What a Titanic collapse we witnessed yesterday when so called ‘strong’ Indian batting lineup fell like a pack of cards against what was pretty mediocre bowling prowess. Chasing a mammoth 349 to win the fourth match in already lost series, openers gave an unbelievable start to the innings with century from Virat kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. However when the victory appears to be within a stone’s throw, the great breakdown happened and from 277 for 1 team India slumped to 323 all out and lost the match by 25 runs. The team drew lots of flak from everyone and many even termed this as a black day in India’s Cricket history.
However if we go in the lap of history and do a flashback, this isn’t infact the worst collapse India has suffered. There have been bitter memories and ironically India always had a quite intriguing relationship with batting collapses.
Lets open the history book and look back at some of the infamous Indian collapses –
- India vs Sri Lanka, 1996 World Cup Semi Final
At our own den, we were playing against a sudden powerhouse Sri Lanka chasing a moderate target of 251 runs. We were sailing quite smoothly at 98 for 1 with Sachin on the crease but then happened the bizarre. From 98 for 1, we succumbed to 120 for 8 loosing 7 wickets for just 22 runs. Kolkata crowd erupted and amidst the chaos Sri lanka was declared the winner leaving Vinod Kambli in tears and complete nation in tatters.
- India vs West Indies, 1997 third test at Bridgetown
Everything in this match was in India’s favour till the last ball of third inning of West Indies. India took a lead of 20 runs in 1st innings and then got complete Windies team in pavilion in just 140 runs setting a paltry target of 120 for an away victory. Stage was set and it was just the time to dance on victory tunes when shockingly the famous Indian batting lineup was dismissed at just 81 landing India a shameful defeat of 39 runs. This was even more disturbing because the team was decorated with Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Azhar and Sidhhu and none of them could even give a fight to the Windies pacers.
- India vs Sri lanka, 2000 Coca-Cola Champions Trophy Final
This was even worse. Chasing a then invincible target of 300, Team India was bundled out for just 54 with Robin Singh being the sole double digit (11) scorer. This still remains India’s lowest ever ODI score.
- India vs South Africa, 2011 World Cup
This time playing in the first inning, India looked set for a humongous target for the Proteas. At 40th over we were at 267 for the loss of just one wicket and then the unthinkable happened. Next 9 wickets with all stars of Indian Cricket galaxy could add up a mere 29 runs and the target set was 297. Dale Steyn at end of 7 overs was wicketless giving 46 runs but magically ended with a fifer.
- India vs Australia, 2016 Canberra
The latest and probably the spoiler of all is this one. This can be considered as worst collapse because chasing an Everest of a target of 349 runs, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan played brilliantly to take the score to 277 for the loss of just 1 wicket. Suddenly Dhawan got out leaving India at a pretty easy equation of 71 off 71 balls. Then entered MS Dhoni, game’s best finisher ever, and it seemed just a matter of few overs to have another proud moment in our decorated cricket history. But the captain chucked big time on the very third ball playing a very irresponsible shot. Soon after the vice-captain followed the leader and returned to pavilion and then the wickets kept on falling like snow in Srinagar. After a brilliant start to the chase, all we can score was 323 without playing even full quota of 50 overs.