West Indies v Australia, first Test, Barbados, 1995 July 11, 2010

A fiery beginning to the end of an empire

Mike Selvey
The Australians had sounded the clarion call for the end of West Indies' reign, but Hooper and Lara wouldn't go down without a fight
32

Never before or since can a high-profile series have had such a pyrotechnic start. John Woodcock, who by estimates had at that stage witnessed around a third of all Test matches ever played, thought it the most scintillating overture of them all, and he more than any would know.

Bridgetown, March 31 1995. The last vestiges of the proud, dominant West Indies, who for two decades had laid to waste all before them, against the brilliant emerging Australians.

Toss to West Indies and Richie Richardson opted to bat where once the war machine would have been unleashed first up.

There was bounce in the pitch, as it proved, and Australia, deprived through injury of Craig McDermott and Damien Fleming but including a young firebrand Glenn McGrath, made use of it, although they were flattered by West Indian profligacy.

Before the fourth over of the series was done, the left-armer Brendon Julian had seen Stuart Williams taken at slip and had Richardson, trying to kitchen-sink a wide ball slanted across him, caught at the wicket, while in between times Sherwin Campbell had edged Paul Reiffel to Ian Healy. One run between the three of them and a scoreboard reading 6 for 3.

"Situation desperate," once said Marshall Foch when surrounded. "I shall attack." And so Carl Hooper and Brian Lara launched a counter-offensive of rapacious cut-and-thrust brilliance. So hard did they go at the pacemen that Mark Taylor, the Australian captain, was forced to introduce Shane Warne, reputation burgeoning and on his first Caribbean trip, for the tenth over of the series.

Hooper was fearless against spin, his feet taking him into territory uncharted by other batsmen, and if over the years Warne was able to decode his body language, he could not do so now. Warne's first ball was met by Hooper yards down the pitch and belted back over his head to the Pickwick Pavilion. So too the second ball, treated identically.

A man went back to long-on. No matter. To the next ball, Hooper charged again but misread, went through with the stroke nonetheless and the inside edge careered to fine leg for another boundary: Warne's first three balls in the West Indies had gone for four.

By lunch, the ferocity of the counterattack against all comers had seen the unbroken fourth-wicket partnership worth 110. West Indies lost the match and eventually a momentous series but the gauntlet had been thrown down. Wonderful.

Former England and Middlesex bowler Mike Selvey is cricket correspondent of the Guardian

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SoftwareStar on July 14, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    i remember this innings for 2 things; 1) my Dad being shocked that Richardson could play such a rash stroke when they were 6/2 already. and later thrilled that these two staged such a blazing fightback 2) my liking and respect level for Waugh dropping drastically after he claimed that bump-catch, that too of Lara who had established himself as a thorough gentleman after having walked when on 91 of the bowling of V Raju during his tour to India in 94/95. Waugh never got back to the original pedestal i had placed him on.. though he did redeem himself to some extent with charity work in Kolkota.

    btw. Another real good hooper innings was during the 5th ODI (in Guyana i think) against Pak in '93 with WI and Pak tied 2-2. he took care of the chase. probably the best shot of the match came when WI needed 8 runs from 3 balls. he moved to the offside and casually leg-glanced Akram for 4.. the shot is right before my eyes even now..!!

    and lastly, his slip catching was top class!!!!

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 13, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    @ cal2810 best batsman of all time for Lara is a bit too much, but yep i'd say he was the best test batsman of OUR time , Tendulkar is probably a better one-day batsman ,better at pacing himself, but both players will signify the end of the "batting artist" ...from now it will be about the Afridi's , Gayle's, Dhoni's ..ugly big hitters who can't bat on a proper pitch for their lives worth..sad.. Indeed an honour we got to see such greats Lara and Tendulkar, as well as Warne and Murali in our times...

