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

    'Sri Lankan fans embrace the team, not just icon players'

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara talk about the World T20 win, and why their fans are special

    Desert-island reads

ESPNcricinfo XI: Cricket has spawned more books than almost any other sport. Here are Steven Lynch's favourites

    Test cricket needs fewer teams, not more

Ian Chappell: It's clear that for the ICC votes mean more than results

    Lara's peaks

Tony Cozier: While the 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash

The Argentine connection

Jonathan Wilson: Football may be the dominant sport in Argentina today but it wasn't the first sport the British brought here

News | Features Last 7 days

UAE all set to host lavish welcoming party

The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006

Attention on Yuvraj, Gambhir in IPL 2014

ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance

The watch breaker, and Malinga specials

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi

The captain's blunder

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi

India: cricket's Brazil

It's difficult to beat a huge talent base exposed to good facilities, and possessed of a long history of competing as a nation

News | Features Last 7 days