India arrive on the one-day stage

Partab Ramchand

January 18, 2002

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With their victory at Jullundur, India had drawn level in the series of three one-day internationals against England on the 1981-82 tour. It was a tremendous achievement but there was still the decider to be played and this was sandwiched between the fifth and sixth Tests in January, 1982. The Barabati stadium at Cuttack was the venue and England seemed to have been strengthened by the inclusion of Geoffrey Cook in place of Geoff Boycott, who had flown home after the fourth Test at Calcutta.


An asking rate of five an hour wasn't going to be easy against Willis, Lever, Botham, Underwood and Gooch. And India got off to a poor start when Arun Lal, who had taken Srikkanth's place, was out for 9 with the total on 16. Vengsarkar struggled for 13 runs before he was second out at 59. But Gavaskar had settled down and he found an able ally in Patil.
Again Gavaskar won the toss and put England in to bat. It was a fresh, dewy surface that forced the visitors to concentrate hard on survival during the first half of their innings. Madan Lal made the initial important breakthrough by taking the wicket of Graham Gooch (3). Ravi Shastri coming on a bit quicker, considering the conditions, removed Chris Tavare for 11. But Jimmy Cook and David Gower initiated a recovery process by adding 53 runs for the third wicket. Sandip Patil, who proved quite handy with his seamers, then removed both, Cook for 30 and Gower for 42. By this time, the pitch had eased out and the situation was ripe for skipper Keith Fletcher and Ian Botham to indulge in some pyrotechnics. The two shared an 80-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Suru Nayak, the fourth seam bowler in the side, bowled Botham. Fletcher then dominated a sixth wicket partnership of 47 runs with Mike Gatting before the captain was bowled by Madan Lal in the last over of the innings for 69. At the end of the allotted 46 overs, England had made a highly respectable 230 for six.

An asking rate of five an hour wasn't going to be easy against Willis, Lever, Botham, Underwood and Gooch. And India got off to a poor start when Arun Lal, who had taken Srikkanth's place, was out for 9 with the total on 16. Vengsarkar struggled for 13 runs before he was second out at 59. But Gavaskar had settled down and he found an able ally in Patil. The two added 76 runs for th third wicket to put the innings back on track and by the time Gavaskar was out for 71 at 135, India were well on course. Patil and Yashpal Sharma then maintained the momentum with a fourth wicket association of 49 runs. The dismissals of Patil (64) and Kapil Dev (0) in the same over by Underwood saw India slide to 184 for five. It caused a minor scare among the alarmists but in reality, India were still in the driver's seat for they had plenty of batting to come. Ashok Malhotra went out to join Yashpal for the sixth wicket with Syed Kirmani, Madan Lal, Ravi Shastri and Suru Nayak still to pick up their bats.

But India did not require the services of any more batsmen. Yashpal (34) and Malhotra (28) figured in an unbroken partnership of 47 runs and India were home with five wickets and four overs to spare. It was a significant Indian triumph over the World Cup runners-up. Moreover, by clinching the series, India had served enough evidence to show that they were taking to the one-day game in a big way and could not be taken lightly in future.

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