So the much awaited Test series is going to be start from 17th of December in Adelaide. In 2018 Australia prodded and probed but could not find an answer to the summer’s big question: How on earth do you unsettle Cheteshwar Pujara, let alone get him out? The obdurate Indian star was the difference as the tourists claimed a historic 2-1 Test series win amassing 521 runs including three centuries and one half-century. By the end of the series Australia was waiving the white flag.
So before the start of the series we are having a story of an Australian star who is not between us but his heroics are still fresh in our heart’s. Yes….Its Dean Jones
It was the Chennai Test between India and Australia in 1986, Dean Jones was picked over his roommate, Mike Velleta, to bat at 3 for Australia. It was only the 3rd Test of Jones’ career and he desperately wanted to score a hundred.
Chennai has always been one of the hottest place to play cricket because of the humidity in the city. We have often seen players cramping in Chennai but this Test was a test even for the fittest.
Jones was unbeaten on 56 at stumps on Day 1. Out of nervousness, he did not drink any water till going into bat next day. There were no fitness regimes back then and no one was aware about the consequences of dehydration.
Slowly, Jones’ body stopped responding in Chennai’s heat. He vomited, even urinated in his pants as he lost control over his bladder. He couldn’t use his feet against the spinners because of cramps. Astonishingly, he still batted on keeping his focus on the ball and completed his maiden Test hundred that he dearly wanted.
He marched on to convert it into a double ton. As he describes, “I remember every shot in nearly every innings I played but I don’t remember a thing after 120 in that innings.” He lost eight kilos in that heat and it took him over nine months to regain his weight back.
Jones went to Tea at 202* and was forced out to continue by captain, Allan Border and coach, Bob Simpson. As soon as he got out for 210, he was taken to hospital and was put on saline drip.
He returned to the Test match later and was in the field. Jones somehow managed to bat during the second innings to score a 49-minute 24, inclusive of three boundaries. The Australians declared their second innings at 170 for 5, but not before setting the Indians a stiff total of 348 to get on the final day. Not many expected the Indians to go for the win, but Chandrakant Pandit and Ravi Shastri scored at more than run-a-ball after Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath and Mohammad Azharuddin laid a solid foundation. However, they were bowled out for 347, and thus the match concluded as the second tied Test in the history of cricket.
Jones was the protagonist in a historic Test where he fought all odds to record his maiden Test hundred – a memorable 210.
The world lost a fighter this September. RIP, Dean Jones.
By Paramdeep Rathee