Writers on the best day, session or passage of play they've seen live

India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 1986-87

The disintegrating hero

When Dean Jones fought heat, the bowlers and his own body to rack up one of the great double-hundreds

Mike Coward

December 6, 2009

Text size: A | A

Dean Jones throws up on the pitch during his epic 503-minute double hundred, India v Australia, Madras, 1986-87
Dehydrated but not defeated © Wisden
Enlarge
Related Links
Players/Officials: Dean Jones
Series/Tournaments: Australia in India Test Series
Teams: Australia

It was about the time he reached 150 that Dean Jones' body shut down. After seven hours and 15 minutes in the steaming cauldron that was Chennai's Chidambaram Stadium, he lost all sense of time and reality.

More than once he vomited and, to his acute embarrassment, urinated in his flannels, which were already soaked from such painful exertion. But while he had no control over his bodily functions, his mind somehow remained focused on the task assigned by his captain, Allan Border.

Racked by leg and stomach cramps and with his boots full of sweat, he could no longer use his feet to the slow men, a skill for which he was renowned. Yet through the cursed haze his cricketing instincts served him well. He ignored the pins and needles in his hands and ensured his head remained perfectly still.

Astonishingly his vision was not unduly impaired and he stood at the crease and delivered an out-of-body tour de force that defied belief. It was as though the millions of gods of the Hindu pantheon were with him, for the harder he struck the ball the more precisely he placed it.

Famously goaded by Border when he sought to withdraw at 174, Jones reached 210 before his body finally ground to a halt and he was bowled by offspinner Shivlal Yadav.

The Test match is rightly remembered and recalled as much for his courage and competence as for the fact the scores were tied for only the second time in the illustrious history of the game.

Mike Coward is a cricket writer with the Australian

RSS Feeds: Mike Coward

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Mike CowardClose

Inzamam had a lot of time to play his shots

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Inzy's technique

    'If I'd stayed captain, Bangladesh would have done better'

Habibul Bashar talks about the team's early days, landmark wins, and the current squad

    Big-hearted, broad-shouldered Davo

Alan Davidson was a fine allrounder, who has spent his life serving Australian sport in various capacities. By Ashley Mallett

    Dubai-Dhabi-Doo

Rob Steen: Who knew the Middle East would one day become the centre of a cricket-lover's universe?

A song called Younis

Ahmer Naqvi: For a country torn by internal strife, he offers hope with his magnanimity, humility and cheerful disposition

News | Features Last 7 days

Pakistan should not welcome Amir back

The serene team culture cultivated by Misbah and his men shouldn't be allowed to be disrupted by a player with a tainted past

November games need November prices

An early start to the international season, coupled with costly tickets, have kept the Australian public away from the cricket

The inherent dangers of batting

The sickening blow that struck Phillip Hughes is a reminder of the ever-present dangers associated with facing fast bowlers, even while wearing a helmet

Hope for Hughes, feel for Abbott

It is impossible to imagine how Sean Abbott must feel after sending down that bouncer to Phillip Hughes. While the cricket world hopes for Hughes' recovery, it should also ensure Abbott is supported

Dhawan's bouncer problem

Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia

News | Features Last 7 days