Mumbai: Some may call it a miracle at Eden, while others may say that it ushered in a dawn of a new era in Indian cricket. March 15, 2001, Eden Gardens, Kolkata, witnessed a day when a determined Indian team marshalled under the astute leadership of Sourav Ganguly defined the adage 'never give up.
On a sultry Kolkata day, India snatched victory and put an end to Steve Waugh's winning streak of 16 matches, especially after the mighty Australians seemed destined to take the match at the end of the first innings. In 2001, with the fabled 171-run win in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the Indian team became only the third side in the history of Test cricket to win the match after being forced to follow-on.
To celebrate that epic Indian victory against Australia, Star Sports will dedicate an entire day to the 2001 Kolkata Test airing series of content on May 15 that will resonate with every Indian cricket aficionado.
The 2001 Kolkata Test is known for a brave-heart knock from V.V.S. Laxman, who scored a majestic 281. The stylish Hyderabad batsman was involved in a mammoth 376-run partnership with 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid, who made a gritty 180, as the duo took India to 657/7 (declare).
The glorious Test will also be remembered for Harbhajan Singh's hat-trick in the first innings. The off-spinner first trapped Ricky Ponting with a flatter delivery that had the future Australian captain caught right in front of the stumps. Adam Gilchrist was dismissed in similar fashion. Bhajji then saw the back of his next victim, Shane Warne after Sadagopan Ramesh, at forward short-leg, pulled off a stunning catch to complete Harbhajan's hat-trick. He finished with figures of 7/123.
Lauding Harbhajan's incredible feat in Kolkata, BCCI President Ganguly recently tweeted: "One of the biggest contribution I have seen by an individual against a champion opponent.. @harbhajan_singh"
Rahul Dravid relives the atmosphere at Eden Gardens on Day 5 of the 2001 Kolkata Test on Star Sports' show, 'Kolkata 2001-Dravid & Laxman Special', "The atmosphere on the last day, after tea, the time when we were trying to take wickets. Harbhajan Singh was bowling and wickets were falling. The support from the crowd was incredible. The crowd at Eden Gardens helped us win the 2001 Kolkata Test. That support, encouragement and cheer after every ball, I remember it till now and I can still feel that. There are not many things I remember about my career, but one of the occasions was after tea, the atmosphere and intensity at the ground, that's why it's great to see a full stadium here at Eden Gardens. That's an experience every cricketer must experience.
"Playing in front of a packed stadium and that kind of energy. These are the kind of the things I remember, the energy and vibe in the dressing room, the vibe on the ground, that's something that stays with you. As a former cricketer, you wish that the next generation gets to experience the things we experienced and even more."