LONDON: India coach Ravi Shastri recalled India’s 1971 historic Test series win in England, their first in the country, saying that the achievement inspired him no end to win in England.
“I remember that game to the tee. I was nine-years-old. I was listening to it on BBC Test Match Special (TMS). There were some big names there [in commentary], who led me to next profession in broadcasting,” said Shastri in a talk show ‘The Golden Jubilee’ hosted by Ashis Ray and Manish Tiwari to celebrate 50 years of India’s first and only win at The Oval.
“I listened to every ball in that game. 59 Engineer, 82 [John] Jameson, 90 [Alan] Knott. Lead for England. Sardesai runs in both innings. Vishy my childhood hero, getting out with just three runs needed and the heart was fluttering. But in between all that, it was a fabulous team performance, led superbly by Wadekar. The two catches by Ekki (Eknath Solkar). Ekki got everything. He chipped in with wickets, he got runs and if I am not mistaken, two fabulous catches. On the strip where you need guts, there were no helmets in those days to be able to dive forward and literally take a catch. That close to a batsman was remarkable,” added Shastri.
“Venkat take a superb catch. Of course, Farokh, he was one of the first professionals. He was from my school and my college. His presence in 2nd innings was instrumental. His attacking instincts took India past that total,” said Shastri further.
“These were the people that inspired us and probably gave confidence to the entire nation to win overseas, particularly in England.”