  • Cheeka549 on July 13, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    The article correctly captures the times that saw the beginning of the end of 'The Great WIan Empire'. The Former WIan sides were different from the rest for this lone reason..Unparallel bowling team! They could be matched with the batting skills but never when it came to matching the bowling skills! I think the aging Ambrose and Walsh(the last ) saw the last twilight of the windies. I understand they cannot be replaced, but none came close. also, in response to "George204 on (July 13 2010, 09:46 AM GMT)"..dude, y we speak pro-india? Bcoz we see illogical,apparently envious comments like yours..Records speak for themselves.Sachin is indeed the greatest batsman. And if u dont agree with this, fine. BUT REMEMBER WHAT LARA & BRADMAN( whom you believe is the greatest batsman) HIMSELF SAID ABOUT SACHIN! ;) reiterating, Call spade a spade, and you will know Sachin is indeed the greatest batsman! :)

  • Yagga175 on July 13, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    I remember seeing Hooper's 84 at Trent Bridge on the 1988 tour - he had come with a reputation having made a brilliant century in India and he lived up to the hype. Batting at no3 in a whte sunhat he was all languid ease and looked set to inherit Lawremce Rowe's mantle as the most beautiful strokeplayer in the WI team. Unfrotunately he did little thereafter in that series and his career never really blossomed. Maybe it was the burden of expectation, maybe Vivian Richard's wasn't the most sympathetic captain. It is difficult to know. Maybe he just found the game too easy and switched off. When he was on I think that he was as destructive than Lara, scored just as quickly and was lovely to watch. All bowlers came alike to him - Warne, Akram, McGrath, Donald. The off-spin was ok but he was one of the most outstanding slip fielders of his generation - absolutely first-rate. the 178 in Antigua was a masterpice and was supposed to be the making of him but he never kicked on. What a shame!

  • ww113 on July 13, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    West Indies' unbeaten run should in all fairness have ended during Pakistan's tour in early nineteen eighty eight.Imran Khan's side won the first Test,the second was drawn and in the third,the West Indies only scraped home due to some terrible umpiring decisions.It was one of the best series ever.

  • george204 on July 13, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    sowri123 (& others) - Why does the comment thread on every article not written about an Indian player get deluged with Indian fans posting "but Tendulkar/Sehwag/Dravid/Laxman is better". Do many India fans really find it so hard to understand/accept that some people like players NOT called Sachin/Virinder/Rahul/VVS? Chaps, we get the message - you have enjoyed a 15-year "golden age" of Indian batting, it must have been very enjoyable for you. Actually it was rather enjoyable for the rest of us too, we like good batting. But the two-eyed among us realise that it has been helped by flat pitches & weak opponents. Saying over & over again that Sachin is the 2nd greatest batsman ever, or even the greatest batsman ever, doesn't make it true.

  • cal2810 on July 13, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    B Lara was the greatest batsman of all time, Everyone wanted to see hiim in action. He also has the record of the most "Cheated out" batsman of all time, yes .... go to the record books,videos whatever... Lara was the Greatest... If he was still in the game, S .Tendulkar would have to settle for second.... Lara had more class and style. Those who disagree, well read some of the comments from Greats like S Warne, Muri, and others what they have to say..

  • Silk1970 on July 12, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    I watched virtually every ball of this series, I'd come home from work and go straight to bed so I could get up at midnight and watch the match.

    My stand out memory of this series was the quality of the fielding, not only were the regulation chances taken, but time and again half chances were snapped up by brilliant fielding from both sides.

    Australia dropped a couple in the 4th test when the game was won but that about it for them. The West Indies made the critical drop of the series when Steve Waugh was missed in the 4th Test.

    Another feature was that the openers from both sides kept getting through tough periods late in the day to start their innings, and would then quickly disappear the next morning!

  • Harry0009 on July 12, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    The saying "History Repeats Itself" is so true. The 2 decades that WI ruled was finally broken by Aussies and uptill now they were the ones who were ruling. Warne, McGrath were enough for any pitch and any team something ala Marshalls, Roberts, Holdings were for WI during their era. Time has come for another team to take over! None of the teams right now have bowlers of such guile / pace / quality. May be Eng or Ind or Pak can produce one such team??

  • Avenash on July 12, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    Carl Hooper was a class act, velvet-like i would say. However, I share the view that he's a huge underachiever. Brian Lara- pure genius; the best I've seen in my lifetime...

  • SoftwareStar on July 14, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    i remember this innings for 2 things; 1) my Dad being shocked that Richardson could play such a rash stroke when they were 6/2 already. and later thrilled that these two staged such a blazing fightback 2) my liking and respect level for Waugh dropping drastically after he claimed that bump-catch, that too of Lara who had established himself as a thorough gentleman after having walked when on 91 of the bowling of V Raju during his tour to India in 94/95. Waugh never got back to the original pedestal i had placed him on.. though he did redeem himself to some extent with charity work in Kolkota.

    btw. Another real good hooper innings was during the 5th ODI (in Guyana i think) against Pak in '93 with WI and Pak tied 2-2. he took care of the chase. probably the best shot of the match came when WI needed 8 runs from 3 balls. he moved to the offside and casually leg-glanced Akram for 4.. the shot is right before my eyes even now..!!

    and lastly, his slip catching was top class!!!!

  • pradeep_dealwis on July 13, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    @ cal2810 best batsman of all time for Lara is a bit too much, but yep i'd say he was the best test batsman of OUR time , Tendulkar is probably a better one-day batsman ,better at pacing himself, but both players will signify the end of the "batting artist" ...from now it will be about the Afridi's , Gayle's, Dhoni's ..ugly big hitters who can't bat on a proper pitch for their lives worth..sad.. Indeed an honour we got to see such greats Lara and Tendulkar, as well as Warne and Murali in our times...

  • Cheeka549 on July 13, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    The article correctly captures the times that saw the beginning of the end of 'The Great WIan Empire'. The Former WIan sides were different from the rest for this lone reason..Unparallel bowling team! They could be matched with the batting skills but never when it came to matching the bowling skills! I think the aging Ambrose and Walsh(the last ) saw the last twilight of the windies. I understand they cannot be replaced, but none came close. also, in response to "George204 on (July 13 2010, 09:46 AM GMT)"..dude, y we speak pro-india? Bcoz we see illogical,apparently envious comments like yours..Records speak for themselves.Sachin is indeed the greatest batsman. And if u dont agree with this, fine. BUT REMEMBER WHAT LARA & BRADMAN( whom you believe is the greatest batsman) HIMSELF SAID ABOUT SACHIN! ;) reiterating, Call spade a spade, and you will know Sachin is indeed the greatest batsman! :)

  • Yagga175 on July 13, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    I remember seeing Hooper's 84 at Trent Bridge on the 1988 tour - he had come with a reputation having made a brilliant century in India and he lived up to the hype. Batting at no3 in a whte sunhat he was all languid ease and looked set to inherit Lawremce Rowe's mantle as the most beautiful strokeplayer in the WI team. Unfrotunately he did little thereafter in that series and his career never really blossomed. Maybe it was the burden of expectation, maybe Vivian Richard's wasn't the most sympathetic captain. It is difficult to know. Maybe he just found the game too easy and switched off. When he was on I think that he was as destructive than Lara, scored just as quickly and was lovely to watch. All bowlers came alike to him - Warne, Akram, McGrath, Donald. The off-spin was ok but he was one of the most outstanding slip fielders of his generation - absolutely first-rate. the 178 in Antigua was a masterpice and was supposed to be the making of him but he never kicked on. What a shame!

  • ww113 on July 13, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    West Indies' unbeaten run should in all fairness have ended during Pakistan's tour in early nineteen eighty eight.Imran Khan's side won the first Test,the second was drawn and in the third,the West Indies only scraped home due to some terrible umpiring decisions.It was one of the best series ever.

  • george204 on July 13, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    sowri123 (& others) - Why does the comment thread on every article not written about an Indian player get deluged with Indian fans posting "but Tendulkar/Sehwag/Dravid/Laxman is better". Do many India fans really find it so hard to understand/accept that some people like players NOT called Sachin/Virinder/Rahul/VVS? Chaps, we get the message - you have enjoyed a 15-year "golden age" of Indian batting, it must have been very enjoyable for you. Actually it was rather enjoyable for the rest of us too, we like good batting. But the two-eyed among us realise that it has been helped by flat pitches & weak opponents. Saying over & over again that Sachin is the 2nd greatest batsman ever, or even the greatest batsman ever, doesn't make it true.

  • cal2810 on July 13, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    B Lara was the greatest batsman of all time, Everyone wanted to see hiim in action. He also has the record of the most "Cheated out" batsman of all time, yes .... go to the record books,videos whatever... Lara was the Greatest... If he was still in the game, S .Tendulkar would have to settle for second.... Lara had more class and style. Those who disagree, well read some of the comments from Greats like S Warne, Muri, and others what they have to say..

  • Silk1970 on July 12, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    I watched virtually every ball of this series, I'd come home from work and go straight to bed so I could get up at midnight and watch the match.

    My stand out memory of this series was the quality of the fielding, not only were the regulation chances taken, but time and again half chances were snapped up by brilliant fielding from both sides.

    Australia dropped a couple in the 4th test when the game was won but that about it for them. The West Indies made the critical drop of the series when Steve Waugh was missed in the 4th Test.

    Another feature was that the openers from both sides kept getting through tough periods late in the day to start their innings, and would then quickly disappear the next morning!

  • Harry0009 on July 12, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    The saying "History Repeats Itself" is so true. The 2 decades that WI ruled was finally broken by Aussies and uptill now they were the ones who were ruling. Warne, McGrath were enough for any pitch and any team something ala Marshalls, Roberts, Holdings were for WI during their era. Time has come for another team to take over! None of the teams right now have bowlers of such guile / pace / quality. May be Eng or Ind or Pak can produce one such team??

  • Avenash on July 12, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    Carl Hooper was a class act, velvet-like i would say. However, I share the view that he's a huge underachiever. Brian Lara- pure genius; the best I've seen in my lifetime...

  • PrinceofPortofSpain on July 12, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    In the final test of that 1995 series, Lara was given out lbw in Jamaica for 0 when replays show that the ball pitched outside his leg stump.This was another crucial instance of dodgy umpiring decisions going against this major threat. W I could have retained their unbeaten record a little longer. Lara probably had 20 controversial dismissials in his test career. That is part of the reason that his batting scores had the highest mountain peaks and the deepest valleys of all time.

  • AyrtonS on July 12, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    Carl Hooper was a huge under achiever.

  • salim on July 12, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    So...what was the point of this? What an anti-climax!!

  • Chris_P on July 12, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    @Karthik Mahadevan , what you stated was true enough, replays showed that ball did bobble and hi the ground, but let's be fair here, the series before in '91 saw Viv Richards succesfully appeal for 2 catches off the batsmen's pads and he seemed very happy with himself at the outcome. And don't forget that disgraceful act of bad sportsmanship when the Windies ran out Dean Oones after he walked off after being bowled off a no-ball. The umpires incorrectly didn't call back Jones, nor did Richards or the West Indies consider recalling him, so it was game on after that. You know, when you set the tone of conduct, you have ot expect it back at you. This series that this article was about was an extremely hard fought and as much as I admire Richie Richardson the cricketer, his comments about this Australian team was the "weakest of all time" was somewhat wide of the mark. It was sour grapes at its worst feom someone who should have been more humble in defeat.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on July 12, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    I unfortunately missed the Frank Worell Trophy of '95. Having seen the 2005 Ashes, I can imagine the sheer scale and drama of what, I imagine, must have been a titanic contest. Sadly, one sees very little possibility of such a series in the foreseeable future, with no side in the world looking like it has the firepower to produce the kind of pyrotechnics Mr. Selvey speaks of. Dead pitches are finishing off fast bowlers and spinners alike.

  • BillyCC on July 11, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    This test match will be remembered as the moment that Glenn McGrath announced himself on the world stage, and for the next 11 years, he was the best fast bowler in the world. And as the article suggests, it was the test match and the series where Australia would become No.1 against a weakening West Indies outfit.

  • VegeMiter on July 11, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    The problem with Carl Hooper, talented as he was, was the number of times he got out to what could be referred to as "soft dismissals". This ensured his Test average was, very average, in the mid 30s! And "sowri123" - since you somehow turned an article about an Australia v West Indies Test Match into a comment about Indian players - just remember your heroes Laxman, Sachin, Dravid & Co. NEVER won a Test series in Australia.

  • Chris_P on July 11, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    I can recall watching this series through bleary eyes as the games finished about 6am Australian time. The West Indies were a proud team and put up stiff resistence in meeting the challenge of a new contender. This was the final stand in a series that was defining the future of both teams for the next decade and a half. West Indies had their old warriors who could still deliver, but there was grave concern about the new players abilities to "go the distance." Mark Taylor's performance in this series, as a captain, was career defining as he held his team to the self belief that grew to legendary proportions int he decade following. There are other little bits from the series that stand out, and indeed, if anyone has ever read Steve Waugh's memoirs he recounts them in a refreshing review. The Ambrose/Waugh confrontation sent a message to both teams, but Steve Waugh's overwhelming will in believing he could get Hooper out when he bowled was proven a few times.

  • on July 11, 2010, 22:59 GMT

    I think one should not forget to mention about the thieving Australians did on that match.

    The drama intensified in the afternoon, when Steve Waugh four times juggled a cut shot by Lara as it bobbled beneath his tumbling body. Television replays confirmed the ball had hit the ground but Lara, after loitering a few seconds, trudged off for the most controversial - and perhaps the decisive - moment of the tour.

    http://www.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/151905.html

    I remember at least 10 times Lara being robbed off his wicket against Australia starting from Healy claiming a stumping in 1992-93 (http://www.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/153628.html)

  • SoftwareStar on July 11, 2010, 19:28 GMT

    Carl Hooper was one who could match Brian Lara stroke for stroke.. with a completely different style though.. while one was a ferrari, the other was a rolls-royce. it was the best sight in cricket to watch these two bat together. i remember these innings from him; not much for test in the fourth innings. the scores but for the beauty, effortlessness, purity of stroke play 1. 178 Vs Pak in 92/93. I remember a hooked six of Akram where the ball went flat and cleared the rope. Awesome power 2. 84 Vs India in 94/95 in a ODI. Sidhu had century and WI were docked 1 over, but Hooper's stroke play to bring WI back in the game was outstanding 3. 110 Vs Aus in the Gabba 97. Again in a ODI where Lara made 104. WI won the game. Chancy innings, but some great shots 4. 94 Vs England 1998. Where he shepherded David Williams to win the test with a 4th innings chase 5. Test series against India in 94/95. Adams was padding away, while Hooper was like 'why? i'll show u how to play spin.

  • Heartranjan on July 11, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    I agree with YoBro. It was a different generation altogether. Mark Waugh, Sachin, Mohd. Youshuf, Lara. I too will stop watching cricket once Sachin retires. Its just not the same anymore.

  • HLANGL on July 11, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Carl Hooper was quite a significantly gifted batsman whose overall record unfortunately would do no justice to the tallent he had. That even is due to some catching up during the latter part of his career, otherwise he could have well ended up with an even lower overall batting record. My oldest memory of his magnificient strokeplay leads to the '92/'93 tournament against Pakistan where he made 178* in 200+ deliveries against an attack consisted of Wasim Akarm, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, etc. In my opinion, he was somewhat over-used as a bowling all-rounder during the initial period of his carrer eventhough his stronger aspect seemed to be clearly his batting. Hooper was gifted, no doubt, but at times the excecution in the middle was somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, a very fine player.

  • HLANGL on July 11, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Carl Hooper was quite a significantly gifted batsman whose overall record unfortunately would do no justice to the tallent he had. That even is due to some catching up during the latter part of his career, otherwise he could have well ended up with an even lower overall batting record. My oldest memory of his magnificient strokeplay leads to the '92/'93 tournament against Pakistan where he made 178* in 200+ deliveries against an attack consisted of Wasim Akarm, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, etc. In my opinion, he was somewhat over-used as a bowling all-rounder during the initial period of his carrer eventhough his stronger aspect seemed to be clearly his batting. Hooper was gifted, no doubt, but at times the excecution in the middle was somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, a very fine player.

  • kayarr on July 11, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    @ sowri123 --- the article is about WI vs AUS. Not sure what relevance your post has to this. In general I find it annoying to see irrelevant (thought sometimes good) postings -- wish people read the article fully and spend some time thinking before printing their comments.

  • insightfulcricketer on July 11, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    Two abiding memories of Hooper stand out - his classical footwork to get to pitch of the ball and six over extra cover.Very difficult to execute . His catching at second slip was par none even Mark Waugh. He made it appear he had lots of time while taking those sharp ones at second slip. And always with both hands classic! Hooper and Lara on song together was for the ages !! Something like Mark Waugh and Ponting or Anwar and Inzy or Sehwag and Sachin or Dravid and Laxman .Freeze the moment and watch what batsmanship is all about!!!

  • vatsap on July 11, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Carl Hooper, what a batsman. What timing. It was a tribute to his skills that Shane Warne later claimed how he had to figure out when he came down the track. And typical of the genius, he was an enigma till the end. It would have been wonderful if Carl had carried on for a few years when Lara got the captaincy back. In this series, had the tendency to get out to short balls from Brendon Julien. Remember the 5-0 white wash from the SAF in 1998, again after tremendously dominating Donald and co, he would get out to a very lame shot. What talent.

  • sowri123 on July 11, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    When you think of elegance, other than Lara and Sachin, we have Laxman and Dravid, both of them overshadowed by Sachin in the test matches. Especially Laxman was special against Australians. They are more worried about Laxman than Sachin. Enjoyed the expressions of Australians when Laxman batted. They could not believe he could be ruthless and at the same time entertaining. Problem is people always talk about Sachin and Lara, I think Laxman and Dravid deserve a place in the history of test cricket. Dravid has a sound technique and Laxman - delight to watch these lovely crickets in the middle.

  • on July 11, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    I think Carl Hooper was like a artist on pitch while facing spin bowlers. His amazing use of feet and clear hitting really made him nightmare for spinners.

    The most beautiful thing about Carl Hooper hitting was his pure timing. I never saw him giving a full slash to any of the sixes he hit. It was alway pure timing and amazingly all of the hits used to be miles back(biggies).

    Hooper did not get the fame he deserved. Just like Chanderpaul, Carl hooper was always overshadowed by Brian lara.

    Plus Carl Hooper suffered so many injuries throughout his career which really hindered his upward flight as a cricketer.

    Nevertheless Carl Hooper will remain my favourite player.

  • on July 11, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Brian Lara came into that 1995 series with an average for the year of almost 100.

    I don't remember who took his wicket in that series, but I did on TV in Oz see him play and miss at McGrath enough times to break his self confidence, as McGrath cut the ball sharply off the pitch.

    As a result for the best part of two years Lara was playing at demons. It was not until a match in Perth that he finally recovered himself, cast off the demons and set about playing the ball again.

  • on July 11, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    If only if Richardson had joined in the fight.. the result could've been different! A draw perhaps.

  • on July 11, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Very Nostalgic Scenes! Lara & Hooper together could prove very disaster for any Opposition. They were good old days of Test Cricket. Miss them now. These are the days of Stupid, Rubbish, Non-Sense, Obsolete, Commercial event IPLs.

  • YoBro on July 11, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar represent, to me atleast, that lost generation of batsmanship - where elegance and grace counted as much as and often, even more than the end result. I will quit following cricket when the last of these two legends, SRT bids the game farewell.

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  • YoBro on July 11, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar represent, to me atleast, that lost generation of batsmanship - where elegance and grace counted as much as and often, even more than the end result. I will quit following cricket when the last of these two legends, SRT bids the game farewell.

  • on July 11, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Very Nostalgic Scenes! Lara & Hooper together could prove very disaster for any Opposition. They were good old days of Test Cricket. Miss them now. These are the days of Stupid, Rubbish, Non-Sense, Obsolete, Commercial event IPLs.

  • on July 11, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    If only if Richardson had joined in the fight.. the result could've been different! A draw perhaps.

  • on July 11, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Brian Lara came into that 1995 series with an average for the year of almost 100.

    I don't remember who took his wicket in that series, but I did on TV in Oz see him play and miss at McGrath enough times to break his self confidence, as McGrath cut the ball sharply off the pitch.

    As a result for the best part of two years Lara was playing at demons. It was not until a match in Perth that he finally recovered himself, cast off the demons and set about playing the ball again.

  • on July 11, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    I think Carl Hooper was like a artist on pitch while facing spin bowlers. His amazing use of feet and clear hitting really made him nightmare for spinners.

    The most beautiful thing about Carl Hooper hitting was his pure timing. I never saw him giving a full slash to any of the sixes he hit. It was alway pure timing and amazingly all of the hits used to be miles back(biggies).

    Hooper did not get the fame he deserved. Just like Chanderpaul, Carl hooper was always overshadowed by Brian lara.

    Plus Carl Hooper suffered so many injuries throughout his career which really hindered his upward flight as a cricketer.

    Nevertheless Carl Hooper will remain my favourite player.

  • sowri123 on July 11, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    When you think of elegance, other than Lara and Sachin, we have Laxman and Dravid, both of them overshadowed by Sachin in the test matches. Especially Laxman was special against Australians. They are more worried about Laxman than Sachin. Enjoyed the expressions of Australians when Laxman batted. They could not believe he could be ruthless and at the same time entertaining. Problem is people always talk about Sachin and Lara, I think Laxman and Dravid deserve a place in the history of test cricket. Dravid has a sound technique and Laxman - delight to watch these lovely crickets in the middle.

  • vatsap on July 11, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Carl Hooper, what a batsman. What timing. It was a tribute to his skills that Shane Warne later claimed how he had to figure out when he came down the track. And typical of the genius, he was an enigma till the end. It would have been wonderful if Carl had carried on for a few years when Lara got the captaincy back. In this series, had the tendency to get out to short balls from Brendon Julien. Remember the 5-0 white wash from the SAF in 1998, again after tremendously dominating Donald and co, he would get out to a very lame shot. What talent.

  • insightfulcricketer on July 11, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    Two abiding memories of Hooper stand out - his classical footwork to get to pitch of the ball and six over extra cover.Very difficult to execute . His catching at second slip was par none even Mark Waugh. He made it appear he had lots of time while taking those sharp ones at second slip. And always with both hands classic! Hooper and Lara on song together was for the ages !! Something like Mark Waugh and Ponting or Anwar and Inzy or Sehwag and Sachin or Dravid and Laxman .Freeze the moment and watch what batsmanship is all about!!!

  • kayarr on July 11, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    @ sowri123 --- the article is about WI vs AUS. Not sure what relevance your post has to this. In general I find it annoying to see irrelevant (thought sometimes good) postings -- wish people read the article fully and spend some time thinking before printing their comments.

  • HLANGL on July 11, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Carl Hooper was quite a significantly gifted batsman whose overall record unfortunately would do no justice to the tallent he had. That even is due to some catching up during the latter part of his career, otherwise he could have well ended up with an even lower overall batting record. My oldest memory of his magnificient strokeplay leads to the '92/'93 tournament against Pakistan where he made 178* in 200+ deliveries against an attack consisted of Wasim Akarm, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, etc. In my opinion, he was somewhat over-used as a bowling all-rounder during the initial period of his carrer eventhough his stronger aspect seemed to be clearly his batting. Hooper was gifted, no doubt, but at times the excecution in the middle was somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, a very fine player.