India's rise in Test cricket in recent years has been stupendous. From being world No.1 for the first time in 2009 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni to dominating the top spot under Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team has come a long way. But, if you ask them, where it all started, the name that will come up is -- Sourav Ganguly.
Ganguly was handed the captain's job at a difficult moment and he turned the tide around with a young team by beating an Australian side that was a world force 19 years ago.
March 15, 2020 marks the 19th anniversary of India's historic win over Australia at the Eden Gardens. It was on this day in 2001 when India surprised the world by beating Australia by 171 runs after being asked to follow on. It was only the third time when a team managed to come back and win a Test after being asked to follow on.
Australia slammed 445 in their first innings courtesy Steve Waugh's brilliant hundred. However, it was Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh who stole the show at Kolkata with his spectacular seven wickets including the first hat-trick in India's Test history.
India in their first innings were folded for 171 runs and were forced a follow on. The Sourav Ganguly-led side had a bad start to their second innings and lost three wickets for just 115 runs.
India lost Ganguly in the 67th over of the innings with the side getting reduced to 232/4. Rahul Dravid then joined VVS Laxman in the middle.
The next 104 overs were a nightmare for the Aussies as the Indian duo stitched a 376 run stand to revive their innings.
Dravid scored 180 runs while Laxman slammed his highest 281 runs in Test cricket. India gave a target of 384 runs to Australia which the side was not able to chase and got all out at 212.
Harbhajan Singh was again pick of the bowlers as he took six wickets. However, the Test is remembered for India's miracle revival in the second innings and Laxman's knock of 281 runs.
The 281 runs made by Laxman was one of the most marvellous knocks played in the modern era which also ended Australia's record of 16 successive Test wins.
(With inputs from ANI)