As India is currently pitted against the formidable England and their pursuit of the monumental total in the first innings keeps on stuttering even further, Kohli opened up about the three remarkable partnerships that left a deep impact on his cricketing life.
In an interview alongside Ravi Shastri with Jatin Sapru, Kohli spoke up about the three partnerships which motivated him to battle and the latest one in the list was added in the list.
1. Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble – 52 runs versus Australia
It was a rife spectacle in the 90’s when the Indian cricket team was all about the heroics of Sachin Tendulkar. Once he was gone, the hopes started to dim. In a similar story, a fighting 88 from Tendulkar was about to go down in flames when India was left with 52 runs to chase and only a couple of wickets were left for the Australians to scalp.
With very limited batting left in the hut, Srinath and Kumble picked up matters in their own hands and started hacking away at the Australian bowlers. Despite the preamble of Glenn McGrath scourging Srinath a bit, things started swerving back in India’s favour with Srinath smacking a couple of boundaries in quick succession. As the incredulous scene kept on unfolding, the camera spanned on two ladies who were praying and echoing the nation’s sentiments. They were none other than Kumble’s mother and grandmother. As India came within closing range of victory, the entire nation started celebrating while these two ladies kept on praying unless the last run was scored. It was Javagal Srinath who struck the telling blow to put an end to Australian ambitions, fixing a date with South Africa for the Titan Cup final.
2. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman – 376 runs versus Australia
This partnership probably moulded India’s Test history forever as it instilled the Indians with a belief that even they can beat the irrepresible Australians. After some scintillating batting from Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Steve Waugh, Harbhajan Singh penned history as he became the first Indian bowler to pick up a Test hat-trick. Unfortunately, that was a slim glimmer of hope in the darkness that was supposed to be the sepulchre of India.
The Indian batting line up collapsed like a house of cards in front of the formidable Australian bowling with Glenn McGrath ripping through the Indian batting line up. As India was mopped up for a paltry 171 in the first innings, they were made to follow on. Things didn’t seem to be any brighter in the second innings either as India started wobbling at 115 for the loss of 3 wickets. With Tendulkar gone, India was staring at a ignominious shellacking.
This is where things flipped. Saurav Ganguly took VVS Laxman with him ans started stitching the initial resistance. However, after a brilliant partnership of 117 runs, Ganguly was sent back to the pavilion by McGrath.
The next man to arrive to the crease was Rahul Dravid and the duo of Dravid and Laxman started frustrating the Australian bowlers. Irrespective of everything that was hurled at the Indian batting duo, Laxman and Dravid started steering India to safety without any ado.
In the end it was this remarkable partnership that threw a spanner in Australia’s plans and a rippling bowling display from Harbhajan Singh ripped apart the Australian batting line into shreds and help India turn around a lost cause.
The final partnership that Kohli mentioned was a recently forged pair between Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur. The duo defied the brilliance of Australia at Brisbane to wring out a remarkable victory, shattering Australia’s fortress of 32 years.