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India Vs Australia - Cricket at its best

This post is to revive the memories of famous 'Very Very Special' Kolkata Test and of course Very very special innings by VVS Laxman. Touring Australia team in 2001 had already won 16 tests and it was on its way to make 17 test win in a row.
It was only the third time in 130 years of Test cricket that a team forced to follow on won the match.

Batting first Australia scored 445 in first innings. Only indian bowling highlights in this innings was a hat-rick by Harbhajan Singh. It was first Hatrick by an Indian in test cricket, though years later Irfan Pathan also scored a hatrick against Pakistan.

In reply India were all out for 171 with VVS laxman being the alone batsman to face the Australian bowlers with scoring 59 runs.

Following on 274 runs behind India did better the second time round but late in the day at 232 for four were still facing defeat with a day to spare. Rahul Dravid joined Laxman at this stage and the two batted till close of play.

The turning point occurred the following day when the pair batted throughout. It was an amazing transformation opening up interesting possibilities. The record 376-run partnership was not broken till the morning of the final day with Dravid out for 180. Laxman went on to get 281.

Indian inning was declared at 657 for seven thus Australians were given a victory target of 384 runs in 75 overs. All were thinking of a draw as Australia got off to a good start and opening stand of 74 runs.

Australia were 166 for three at the time of tea well headed for a draw. It was the time when Harbhajan who had taken seven for 123 in the first innings struck again.

The Aussies succumbed to pressure as Harbhajan took six for 73 and Tendulkar three for 31. With six overs to spare Glenn McGrath was leg before to Harbhajan and the astonishing turnabout was complete with India winning by 171 runs.

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