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

    'I didn't have the D/L sheet during the Durban World Cup game'

Shaun Pollock talks to Alison Mitchell about career highs and lows

    From support act to lead role

Numbers Game: Over the last four years, Rangana Herath has become Sri Lanka's strike bowler

    The man who gave Afghanistan their mojo

Afghanistan's former coach may have quit cricket to pursue religion, but he remains with the side in spirit

'Pietersen uses his hands beautifully to get in front'

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Kevin Pietersen's un-English technique

66 for 6 and all that

Samir Chopra: India fans can only cower under furniture in the face of such numerological terror

News | Features Last 7 days

How bad must a defeat be to be unacceptable?

A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement

Time to liberate MS Dhoni

After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways

Dhoni's control test

For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset

Perfect Herath leads SL dominance

Sri Lanka's marks out of 10 following their 2-0 series win against Pakistan

'You should not be embarrassing your country'

Former players react to India's humiliating 1-3 series defeat in England

News | Features Last 7 days

    How bad must a defeat be to be unacceptable? (142)

    A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement

    Time to liberate MS Dhoni (116)

    After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways

    Dhoni's control test (75)

    For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset

    The two faces of James Anderson (60)

    Why does the man who is possibly England's greatest fast bowler occasionally turn into Mr Hyde on the field?

    One-day barrier to Indian Test progress (56)

    With too great an emphasis on limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni's side have a set of skills and a level of concentration that are not commensurate with the necessities of Tests