On March 14, 2001, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid batted a full day in a Test against Australia, and put up a partnership that remains etched in the pages of the rich history of Indian cricket. It was a defining moment in India's cricket, as the duo snatched the game away from Australia and put an end to their incredible winning run (16 matches).
Laxman and Dravid added 376 runs in the famous Test in Kolkata, which is widely regarded as the game-changing moment in India's modern cricket history.
The duo, along with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh, who were the other heroes of the match, remained the mainstays in India's Test batting lineup for many years, playing key roles in India's memorable victories at home and abroad.
Laxman scored 281 in the second innings (highest score by an Indian in Tests at the time), while Dravid scored 180 off 353 balls. Incredible, both the batsmen were in physical pain throughout their incredible partnership. While Laxman was suffering from back spasms, Dravid was suffering from viral fever.
In a newspaper column which was published last year in Times of India, Laxman had revealed that the duo motivated each other amid the pain.
"They (Australia) were in desperate need of wickets and had to bat on the fifth day. We capitalised on the opportunities and suddenly we saw the Australians panicking. They gave us a lot of boundary balls and we knew that because of the heat and humidity they were getting tired. And so were we. That was the time when we helped each other. I was battling back spasm and Rahul was cramping really bad," Laxman wrote.
"We motivated each other - one ball, one over, one hour. As it turned out, we batted the whole day.
"There was also a lot of contribution from everyone in the changing room. We could see the positivity, enthusiasm, the anticipation of doing something special coming back. At the end of the day's play, both of us were on drips."
Australia scored 441 in the first innings of the Test and bowled India out on 171, giving the hosts a follow on. At one point, it seemed that India were lurking at a big defeat when the side had lost few of its key batsmen in Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, but Laxman and Dravid batted an entire day to bring India back in the game.
The hosts eventually declared the innings on 657/7, and bowled out the Australian side on 212. Harbhajan Singh also became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket during Australia's second innings.