Just after watching India’s stupendous performance against West Indies in the recent series, I wanted to read something short on Cricket which made me pick up the book by Dr. Kisholoy Roy named “11.03.2001 - 15.03.2001 : A Tale of Turnaround”. The book is of around 90 pages and I got its e-book version which I finished in just 80 minutes. I should say that author has shown enough guts by dedicating a whole book on just one Cricket Test match. Dr. Kisholoy seems to be Cricket enthusiast just like every 2nd person in our country which is very much evident in the way he has covered this Test match between India and Australia played in the year 2001 which is still remembered by commentators every time there’s a challenging 2nd innings going on.
The book covers the 2nd Test match in the Australia Tour of India which was played in the Eden Gardens stadium from 11th to 15th March, 2001. This was the Test match in which Australia asked India to immediately bat for the 2nd time after their first innings as Indian team couldn’t reach the score needed to avoid follow-on. And this is when the history got created where VVS Laxman played a knock of 281 along with Rahul Dravid who scored 180 runs. They batted together for one complete day and stayed not-out at the end of the day and got out only the next day ensuring that India was safe. Along with them, Harbhajan Singh excelled with his performance by taking total of 13 wickets in both the innings and assured that India won the match rather than settling for draw.
Kisholoy has very beautifully narrated the match which made me imagine the whole play in front of me. I have seen it sometimes back in Highlights and I could relate with whatever author mentioned in this book. Author’s love for the Sports is very much visible the way author has also conveyed his emotions in start of each chapter which describes each day of this 5-day Test match. Right from the Note in which author talks about the change in mindset that this match brought in the way Indian Cricket Team played matches against renowned and champions teams- in and out of India. The way Indian team even continued their form in the 3rd Test match is covered at the end of the book to describe the importance of the phenomenon that took place in this particular match.
I am glad that author has talked even about the approaches of Captains of both the teams in the match and how Steve Waugh lost it all in over-confidence as Australia was continuously winning Test matches against every country during that time. I was missing the Scoreboard of the matches in between the chapters which I am glad author added in the end of the book but it could have been great if it could have been mentioned at the end of each chapter.
Talking about the drawbacks now- I believe author could have inserted more passion and aggression with much minute details to make this read more interesting and energetic. Also, author could have discussed the immediate history of each important player before this Test match so that readers could understand if they were performing as they were already in-form or the will to win this match and do something special was the key behind their performances. Other than this, I have no other issues with this book and after reading this one, I must say Kisholoy’s way of writing Cricket is almost at par with other great Sports journalist and he should write 300-400 pages on Cricket and describe his experience and view point about Indian Cricket and its evolution through his books. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.
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