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Friday, 16 March, 2001, 10:53 GMT
The greatest Test ever?
What was the greatest ever Test?
The Australians have finally been defeated after an epic encounter with India, which brought an end to their amazing 16 match winning streak.

The home side made history when Vangipurappu Laxman hit 281, the highest ever test score by an Indian batsman and Harbhajan Singh claimed the side's first hat-trick.

Amazingly, the 171 run win came after India were forced to follow on, only the third time in cricket history that this has been acheived.

Is the greatest Test match in cricket history? .

Tell us what you think.


The Indian victory will go down as one of the most amazing fightbacks in Test cricket.

The feat of winning a match after being asked to bat again has only be acheived twice before, by England in 1981 and 1894.

The 1981 Headingley Test is legendary. Botham's 149 not out and Willis' eight for 43 saved England from what looked like certain defeat.

There have been other classic's; In 1960 the West Indies drew with Australia when Solomon ran out Meckiff with a direct hit and in Madras in 1986 Australia and India drew when Matthews trapped Maninder Singh lbw. India's last four wickets fell for a mere 16 runs.

Jim Laker famously captured 19 wickets for 90 runs against Australia in 1956 and England won by 3 runs against Australia in 1982, when Geoff Miller caught Jeff Thompson.

South Africa beat Australia by five runs in 1994 and Sri-Lanka by seven runs in 2000.

Which do you think is the best Test match ever?

Tell us what you think


It has to be the Bridgetown test of 1958, where Hanif Mohammad scored a triple century (at the time the second highest test score) after being asked to follow on. That too, on the steam rolled caribbean wickets against the likes of Gilchrist, Valentine, Sobers, Atkinson.
Saad Hasan, USA

Good to see that Australia feature in all these great test matches. They've always played exciting cricket. For me, there are three great matches. Two tied tests India vs Australia in 1987 and Australia vs West Indies in 1962. The other test is Bradman's 1948 team who hit over 400 in the final innings to beat England and ensure they retained the ashes and remained undefeated for the series.
Daryl, Australia

To beat worlds best team under such circumstances is by no means an easy task. India's effort has done lot of help to Test cricket as a whole
  Praveen Madikonda, India
Have we all forgotten Lords last summer? Okay, so it only lasted three days, but it was tight, aggressive and no quarter given or asked for! Exactly what Test match cricket is all about.
Allister Webb, England

If one were forced to choose, it's tempting to say that this one is indeed it - how many other tests have had a hat-trick, a stunning 281 scored under the most difficult of circumstances, and the amazing waxing & waning of respective team fortunes that this had? It was absolutely chock-full of stunning occurrences, climaxing in the day five post-tea collapse of seven wickets. Having said that, let's not rank them. Let's just enjoy Aus-WI Brsbane '62, Aus-Eng 1902, the original Ashes Test 1882, and England-Aus 1981. Each was an unforgettable milestone in the history of a great game.
Vinod Menon, Singapore

Undoubtedly, India's victory at Eden Garden remains to be the greatest test match ever played. To beat worlds best team under such circumstances is by no means an easy task. India's effort has done lot of help to the test cricket as a whole.
Praveen Madikonda, India

Eden Gardens match is the greatest match of all time
  Ajax, England
Of course the Calcutta test is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) test matches ever played in the history of this game of glorious uncertainty. Going into the match as under-dogs, India managed to wrest a victory from the jaws of defeat. No one expected India to draw - forget about winning - this test after the second day. An Australian win looked a foregone conclusion when Tendulkar departed at the sore of 115 in the second innings. Even on the fifth day at tea Aussies were comfortably placed with Mathew Hayden and Steve 'Ice Man' Waugh at the crease. What happened between tea and the fall of McGrath┐s wicket was unbelievable. Real fairy tale stuff.
G. Gopakumar, Thiruvananthapuram,Kerala,India

I didn't think it was possible to beat the Botham/Willis tour de force of 81 or Windies/Australia 99 for drama, but I think what happened in Calcutta just about eclipses does two epic encounters. For India to beat Australia with Tendulkar off form is unbelievable in itself, but when you throw in Singh's hat-trick, having to face the follow on, a record 5th wicket stand, Laxman setting the highest ever total for an Indian,and Australia losing 5 wickets for only 8 runs when it looked like petering out as a draw its the stuff of dreams.
Brian Kearney Ireland

India vs Australia tied test match in 1987 is the greatest. Setting up a target of 348, India made a wonderful chase and match ended in a tie. It was purely because of Border's bold declaration. That match still remains in my memory.
Uthams, USA

No test match could beat Headingly in 1981
  DP Shepherd
The greatest ever test match was probably one that very few saw. I have only read about it. Brisbane 1962: Australia v West Indies. Amid scenes of bedlam and confusion, the match finished as a tie! From an English perspective, it is a pleasure to read about the Aussies losing to India, partly because it adds to their amazing reputation as being the only national side to lose a test match after enforcing the follow-on. Schadenfreude is a wicked thing!
Colin, England

No test match could possibly beat Headingley 1981. To be 7 wickets down in your second innings with three genuine tailenders left, still behind and win is incredible and I doubt will ever be repeated in the history of the game.
D.P.Shepherd, Engalnd

Eden Gardens match is the greatest match of all times, the magic of Harbhajan Singh's bowling on the 1st day, a Hat trick, first time by an Indian in Test Match, the Ice Cool character of Steve Waugh with all the fighting qualities, the splendid bowling display of McGrath and other bowlers, Laxman breaking Gavaskar's record for highest individual test score for India and the recordbreaking partnership between Laxman and Dravid.
Ajax, England

The greatest Test had to be Botham's ashes at Headingly in 1981 Why? It had everything, great batting, bowling, catches drama of the highest kind.
ian geddes, scotland

The Ashes test of 1882 must remain the greatest in history
  Geoffreyt - UAE
For shear excitement I don't think you can beat the Headlingly Botham test. It also had what every great test needs is a true hero, Ian Botham. I don't think any Englishman can forget Botham hitting the ball to all parts of the ground, and to top it all against the Arch-Enemies, the Aussies. This was the test that drew my attention to cricket, age ten, and I follow every English test avidily now. Long live Sir Ian!
Oliver Bridges, England

The Ashes test of 1882 must remain for all time the greatest in history. No other test will ever spawn such a tradition and no other to my knowledge has provided such overwhelming tension, a spectator dropped dead as a result (at least so the story goes). Other greats you don't mention include the famed "get em in singles" test of 1902 (a series in which another test was decided by 3 runs) and Hanif Mohammed's great match saving triple hundred.
Geoffrey, U.A.E.

I think its terrible that the public hadn't the oppurtunity to even see the highlights of what looks like the sporting highlight of the year.It wasn't on any channel despite the new digital age. It looked awesome, the best match I ever seen was the Windies/Australia in Jamaica in 99, Lara played the whole way with the tail to 153 no for a one wicket win. Warne & Healy both dropped him in the final few overs, it was nailbiting stuff.
P Whelan, Eire

The greatest test ever was back in 1965 when I was a chipper 11 year old tearaway taking the part of England who totally thrashed my younger brother (all of 7) who was "selected" to play the part of Australia. Batting as myself for England I amassed a total of over 150 which was assisted by myself playing th rest of the team who, individually, scored in the region of 75+. Of course when it came to the turn of the Old Enemy in the guise of my brother I, single handedly, bowled them all out for less than 50. I cannot remember the date but I can remember the smile upon my face as England once again chalked up another massive victory against the Aussies.
David Clues, Papua New Guinea

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