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Dinesh Karthik reminisces about India’s famous Eden Gardens Test win against Australia

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The World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand is underway in Southampton after the sun played hide and seek on the first day.

Watching and analysing the game in a new avatar was former Indian wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik. A veteran of 26 Tests and 94 ODIs, Dinesh Karthik knows all about playing in overcast English conditions having opened for India on England tours in the past.

However, his latest role sees him away from the field and in the commentary box instead. As the WTC final unfolded, every commentator was asked to put forth and add to a list of the greatest Test matches in cricket history and Karthik mentioned the iconic 2001 Kolkata Test between India and Australia. 

The 36-year old shared his memory of watching the Kolkata Test as a teenager. He said, “I remember at the time I would get up at 8 am and switch on the television and they went the entire day without losing a wicket. For a young player in India that was incredible and you have to remember that Australia at the time were insurmountable."

It was the second Test of the series and only the third occasion in cricket history that a team had managed to win after being asked to follow-on. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman batted the entirety of Day 4 to help India set a target of 384 for the Australians to chase. India famously went on to register a historic 171-run win and leveled the series at 1-1 with the final Test to be held at Chennai. 

Earlier, India were all out for 171 in the first innings against Australia's 445, which prompted Aussie captain Steve Waugh to enforce a follow-on. The Eden Gardens win put an end to Australia’s record 16-match unbeaten streak.

While on air, Dinesh Karthik also went on to reveal that he was a ball boy during the third Test of the famous series.

"I was a ball boy during the next Test. It was a great experience, throwing the ball to these guys," said Karthik, who was aged 15 at the time.

India won the next Test at his homeground in Chennai and the series 2-1.

Karthik would go on to make his Test debut in the next Australia tour of India in 2004 in Mumbai.

At present, the stylish wicketkeeper-batsman has fallen out of favour with India’s selectors and last represented the country in 2018 in Tests on the tour to England. His last ODI appearance came in India’s 2019 World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand at Manchester.

Featured photo : Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

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