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The day when ‘The Wall’ stood tall

Dravid's determination and concentration which took India from a tough situation in the match to win it, the day when 'the wall' stood tall

AM
Last updated: 01.12.2018
Rahul Dravid in the Adelaide test of 2003 | Sports Social Blog

India's tour of Australia is one of the most anticipated series for every cricket fan . India -Australia rivalry is a fight for supremacy and what makes it even better is the mutual respect that the players possess for each other . Sometimes situations went out of the hand , when emotions had the better of the players , yet it has only intensified the battle . When someone talks of India's tour of Australia , the first thing that comes to an Indian fan's mind is the Adelaide test of 2003 . It is a tale of sheer brilliance of the Indian middle order and their determination to win . What makes it even more special is the fact that India had never won a test match on Australian soil for 23 years before that .

Having drawn the first match of the series, the Kangaroos came into this one with a determination to win. Adelaide offered a flat pitch and the Aussie's made the most of it by electing to bat first after winning the toss. India came into the match with debutant Irfan Pathan replacing injured Zaheer Khan. His absence was clearly felt as the team failed to contain the Australian batting. Some notable moments of the historic match are:

POINTING'S DOUBLE TON


The Australian's after electing to bat first had a shaky start when 19 year old Irfan Pathan  took Hayden's wicket on the third ball of his second over . Pointing came to replace Hayden and stitched a partnership with Langer. Langer made a quick fire 50 but eventually fell prey to Kumble . Pointing held on to one end while wicket fell on the other. He was in brilliant form that year, scoring a staggering five tons that year. He played crisp shots, piercing the crowded, offside field. He raced to his 100 off just 117 balls. After attaining the triple figure mark he slowed down considerably but went on to score 242 off just 350 balls. He was finally cleaned of by Kumble in his 43rd over. It was his double century and some generous contributions from other batsmen that Australia scored a mammoth total of 565 in their first innings.


INDIA'S SAVIOURS


India came on the field to chase the humongous Australian total. They did not have the best of starts but they managed to score 54 runs off the first 10 overs . Both the openers were cleaned off by Bichel in a span of 5 overs . This brought Dravid and Tendulkar on the crease. Tendulkar  scored a single run before being dismissed . Ganguly could score only 2 before being run out .Laxman was the next man to join Dravid . Together they started to rebuilt the innings .It was a Herculean task for the pair , yet they played with all their might .



They frustrated the Australian bowlers by their patience and avoided taking any risks . They played through the line of the ball giving no chance to the bowlers . They played some picture perfect drives and stabilised the Indian innings . Both the batsmen went one to score centuries with their risk free yet effective play . Finally the 250+ partnership was broken when Laxman gave away his wicket , yet the Wall stood strong . Dravid stitched some important partnerships with the tail enders , though they were not big yet it surely hampered the Australians' mindset . Dravid scored his double century on the first ball of day 4 by sending  the first ball of the day to the boundary . Finally his 9 hour knock came to an end when he was caught by Bichel but by then he had brought the team to a position from where they went on to win the match .

INDIA FIGHTS BACK


The Australians in their second innings were not able to settle down  . Encouraged by the gritty batting of Dravid and Laxman , the bowlers came out with all guns blazing . The openers were dismissed cheaply . The first innings double centurian Pointing went for a duck . The spinners troubled the batsmen using the footmarks to their benefit . In an attempt to regain control of the match , the Aussies attacked the spinners but it did not last long as they were sent packing by some quick witted bowling . Once the Australian middle order went down , Agarkar ,who was bowling the spell of his lifetime cleaned up the tail . He ended up with figures of 6/41 of his 16.4 overs . This left the Indians with 230 to chase .


Again India did not have a good start , but Dravid and Tendulkar stabilised the innings and did not allow the Australian bowlers to inflict any damage . At one time it seemed like they would bat Australia out but two wickets fell in quick succession and the Australians smelled blood . But the pair of Dravid and Laxman made sure that India cruised on to win . Although Laxman did not survive till the end , yet he made sure India reached close enough to the win . It was Dravid who scored the winning run and his joy spoke out how much that match meant to him .



It was Dravid's determination and concentration which took India from a tough situation in the match to win it . He was rightly adjudged the Man of the Match for his scores of 233 and 72 not out in the first and second innings respectively .


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