How Lord Ganesha blessed India to win their first test series in England
Indian spin quartet of Chandrashekar, Solkar, Bedi and Venkataraghavan took 18 out of the 20 English wickets
Today embarks the start of Ganesh Chaturthi, an important Indian festival celebrating the arrival of Ganesh to earth from Kailash Parvat with his mother Goddess Parvati.
In Goa, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the state. Throughout the duration of the festival, an atmosphere of joy and harmony is created where people come together and celebrate.
Interestingly, this festival also plays a very important role in India's Test cricket history.
In 1971, the Ajit Wadekar led team was playing at the Oval in the third and final test against England. The series was tied at 0-0 as the first two test matches ended as a draw. India had a golden opportunity to achieve the unthinkable, winning a test series in England. The match started with the home team batting first. They scored 355 with solid performances from John Jameson and Alan Knott. India fell 71 runs short and trailed going into the second innings.
The English certainly had the upper hand as they started batting in the second innings. But little did they know Indians had different plans. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar rose to the occasion and ran through the England batting. He took six wickets for just 38 runs, dismissing the top four batters. Other spinners Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Bishan Singh Bedi, also chipped and took three wickets. India confidently finished the fourth day at 76 for two.
The last day of the test coincided with Ganesh Chaturthi. Before day five, Indian team manager Hemu Adhikari was talking to Ajit Wadekar, and he suddenly saw an elephant. Adhikari told Wadekar that sighting an elephant on Ganesh Chaturthi is a good omen. Wadekar was pumped up and went on to bat. This good luck charm didn’t work for Wadekar as he was run out on the first ball. But it helped the other Indian batters as they chased the target of 174 runs and scripted India’s first test series victory in England.