Test cricket is considered to be the purest form of cricket. A batsman's patience is tested, a bowler's consistency and variations are tested and above all the fitness of players to play five continuous days is also tested.
Usually, a team uses three-four main bowlers and a couple of part-timers in an attempt to bowl out the opposition. But there have been four instances in cricket history where all the 11 players came out to bowl in a Test innings.
The first one happened during the third Test of Australia's tour of England in 1884. The next instance was during the second Test between Australia and Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1980. The third instance is the one featuring India when they toured West Indies in 2002. The last time all 11 players bowled was during the 4th Test match between South Africa and West Indies in 2005.
Let's look at what happened during the India vs West Indies match in 2002.
On a batting paradise, West Indies won the toss and decided to field first. India lost the wicket of opener Shiv Sunder Das (3) early, but Wasim Jaffer (86) and Rahul Dravid stitched together a 155-run partnership for the second wicket. Even though Sachin Tendulkar got out for a first-ball duck (which is another rare occurrence), Sourav Ganguly along with Dravid made sure that India didn't lose any more wickets for the day.
The second day started with India losing Sourav Ganguly (45), Rahul Dravid (91) and Anil Kumble (6) in quick succession. But wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra and VVS Laxman built an unbeaten partnership of 205 runs for the 8th wicket, which ended the day with India on the driver's seat.
India lost VVS Laxman (130) earlier on the next day, but Ajay Ratra (115) completed his century and added another 40 odd runs with the help of tailenders. At 513/9 Ganguly decided to declare the innings.
Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds started slowly as they knew there was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers. Two and a half days of the Indian batting had given them the lesson that runs will pile up if you stay patiently at the crease. Zaheer Khan drew first blood by sending back Chris Gayle (32). When the partnership between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Wavell Hinds seemed to be a threat, Sachin Tendulkar turned over his golden arm. He castled the well-set Wavell Hinds for 65. Brian Lara (4) arrived at the crease and was sent back early by Anil Kumble, but Carl Hooper along with Ramnaresh Sarwan finished the day with no further loss of wickets.
West Indies lost Sarwan (51) in the first session of the next day. At 196/4, the game was swinging lightly towards India. But the entry of Shivnarine Chanderpaul shattered all Indian hopes. Both Hooper and Chanderpaul showed immense patience at the crease.
The Indian pace trio - Javagal Srinath, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan tried everything which they could, but the West Indian batsmen seemed so determined on a flat pitch. At last it was Tendulkar again who gave the breakthrough by sending back the skipper Carl Hooper (136).
India might have planned to take the early wicket of Ridley Jacobs, who replaced Hooper, and rip through the tail enders so that they can restrict West Indies below 460 and take a comfortable lead. But what they witnessed was a counter-attack from Jacobs at one end and sheer defence by Chanderpaul at the other end. Ganguly was out of bowling options and he decided to give the ball to each and every player in the team. Even the wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra came and bowled an over. (Dravid kept wickets while he bowled)
Out of all the experienced and inexperienced bowlers, it was 'The Wall' - Rahul Dravid who brought the smile back on Indian fans' faces. He sent back Ridley Jacobs (118) who was the aggressor among the duo.
The day was destined to be the first-wicket taking day for many illustrious batsmen, as Wasim Jaffer took the wickets of Mervyn Dillon and Pedro Collins. The next opportunity was for VVS Laxman to register his first wicket and he accepted it gleefully by sending back the last batsman Cameron Cuffy.
Final Scorecard: India - 513/9, West Indies - 629/9
Result: Match Drawn
Player of the Match: Ajay Ratra (India)
The bowling scorecard read like this.
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