8 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 28 July 2020 *** Sport Cricket Special report ‘Everything just clicked – it was up to the captain to show the way’ Thirty years ago this week, Graham Gooch made 333 against India at Lord’s, the highest score by an Englishman since 1938. and catch up with the key players Simon Briggs Vijay Lokapally Simon Briggs (Oxfordshire under-15s occasional) David Gower (No3 bat) Lucky git! Meanwhile, I was given out caught at silly point when I didn’t touch it. Then I sat and watched Wimbledon for the next two days, only getting up six times to applaud Graham’s landmarks. Not that he celebrated them much; he was never going to wear himself out by raising his bat too vigorously. But seriously, once he had got past that chance, there is this thing about the big run-scorers: they just keep going. It is a tribute to fitness, concentration, determination. That is what you call leading from the front. As a teenage cricket nut – and Essex fan – July 27, 1990 was a huge day for me. My first proper visit to Lord’s for a big-time Test match. And what a day it turned out to be, as my idol Graham Gooch forged on from his overnight 194 not out to reach 333, which remains the highest Test score made on the ground. Thirty years on, I spoke to three of the England players in that team – Gooch himself, David Gower and Angus Fraser – while Vijay Lokapally interviewed five members of the India side. Angus Fraser (opening bowler) We had a shocker in the Ashes the previous summer, when the ball had a rope-like seam. In 1990, it was the opposite: smaller seam, flatter pitches, millions of runs all around the country. But Mohammad Azharuddin still put us in! Manoj Prabhakar (opening bowler) Gooch knew how to bat on that pitch. The Lord’s slope threw a challenge and we could not cope with his tactics. He just kept flicking and on-driving us, and by the time we realised it was too late. He was comfortably picking the runs and in no time he had his 200. I had never seen a batsman play so many pulls in an innings. Probably we pitched it too short. Plus, none of us could bowl bouncers. Gooch was simply too good in that entire series. 456 Graham Gooch (captain and opening bat) It can be difficult when you win the toss at Lord’s. If the overhead conditions are heavy, the ball can move around a lot. It was a bit like that in this case. The wicket is also at its slowest on the first day, so you just try to play solidly and get through to lunch with one or two down. 426 424 400 380 Mark Taylor – Australia v Pakistan, Peshawar 1998 Gooch Between 1987 and 1989, my game was not at its best. Terry Alderman exposed that in the 1989 Ashes. So I consulted Geoff Boycott, my opening partner from 10 years earlier. I had good memories of when we played together, and I went back to that style in terms of set-up. And then with the captaincy coming back to me after that Ashes series defeat, everything just clicked. It was a double whammy. Those were the most productive years of my career, at an age when most people are probably past their best. (The England captain had turned 37 years old in that same week.) Kumar Sangakkara – Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Chattogram 2014 Sanjeev Sharma (third seamer) We got [Michael] Atherton cheaply. I had come on first change and was getting late swing. Should have had Gooch early (he was dropped by wicketkeeper Kiran More on just 36). He nicked even as he was trying to leave the ball. If you give a chance to batsmen like Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli, Steve Waugh, you only suffer. Gooch comes in that category. It was the costliest missed catch ever. I never played another Test. Brian Lara – West Indies v England, St John’s 2004 Greg Chappell – Australia v New Zealand, Wellington 1974 and Matthew Hayden – Australia v Zimbabwe, Perth 2003 Kiran More (wicketkeeper) I don’t know how I spilt it – 10 times out of 10 I would have taken the catch. But it was the first hour and the ball deviated slightly and it just slipped away.
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