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India’s Successful Fourth Innings Chase That Influenced West Indian Cricket Tactics

12th April 1976; the day of one of the greatest test wins in Indian cricket history. It was the record run chase in the cricket history.

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Last updated: 12.04.2019
India’s Successful Fourth Innings Chase That Influenced West Indian Cricket Tactics | Sports Social Blog

12th April 1976; the day of one of the greatest test wins in Indian cricket history. At that time, it was a record run chase in the fourth innings of a test match.


In 1971, India had their first test series win in West Indies. The next tour to the Caribbean came after 5 years in 1976. The team led by Bishen Singh Bedi had some handy players including Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, and Bhagwath Chandrasekhar. West Indies took an early lead in the series and after a drawn first test, teams traveled to the Port of Spain for the third test at Queen’s Park Oval.


West Indies took the early initiatives thanks to a brilliant 177 from master blaster Viv Richards. Indian bowlers made a strong comeback and took last five wickets for just 25 runs to restrict them to 359. All the 10 wickets were shared by Chandra and Bedi.


India’s first innings was not very impressive with Madan Lal’s 42 from number seven position being the highest score. Michael Holding took six wickets and India ended up conceding a lead of 131 runs. West Indies’ second innings was built around Alvin Kallicharran who scored a hundred.  West Indies captain Clive Lloyd declared as soon as Kallicharran’s century was completed and gave India a target of 403 to chase in one and half days.


From the very beginning of the chase, the Indians looked untroubled. Gavaskar and Anshuman Gaekwad added 69 in the opening partnership. Mohinder Amarnath came at number three and built two key partnerships of 108 and 159  with Gavaskar and Viswanath respectively. Both Gavaskar and Viswanath scored hundreds but the key innings was played by Amarnath who batted for close to eight hours for his 85. When finally Amarnath was run out the remaining target was just 11 and Brijesh Patel along with Madan Lal completed the chase with quite a few overs left in the final mandatory overs.

It was a great victory for India which brought a key change in the history of the game. Lloyd was never a fan of spinners and the performance of West Indian spinners Albert Padmore, Raphick Jumadeen and Inshan Ali (combined innings figures: two for 220) finally helped him to change his tactic to a more pace bowling based attack.


The next test at Kingston, Jamaica saw some hostile fast bowling from Holding, Wayne Daniel, and Bernard Julien as five players were absent hurt in India’s second innings. This started a trend and a success story for West Indies cricket which carried on for the next 15 years.

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