India loses a home Test series after 13 years

A tour of India is considered to be one of the toughest in Test cricket. It took a champion side like Australia 35 years to beat India at home when they did so in 2004. Quality teams like Australia and South Africa were defeated 0-4 and 0-3 respectively by India in 2013 and 2015. There was a period from 1987 to 2000, when India had not lost a single Test series at home.

The turn of the millennium was not the best for Indian cricket. They were white-washed in Australia and later failed to make it to the final of the tri-series Down Under. India had a task of facing a strong Hansie Cronje-led South African side for a two Test series. South Africa won the first Test at Mumbai by four wickets and India had to win in Bangalore to ensure that the series is squared. The win did not come, neither came a draw that could help them restore some pride. In fact they succumbed to an innings defeat.

On this day, in 2000, India were defeated in a home series after 13 years. India, who chose to bat first were bundled out for 158 in the first innings and in reply South Africa posted a massive 479. Despite Mohammad Azharuddin’s inspired century in India’s second innings, India could not avert an innings defeat. Nicky Boje ran through the Indian batting, registering figures of 38-14-85-5.

The match went on to be remembered for many reasons. It was Sachin Tendulkar‘s last Test as captain and in the ODI series against the same side, India’s new captain Sourav Ganguly led India to a 3-2 win. This also went on to be Azharuddin’s last Test and also Hansie Cronje’s.  A month later, future of Cronje and the game was under dark shadows. The South African skipper who had reached great heights was exposed as a fraud and cheat, and an unwanted match-fixing scandal broke out that tarnished the image of the game.

Brief Scores:

India 158 in 82.3 overs (Anil Kumble 36*; Nicky Boje 2-10, Shaun Pollock 2-26) & 250 in 101 overs (Mohammad Azharuddin 102; Nicky Boje 5-83) lost to South Africa 479 in 191.4 overs (Gary Kirsten 79, Nicky Boje 85, Jacques Kallis 95, Daryll Cullinan 53, Lance Klusener 97; Anil Kumble 6-143, Murali Karthik 3-123) by an innings and 71 runs.