BISHAN BEDI (PERTH, 1977-78)

Inside Sport - - First XI -

One of the great ironies of Bedi’s ca­reer was that his best match fig­ures of 10-194 came at a pace par­adise, the WACA. In 1977-78, in the Sec­ond Test against Bobby Simp­son’s team, Bedi took two five-fors.

There has been no greater master of the vari­a­tions and sub­tleties of fin­ger spin, which Bedi ap­plied with­out any change to his ac­tion that a bats­man could dis­cern. The ball has never done much spin­ning in Perth, and Bedi rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity to show us what flight and loop could do.

It was a game of hero­ics from bats­men and bowlers on both sides. Aus­tralia chased down the 339 tar­get with only two wick­ets to spare. With nine runs to go, Bedi re­minded them who they were deal­ing with, re­mov­ing Toohey and Rixon. The game was al­ready in­side its fi­nal ten overs, and for a pan­icky mo­ment, Aus­tralia saw the prospect of vic­tory slip. In­dia lost, but af­ter a thrash­ing in Bris­bane, the close­ness of that Test, thanks to Bish’s left-arm or­tho­dox mas­tery, gave In­dia the con­fi­dence they needed to pull off vic­to­ries in Mel­bourne and Syd­ney to level.

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