It is exactly 30 years to the day when for the second time in the history of cricket that a Test match was tied. To this day, the feat hasn’t been repeated. While Australia was in the mix of the things for a second time as well, it was the first and only time for India.
As the Kapil Dev-led India chased 348, Australian Greg Matthews bowling to the 11th man looked to restrict India. Maninder Singh was on strike after Ravi Shastri had taken a single to tie the thrilling encounter on the fourth day of the first Test of the series against Australia in the September of 1986 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. However, he was trapped lbw by the bowler with India on 347.
Remembering his conversation with his partner Shastri, who remained unbeaten on 48, the former India cricketer said, “Ravi first said take a single so that you can tie it then even if you get out, you don’t lose the Test match. So that was the plan and that is exactly how we went about it. There was a big gap on the off side and I thought that I could just push the ball and take a single and win the Test match for the country, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. As a result, we had the second tied Test and such a feat has never happened since.”
Looking back and recalling the atmosphere in the dressing room, he said, “Everybody went quiet because at one stage, it looked like that we were going to win the game hands down and it came to a stage where it ended up in a tie, so I think for that moment we were all very quiet but afterthoughts were that it is one of the greatest Test matches that we ever played. Both teams were so competitive, hats-off to the Australians as well. Forget about the couple of bad decisions or whatever that’s all part of the game, but I think the Australians played the way they do because at one stage the Australians also must have thought this Test match has gone out of their hands the way we batted on the fifth day on that pitch, but at the end of the day when I think about it now or probably after a month of the tied Test match everybody must have started thinking that Test match deserved the way it ended.”