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'Dean Jones was amazing; he was vomiting and scoring runs'

By HARISH KOTIAN
September 24, 2020 18:42 IST
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'Still he managed to score 200 runs, it was just incredible.'

Dean Jones

IMAGE: Dean Jones is famously remembered in India for his magnificent double century against India in the tied Test in Chennai in 1986. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Cricket Australia/Twitter
 

Chetan Sharma paid tribute to former Australia batsman and commentator Dean Jones who passed away in Mumbai on Thursday afternoon.

Jones, 59, was doing the commentary for the ongoing IPL for official broadcasters Star Sports, when he suffered a massive heart attack at the Trident hotel in Mumbai.

Jones played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia, but he is famously remembered in India for his magnificent 210 against India in the Tied test in Chennai in September 1986.

Playing only his third Test, and batting at the crucial No 3 position, Jones displayed great determination to hit his maiden Test ton -- a gritty knock on a difficult Chennai track in extremely hot and humid conditions.

Jones suffered a lot during the course of his innings and vomited a lot, but continued to bat and defy the Indian bowlers, especially the spin trio of Maninder Singh, Ravi Shastri and Shivlal Yadav.

Speaking to Harish Kotian/Rediff.com, Chetan Sharma, who was part of the Indian team in the Chennai Test, remembers Jones's splendid innings which he describes as "one of the best innings" he has seen in Test cricket.

"He had not played many Test matches before that, it was only his third Test and he managed to hit his maiden century in Test cricket, "the former Indian fast bowler recalls.

"He kept vomiting throughout the course of the innings, it was like he was vomiting and scoring runs, vomiting and scoring runs, and still he managed to score two hundred runs, it was just incredible."

"I have played nearly 10-12 years for India, but I had never seen such a sight where a player despite struggling so much he was able to score runs. He was vomiting on the field and the reserves used to get water for him and he used to continue hitting boundaries, and the trend continued throughout.

"We were all wondering 'arre bhai, kya kar rahe ho? Ultiya kar rahe ho aur chauke bhi maar rahe ho (what is going on? You are vomiting so much and also hitting boundaries at the same time')."

"He played one of the best innings, one will ever see. I bowled to him in that Test match, we got everyone out in the first innings, but we just couldn't get him out. The guy was so young in his cricketing career and he was playing away from home, in a tough place like Chennai, yet he batted so bravely."

"We didn't have a great fast bowling attack but we definitely had a top quality spin attack in Maninder Singh, Shivlal Yadav and Ravi Shastri."

IMAGE: Dean Jones bats during the first Test against India in Chennai in 1986. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Dean Jones/Twitter

"The way he dealt with the spinners on that Chennai pitch in the hot and humid conditions, it was just amazing."

"If you see Australians are not used to such extreme weather, even our players were struggling in that hot and humid conditions. So you can imagine how well this young Australian had handled not only the conditions but also the Indian spinners on that wicket and scored a double century?"

"As a bowler I remember that even we were not able to bowl more than 4-5 overs in a spell because it was so humid."

"Any other young batsman would have been satisfied to get a century and would have said, 'Enough, I can't take this any more', but Dean Jones was so mentally strong that he kept going on and on, and went all the way to score a double hundred."

"If you see the other batsmen were struggling on that pitch, I don't mean struggling in that sense, no one played as fluently as Jones in that match. If you see even David Boon scored a century but his innings was not as fluent as Jones."

"We used to keep meeting each other in the commentary box in the last few years. I was doing Hindi commentary, and he was doing English, so we were right next to each other."

"He was a very jovial guy, it was fun to talk to him.<"/p>

"It is very sad, he was just 59 years old. The fans are going to miss his insightful commentary, he was very good with his cricketing knowledge."

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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