Batting against the Windies in the 80s sort of "separated the men from the boys". The physical courage factor slowly went missing from the mid-90s onward (success against Australia and RSA were poor substitutes). Sidhu made a 116 in the last test at Jamaica. Below videos of Sidhu and other Indian batsmen in that 88-89 series give a hint what sort of courage it took.
With the introduction of bouncer restriction rule in the 1991-92, and Umpires/officials slowly getting more strict, combined with fading away of West Indies bowlers, focus moved from hostile fast bowling to accurate fast bowling from mid-90s onwards.
Not that, the likes of Donald, Akram or McGrath were incapable of bowling short-pitched deliveries, but even the hostility of these bowlers at their best in the 90s paled in comparison to the relentless hostility of the Windies bowlers of the 80s. Those Windies bowlers had mastered the skill of bowling short-pitched deliveries.
It is one of the reasons why I put Gooch's 154* even above Lara's 153*. Lara's might have been more flamboyant innings, but the courage factor was significantly higher in Gooch's case.
Allan Border's performance against the Windies in 83-84 when he scored 500+ runs is also under-rated. Same applies to Viv Richard's performance against Pakistan in 80-81 (to my eyes, far tougher performance than any of his exploits against England).
Afridi's maiden test hundred in the famous Chennai test of 1999 was a genuinely amazing innings. Kind of gets forgotten completely because of Sachin's epic.
Others that come to mind are Steve Waugh's 60 odd against West Indies on one of the greenest greentops ever which was overshadowed by his 200 in the next match, Mahela's 180 against England at Galle recently where none of his teammates were able to hold a bat properly, and Dravid's twin fifties at Jamaica 2006
Yeah would have thought Optus Vision had it. I think I had Optus Vision until mid-to-late 1998 when I switched to Foxtel. Optus Vision was known as the "sports" one and Foxtel the "entertainment" one back then.
I think we've all learned to never question robelinda about anything cricket coverage related ever again.
Although the Fox Sports logo looks eerily similar to the Robelinda2 font so who knows if he's gone and edited it in just to rewrite history.
EDIT - in the 5000th Test duck one.
Kallis' twin centuries at Cape Town' 10 with a bad back against the then number one side with the series on the line.
As good as Kallis was though, I will never forgive Dhoni for what he did that day... we would have won a historic series if we'd got kallis out, but MS for some inexplicable reason went on the defensive and allowed Kallis to get away. Probably just the fear of winning, I guess... just complete **** captaincy
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