As umpire S. K. Bansal gave Glenn McGrath out lbw on the last day of the 2001 Eden Gardens Test between India and Australia, 100,000 spectators revelled in unbridled, full-throated jubilations.
The scene from that fateful March evening in Kolkata is a sepia photograph filled with memories. For some, those memories include ecstasy, for others, anguish. But all agree it was an experience that was both enriching and exhausting at once. “A wonderful place to play, Kolkata. We embraced it and enjoyed the challenge,” recalls former Australian quick Jason Gillespie, who was part of that historic Test.
The messianic fervour of that match ended up creating one of the most uplifting cricketing stories in decades. Having been bowled out for 171 in its first innings, India was sent back in to bat early on Day Three with the tourist holding a 274-run lead.
The decision appeared to be vindicated…