With the fad of T-20 Cricket slowly disseminating its vice over cricket fans, Test Cricket has lost its charm. Even in a five-day encounter, players are seen rushing these days and the format of the game is quite frequently questioned due to the dearth of good old-school days in Test Cricket.
We however, will sneak a peek into the five longest innings played by an Indian in terms of balls, rekindling your memory for a good trivia hunt in the days of these listless lockdown.
1. Cheteshwar Pujara:
It was the third test in Australia’s tour of India in 2017 and Australia posted a mammoth total of 451 in the first innings. Steven Smith scored a scintillating 178 laced with a blistering century from Glen Maxwell.
India started their innings on a very positive note as KL Rahul and Vijay batted phenomenally well to give the innings a kick start. Once Rahul was dismissed, Pujara walked in the middle and started batting his heart out.
It felt as if he was never meant to get out. Anything and everything that the Australians were bowling at him, was calmly defended and the bad deliveries were consigned to the boundaries.
With significant contributions from Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja, Pujara created an incredible record of becoming the first ever Indian batsman to play 500 deliveries in a single innings.
He was finally dismissed for 202 from 525 balls when Maxwell gulped him off a Lyon delivery.
The match was drawn as Australia played out the remaining test without much trouble.
2. Rahul Dravid:
The wall of Indian batting played a gem of an innings when he hung in the middle for 495 deliveries to impose a punishing defeat on the Pakistanis. It was the 3rd Test of the series at Karachi. Pakistan batted first and could only manage 224 runs in their first innings. Balaji was the pick of the slew as he rattled 4 wickets.
Despite Sehwag getting dismissed for a golden duck, the Indian batsmen shortly got in the groove as they started clobbering the Pakistani bowlers. Rahul Dravid’s stand started with Parthiv Patel insinuated what was to come further. With significant contributions from Laxman, Ganguly and Yuvraj, Dravid exhibited sheer class at the other end.
Dravid finally fell victim to part-time spinner Imran Farhat after playing 495 deliveries for his incredible 270, smacking 34 boundaries and 1 over boundary. Pakistan couldn’t manage much in the second innings either as they were dismissed for 245.
Balaji and Kumble took out the brass of the Pakistani batting in the second innings, helping India to register an incredible victory.
3. Navjot Singh Sidhu:
This was way back in 1997 as India was pitted against West Indies at Port of Spain for the second test of the series. West Indies batted first and mounted 296 in the first innings.
India opened their innings with Laxman and Navjot Singh Sidhu. Laxman departed for naught while Dravid and Sidhu started with the work of overhaul. As Dravid was castled by Ambrose, Tendulkar played out a brilliant innings at one end, while Sidhu played the anchor.
Once Tendulkar was run out by Walsh, Sidhu took it on himself to stitch the remainder of the innings. Playing 491 deliveries, Sidhu scored 201, hitting 19 boundaries and 1 six.
The match petered out to a draw as West Indies comfortably played out the remnant of the Test.
4. Ravi Shashtri:
The current Indian coach also featured in this list for his wondrous double-century that he played out against Australia in 1992. He opened the innings with Sidhu and played for a long time, consuming 477 deliveries for his 206. His innings featured 17 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Dilip Vengsarkar scored a crucial half-century to stitch a useful partnership with Shashtri while Tendulkar’s 148 helped India to come out of their shell. India posted 483 in their first innings but couldn’t emerge victorious as they failed to scalp the last two wickets of the Australian second innings.
5. Sunil Gavaskar:
It was the second test between India and England in 1981. England batted first and posted a mammoth total of 400 in the first innings. India’s response was spearheaded by Sunil Gavaskar as he opened the innings with some resolute defiance.
With imperative stands from Srikkanth, Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar managed to rack up 172 from 472 deliveries. His boundary count was 19 while he also managed to smash a massive six.
The match couldn’t have a result as England did not get ample time to bat and declared at 174/3. India did not come out to bat again after mutual consent.