The Best of Tests: Laxman double, Harbhajan hat-trick hand India classic win against Australia at Eden Gardens
Test cricket mirrors life. The ebbs and flows of the format have given birth to some of the most breath-taking cricketing epics.
A Cricket World Series, The Best of Tests, highlights the finest of these spectacles, be it Ben Stokes' superhuman chase at Headingley or the Dravid-Laxman gargantuan partnership at Eden Gardens.
IND 171/10, 657/7dec (178)
AUS 445/10, 212/10 (68.3)
Result - India won by 171 runs
Player of the Match - VVS Laxman
In 2001, Steve Waugh's Australia came to India on a 15-match winning streak. They then blew away the hosts by 10 wickets in the first Test at Mumbai, taking a 1-0 lead in the series.
Had India lost the 2nd Test at Kolkata, something that looked more than likely after half of the Test match, they would have lost their chance of winning the series as well.
Batting first, Australia piled up 445 runs with a stylish century from skipper Steve Waugh, 97 from Matthew Hayden, a half-century from Justin Langer and 40s from Michael Slater and Jason Gillespie. Against the odds, Harbhajan Singh was only shining light for India with figures of 37.5-7-123-7.
When India was bowled out for just 171 in the second innings, things seemed to be going only one way. Following on, the team was reduced to 115-3. What followed was a once in a generation spectacle as VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid (180) added 376 runs between them.
A brilliant 281-run knock from Laxman gradually turned the tide. At one point, Australia were looking like the only possible victors. Now, only India could have won the match after the team declared at 657-7.
Harbhajan, who had taken a hat-trick in the first innings by dismissing Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne, picked up another haul of 6 wickets in the final innings as Australia were bowled out for just 212.
India registered a famous 171-run victory at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata - a beginning of a special stretch for the team under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly.
© Cricket World 2020