As India completes 50 years of the historic 1971 Test series win in England, head coach Ravi Shastri reminisced his memories of that epic tour.
August 24, 2021 marks 50 years of a historic feat that saw the Ajit Wadekar-led-side defeat England to seal India's first Test series triumph on English soil following their landmark series win in West Indies earlier in 1971.
"I was nine years old and I remember every ball bowled in that Test match because I was listening to the radio. I remember Farokh Engineer getting runs in both innings. Vishy getting some runs, Ajit Wadekar getting some runs in the match, and of course, the brilliance of Chandrasekhar, you know, he turned the game on his head, 6 for 38, I still remember the figures," said Shastri in a video posted on the BCCI website.
Shastri, the head coach of the Indian side, said the 1971 series win gave the unit the belief of winning the games on foreign soil.
"The 1971 series win in England lifted spirits of Indian cricket in a huge manner. It gave them the belief that they can go overseas and win. And to do it in England is always historic. 50 years have gone by, and those players really set the tone. Hats off to all of them," said Shastri.
India and England went into the third and final Test after drawing the first two matches of the series at Lord's and Manchester respectively.
Batting first, England posted 355 runs on the board, and India, in response, put on 284, courtesy fifties from Dilip Sardesai and Engineer, and valuable 40s from captain Wadekar and Eknath Solkar, who had scalped 3 England wickets in the first innings.
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar then turned the game on its head for India in England's 2nd innings. The legendary leg-spinner ran through the England batting line-up and returned with figures of 6/38 as India bowled England out for 101.
While Srinivas Venkataraghavan picked two wickets, in addition to a sharp catch, and Bishan Bedi got a wicket, Solkar grabbed two outstanding catches at short-leg.
India, who needed 173 runs to secure a win, then held their nerve as Wadekar, Sardesai, Gundappa Viswanath and Engineer scored crucial 45, 40, 33 and 28* respectively and went on to seal a historic four-wicket win.