Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game. Players take pride in representing their nation in the most traditional format of the game. While a Test century is held in huge regard, players aim to score runs in the winning cause for their teams at the highest level. However, not always do individual brilliance prove suffice for a team to win a Test match.
Here’s a look at 5 best Test innings by Indians scored in a losing cause:
1. Sachin Tendulkar – 136 vs Pakistan, Chennai 1999
For the first Test of the series between India and Pakistan in 1999, the arch-rivals were up against each other in Chennai. It was a low-scoring affair with enough assistance for the bowlers throughout the Test match. In the 4th innings, India required 271 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series. However, the hosts couldn’t chase the target but not before a Sachin Tendulkar special graced the Chennai crowd. India fell short by mere 12 runs as Tendulkar scored 136 out of India’s 258 in the last innings.
2. VVS Laxman – 167 vs Australia, Melbourne 2000
In India’s horrendous tour to Australia in 99/00, the visitors were battered 3-0 in as many Test matches down under. However, in the last Test at Sydney, Australians witnessed one among the first VVS Laxman run-fest against them in the years to follow. Trailing by nearly 400 runs in the second innings, Laxman played one of the finest knocks by an Indian on the Australian soil. Playing as an opener, he scored a magnificent 167 including 27 fours at a SR of 84. Despite India’s innings defeat, the Test innings earned high praise from all the Test supporters around the world.
3. Virender Sehwag – 195 vs Australia, Melbourne 2003
In the Boxing Day Test in 2003, India was riding high on confidence after winning the Adelaide Test by four wickets. However, the hosts conceded the advantage and lost by a margin of 9 wickets. Despite India’s embarrassing defeat, Virender Sehwag registered one of his best Test knocks on the foreign soil. He plundered 195 runs in the first innings off just 233 deliveries. He thumped the home attack to all parts of the ground to accumulate 25 fours and 5 sies in his entire innings.
4. Rahul Dravid – 146 vs England, The Oval 2011
In another awful Test tour to England in 2011, the ‘Men in Blue’ were completely outplayed after losing 4-0 in the Tests. However, when most batters failed to deliver, Rahul Dravid stood like a wall for his team in the entire series. He scored three centuries in the series, all in a losing cause. In the 4th Test, Dravid carried his bat in the first innings as he scored an unbeaten 146 at The Oval. This will definitely go down as one of the greatest Test innings by an Indian batsman.
5. Virat Kohli – 141 vs Australia, Adelaide 2014
In the first Test against Austalia in 2014, Virat Kohli was leading a young Indian outfit. Chasing 364 for victory in the 4th innings, at one stage Kohli and co. looked all set to claim an emphatic win against the hosts. Skipper Kohli led from the front and scored consecutive centuries in the same Test match. However, his 141 in the second innings didn’t prove enough for the visitors as India fell short by a margin of 43 runs in the Adelaide Test. Despite India’s loss, it was an exhibition of palpable confidence along with skill and determination.