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Watch: ‘A tunnel with no exit’ – When India crawled into a bizarre shell and conceded the 2005 Bengaluru Test to Pakistan

India Pakistan, Bengaluru Test 2005
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: As India went into a bizarre shell, three Pakistan spinners bowled beautifully in tandem to win the 2005 Bengaluru Test match out of nowhere.

Having beaten Pakistan in Pakistan a year ago, India were firm favourites going into the series. In the first Test, in Mohali, they secured a 204-run lead and had Pakistan at 257-6 after four days of cricket, but Abdul Razzaq (71) and Kamran Akmal (109) saved the match.

But in Kolkata, Rahul Dravid scored 110 and 135 while Anil Kumble got 3-98 and 7-63, and India won by 195 runs to go one-up in the series.


At Bengaluru, Younis Khan made 267 and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq 184, but none of their teammates got to 40 as Pakistan posted 570, Harbhajan Singh claiming 6-152.

India’s response was 449 as Virender Sehwag slammed 201 and VVS Laxman made an unbeaten 79. Danish Kaneria got 5-127, a rare outstanding spell by a touring wrist-spinner in India, Mohammad Sami 3-106, and Shahid Afridi 2-30.

Pakistan needed quick runs, and Afridi led the charge with a 34-ball 58. Yasir Hameed got 76 and Younis 84 not out as Inzamam set India 383. They were 25-0 at stumps on day four. India needed 358 on the last day, at a shade under four an over.

Sehwag (38) and Gautam Gambhir (52) added 87 at 3.67 an over before Gambhir pushed a ball to Razzaq at wide mid-on. Sehwag called, Gambhir did not respond, and Razzaq ran Sehwag out at the non-striker’s end.

“I knew that my dismissal meant that we would not win. I saw myself as the only batsman who could score at four-an-over since the rest of our batsmen are more correct and conventional Test cricketers … I was the only one capable of winning it,” Sehwag later reminisced.

The fifth day was into its second hour, and it was only the 23rd wicket to fall in the Test match. Yet, India went into an inexplicable crawl. Dravid made 16 in 64 balls, Sachin Tendulkar 16 in 98, Laxman 5 in 29, Sourav Ganguly 2 in 14, Dinesh Karthik 9 in 44.

India tried to draw the Test match. Instead, on a wearing pitch, they had to encounter the inevitable ball that turned too much for them. “The world’s most explosive middle order dug in, but all they managed to dig was a tunnel with no exit,” summed up the Wisden Almanack.

Sensing they would not lose, the Pakistan spinners bowled to more aggressive lengths. Inzamam brought his fielders in, and the close-in fielders were brilliant on the day. India, one down at lunch, wilted away after tea against Afridi (3-13), Kaneria (2-46), and Arshad Khan (2-21).

Only Kumble put up some resistance, not only making 37 not out but also facing more balls (52) than anyone outside the top four as India folded for 214 with six overs left in the Test match.

Ganguly, the Indian captain, was booed at the post-match presentations.

Watch Pakistan stun India here:


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