Sixth Test Match


At Bombay, November 3, 4, 6, 7. India won by an innings and 100 runs with a day to spare. With the pitch grassless and threatening to take spin, Australia, already at a disadvantage when Yardley was ruled out of the match by injury, had the further misfortune to lose the toss; and to add to their problems Yallop and Higgs contracted stomach trouble on the first day.

After the first two days it became apparent that Australia could not win this match, and that India had thus won the series. Batting until half an hour before the close on the second day, India declared at 458 for eight. A score of such proportions had looked likely when they made 231 for three on the first day, with Gavaskar scoring his second century of the series. Their fortunes declined temporarily on the second morning but they were restored by an eighth-wicket partnership of 127 from Kirmani and Ghavri. Kirmani, who had gone in as night-watchman, scored his maiden Test century in five hours, and Ghavri made his best-ever Test score of 86.

The difficulties that the pitch would pose the Australians were indicated by Border's left-arm spin claiming two of the three wickets that fell on the first day. Higgs' illness restricted him to only a few overs on the opening day, but on the second he took two important wickets cheaply and the Australians regained more ground when Hogg removed Yashpal and Amarnath in quick succession by exploiting their weakness against the fast, short-pitched ball.

The rest day fell between the second and third days, and when the contest was resumed the pitch favoured the spinners. Doshi and Yadav wrecked the Australian innings in just over four hours, the last eight wickets, falling in less than two hours after lunch. Yallop's 60, with five 4s, was the only contribution of note.

The Australians were upset by two umpiring decisions during this innings. Hilditch was aggrieved at being given run out and Hughes was even less pleased to be given out caught at silly point. There was a red patch on his shirt-sleeve to provide evidence that justice had not been done.

Following on, Australia were 60 for two at the end of the third day. On the fourth day India gained no further ground until twenty minutes before lunch as Border and Hughes produced a gallant third-wicket stand of 132. Once they were parted, Kapil Dev and Doshi quickly ran through the rest of Australia's demoralised batting, although Hughes's 80, made in 108 minutes, was one of the finest innings played against Indian bowling in recent times.

© John Wisden & Co