‘Never thought I would see India get all out for 42 or less again in my lifetime’: Former India batsman Gunduppa Viswanath
Gunduppa Viswanath was part of the Indian team that were bowled out for 42 runs in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test against England in 1974 at Lord’s. India, in that Test, were asked to follow-on after getting all out for 302 in reply to the home team’s total of 629. Instead of putting on a fight, the Indian team surrendered, scoring their lowest total in a Test innings at the time.
For 46 years, it remained so. Till the Virat Kohli-led Indian team were bowled out for 36 in the 2nd innings of the Adelaide Test against Australia last week on Saturday. It was a shocking moment in world cricket, as the Indian team had a solid lead of 62 at the start of Day 3. But Aussie bowlers put on a show, and the Indian team just buckled under the pressure. In the end, it became an easy chase of 90 runs for the home team and they won before the Tea.
Writing in a column for The Indian Express, Viswanath said that he never thought he would see the Indian team posting a total of 42 or lower in a Test innings.
“I was in the team when we were all out for 42 against England at Lord’s. But I would never say that 36 laid the ghost of that to rest. I can never be happy. I never thought I would see India getting all out for 42 or less again in my lifetime. It doesn’t feel good. But they have to just leave this behind and pull up their socks,” he wrote.
“Everything combines when a team gets out for such a low score. All the bowlers will bowl very well, top-order batsmen will get some very good deliveries, and there will not be much resistance from the lower order,” Viswanath added.
Comparing the 1974 Lord’s debacle with the Adelaide horror, Viswanath said: “In Adelaide, the pitch became a little quicker on the third day. The Australian bowlers bowled really well, and consistently.
“The same thing happened at Lord’s. Whenever the batsmen were beaten, the ball took the edge. Compared to Lord’s, where it was cloudy and the ball swung, the Adelaide Oval pitch had a little more bounce but not much lateral or seam movement. All the bowlers kept the batsmen under pressure,” he added.
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Viswanath backed India to bounce back, though he added the Indian team would need to make a few changes.”The Indian team have played enough cricket to get this out of their system. There are players in this team who have played 60-70 Tests and even without Kohli, this team has the ability to bounce back. Rahane has captained India before, some years back, and guided the team to victory.
“However, some changes become imperative. (Shubman) Gill has to come in place of (Prithvi) Shaw. No two ways about it. (KL) Rahul will come in place of Kohli. I don’t know how bad is (Mohammed) Shami’s injury. Hopefully, he will recover. Rohit (Sharma) is there, but he will be available only for the last two Tests.
“You have to come good in the next three Tests. Forget about fancy shots. A lot of application is needed,” he signed off.