In the long history of cricket, there are a few moments that have stood the test of time to leave a lasting impact — on the players and fans alike.
From Sachin Tendulkar’s desert storm to Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh’s fabulous stand in a remarkable chase at Lord’s in the Natwest Trophy, for an Indian fan, the list is long but one that never ceases to amaze.
A major highlight of that distinguished list is a marathon partnership that still seems scarcely believable.
It was on March 14, back in 2001 at the Eden Gardens, that VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid painstakingly pieced together a partnership that would not just help India win the Test from an improbable situation but would go on to form the basis of a winning mentality that was rare to spot previously.
Down 1-0 in the three-match Test series, India were bowled out for 171 in reply to Australia’s 445 in the second Test. To make matters worst, they were asked to follow on.
But, against all odds, India pulled off a miraculous win.
At heart of the improbable win was Laxman and Dravid’s marathon partnership. The former answered the team’s call, when he was promoted to No 3, with a jaw-dropping 281, which was then the highest individual Test score by an Indian. He was supported valiantly by Dravid, who smashed 180. Together the two scored 376 runs taking India from 254/4 to 589/4 - without losing a single wicket on day four. The partnership finally ended on day five with the scoreboard reading 608.
The unbeaten effort on that March day proved enough for India, who not only ended Australia’s 16-Test victorious run the following day, but also altered the perception of the team around the world as one that never gives up.
Here’s a look back at the epic day:
Here are the highlights from what was an unforgettable Test match in Indian cricket: