Fourth Test Match

India v West Indies

West Indies batted poorly in both innings on a pitch off which the ball bounced unevenly from the first day and which befriended the spinners from quite an early stage of the match. In these conditions, India's spinners excelled themselves.

The real hero of the Indian triumph was again Viswanath, who continued to shoulder heavy responsibility as Gavaskar was once more unavailable, having injured his finger again during net practice on the eve of the match.

The luck of the toss stayed with India. It is doubtful if they could have won without it. All the same, the Indians were overwhelmed in the first innings by Roberts, who took seven for 64. His bumper was his main weapon, although he did not use it to the extent that his methods could be considered intimidatory.

The damage initially was done by Julien and India were 41 for four before he and Roberts had finished their opening spells. While Roberts rested, the fifth-wicket pair raised the score to 74.

Roberts made short work of Mankad and Madan Lal on resumption and India were reduced to 76 for six. At this point Viswanath was only 19, having batted for one and three-quarter hours. He had his hands too full stopping the collapse to be able to look for runs.

The possibility of being left without partners stirred him into action and his innings blossomed into one of the finest played for India in a Test match. Roberts came in for no less punishment from him than any other bowler and when the innings ended shortly after tea, Viswanath was left not out with 97 scored in four and three-quarter hours, with fourteen 4s.

Ghavri helped Viswanath in a stand of 41 for the seventh wicket and numbers ten and eleven, Bedi and Chandrasekhar, kept their ends up for one hundred minutes during which Viswanath scored 53 and the total advanced by 73.

Even with their great depth of batting, West Indies could not overcome their bad start of 35 for three. Kallicharran, for once, looked out of touch and failed. Lloyd and Richards added 68 for the fifth wicket, but after Richards was sixth out of 155, having played a staid, but mature, innings of 50, three more wickets fell for 10 runs and only because Gibbs and Roberts made a stand did West Indies match India's score.

A flurry of adventurous shots by Engineer gave India an encouraging start, but by the end of the second day they were 85 for four and once more everything rested on Viswanath to steer India clear of the rocks.

This time he received assistance from Gaekwad, who played with remarkable coolness and looked destined to make a century when he was run out for 80. With Viswanath, Gaekwad added 93 for the sixth wicket and with Ghavri, 68 for the eighth.

Needing 255 to win, West Indies soon got into trouble. They were 65 for four. Lloyd tried to bludgeon the bowlers into submission again, but was soon stumped off Prasanna, who took nine wickets in the match. That was at 85.

Now India ran into a stiff challenge from Kallicharran and Murray. The latter settled down well to a supporting role while Kallicharran assumed such mastery that he looked quite capable of taking West Indies to victory if he could find somebody to stay with him.

When Murray left, West Indies were half way to their objective. Julien also dropped anchor, but to no avail, because at 133 Kallicharran was run out from point by Mankad with a direct hit. Now India attacked with new zest and in less than forty-five minutes after Kallicharran's departure, West Indies were bowled out.

© John Wisden & Co