column as well. It had been that kind of game. 

India's bowling card for the innings

BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsEconomy Rate
Javagal Srinath45198201.82
Ashish Nehra491612202.48
Zaheer Khan481412922.68
Sourav Ganguly1204403.66
Sachin Tendulkar34410723.14
Anil Kumble1452912.07
VVS Laxman1763211.88
Rahul Dravid931812
Wasim Jaffer1131821.63
Shiv Sunder Das822803.50
Ajay Ratra10101
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