Fourth Test Match

India v Pakistan 1979-80

At Kanpur, December 25, 26, 27, 29, 30. Drawn. A violent overnight storm ruled out play on the last day but made no difference to the outcome. However, a decisive result had seemed more than probable when a green pitch claimed fifteen wickets on the first two days.

The pitch, even by English standards, was very grassy and green; so much so that Pakistan made a last-minute change in their side, leaving out left-arm spinner Abdur Raqib and including Ehtesham-ud-Din, who was not even in the squad of thirteen announced on the eve of the match. In view of these conditions, Pakistan were much the weaker for the absence of Imran Khan, whose injury had become more troublesome.

It was cloudy on the first morning, which made it all the more surprising that India elected to bat. They came to regret this decision, losing four wickets for only 17 and being saved by bad light from being bowled out on the first day. Play closed an hour and a quarter early with the score 112 for eight, five of which were taken by Sikander and three by Ehtesham-ud-Din, who completed India's rout on the following morning. English balls were used in this Test, their higher seam being a further aid to the pace bowlers in getting purchase from the grassy pitch. India would have been in a worse plight had Binny, who made 29, not been dropped at second slip, by Zaheer, when he was 12. However, they owed their recovery to Ghavri, who made 45 not out with courageous support from Yadav and Doshi.

Pakistan, in reply, scarcely fared better and finished the day at 124 for five. The only batsman to establish himself was Sadiq Mohammed, playing his first Test in the series. On the third day, Pakistan lost two more wickets for the addition of just 8 runs and yet came back to take a useful lead of 87, thanks to a magnificent innings by Wasim Raja that was skilful, bold and attractive. He was in for three hours forty-nine minutes and hit one 6 and ten 4s in his unbeaten 94. Iqbal Qasim kept him company for two hours for the eighth wicket before succumbing to the second new ball. The last two batsmen, Sikander and Ehtesham-ud-Din, scored no more than 6 between them but they each stayed for half an hour and the last two wickets produced 35 invaluable runs. Raja's innings drew such admiration that Binny, immediately after bowling the last man, ran up to apologise to Raja for depriving him of his century.

Gavaskar and Chauhan, India's openers, comfortably batted through the two hours that remained and wiped off all but 8 runs of Pakistan's lead. Next morning, batting with much greater circumspection, they added another 46. Gavaskar, having made 81, fell to a rousing catch by Mudassar at square-leg, but Pakistan captured only one more wicket during the day, that of Chauhan twenty-five minutes before tea. Chauhan and Vengsarkar, both in an exercise of self-denial, put on only 43 runs in about 100 minutes, but it must be mentioned that Pakistan bowled only 19.4 overs during their stand with the rate dropping to ten overs per hours at one stage. In view of this, there was little regret when bad light again stopped play shortly after tea and when the clouds that cast this gloom produced enough rain to wipe out the last day's play.

© John Wisden & Co