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

    Four afternoons into immortality

Rewind: In 1899 a 13-year-old orphan at Clifton College established a world record which stands to this day

    A crisis that defines the age

David Hopps: In England, changes in social attitudes, the demands of work, and other factors are contributing to a decline in recreational cricket

    Momentous at the WACA

It may have been a one-day match but the Western Australia-Queensland Gillette Cup semi-final was no ordinary game. By Alan Shiell

    No place like Arundel

When you spend your childhood in the shadow of a magnificent cricket ground, you tend to take it for granted. Revisiting helps put things in perspective

The tale of a win that didn't come to be

Samir Chopra: Delhi were expected to coast to the Irani Cup title in 1982. Then came an outrageous chase of 421 runs

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

Contrite Kohli, apoplectic Kohli, and a Dhoni impersonator

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi

'I don't blame Arjuna for my early retirement'

Former Sri Lanka batsman Asanka Gurusinha talks about playing and coaching in Australia, and tactics during the 1996 World Cup

Dhoni's absence a guide to India's future

He's past his use-by date as a Test captain and keeper. India now have a chance to test Kohli's leadership skills

'I'm a bit disappointed not to get that Test average up to 50'

Mahela Jayawardene reflects on his Test career, and the need to bridge the gap between international and club cricket in Sri Lanka

News | Features Last 7 days