India vs Australia: Some MCG moments are forever

Kirmani goes down memory lane on India’s two previous Test wins at the venue.

Captain Sunil Gavaskar, wrongly adjudged leg-before to Dennis Lillee, wanted to walk off the field with Chauhan.   -  the hindu archives

1981: Guts and glory go together. Kapil Dev, his thigh strapped, braving a hamstring injury and having taken pain-killing injections, comes up with a spirit-lifting spell of five for 28 off 16.4 overs of heart, strength and skill. And a star-studded Australian side, chasing only 143, is shot out for 83. India had levelled the series 1-1.

1977-78: Bhagwat Chandrasekhar could do magic with the ball. The batsmen expected the unexpected when this unique bowler with a sense of rhythm sent down his pacy leg-breaks, googlies and top-spinners. The ball would turn and bounce at surprising speeds.

 

And Chandra’s attributes ambushed an Australian side without the Kerry Packer boys; he finished with an identical six for 52 in both the innings and India romped home by a whopping 222 runs.

When Kohli’s boys outplayed Australia here on Sunday, it was India’s third Test victory at the MCG.

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Former ace India wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani was a part of the Indian teams to win here on the two earlier occasions.

1977-78: Bhagwat Chandrasekhar finished with an identical six for 52 in both the innings and India romped home by a whopping 222 runs.   -  the hindu archives

He told Sportstar on Sunday, “In ‘81, the Australian team had Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Doug Walters, Rodney Marsh and Dennis Lillee, all were star players.”

Kirmani added, “That was a sensational Test and after a long opening partnership with Chetan Chauhan that saw India fight back in the second innings after Australia had taken a big lead, captain Sunil Gavaskar, wrongly adjudged leg-before to Lillee, wanted to walk off the field with Chauhan.

"Better sense prevailed and India played on. Still, we had little to defend but, fighting every inch, we took early wickets. Greg Chappell was bowled by Karsan Ghavri and I effected a stumping to dismiss Graeme Wood off Dilip Doshi.”

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Kirmani said, “Then, Kapil took over. The pitch was doing a bit and Kapil bowled straight. He forced Border to nick one to me and soon we had won. In the first innings, the gifted Gundappa Vishwanath made a fine hundred. I can never forget the match.”

He remembered, “In 1977, the Aussies had no clue about playing Chandrasekhar. I enjoyed the challenge of ‘keeping to him. Sunil Gavaskar’s second innings hundred enabled India to pull ahead and then it was all Chandra.”

Some MCG moments are forever.