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Video : On this week Javagal Srinath took 6/21 v South Africa at Ahmedabad 1996 for a sensational India win

When the great Kapil Dev was nearing the end of his illustrious career , Indian selectors were on the look out for fast bowling talents in early 1990s and hence a tall and lanky fast bowler from South India , Javagal Srinath was drafted into the Indian squad to tour Australia.  A strict vegetarian,  Srinath performed well and impressed with his pace and bounce and his never give up attitude . However, it was only after Kapil’s retirement that Srinath became an Indian regular since 1994 and never looked back since . His never say die attitude and his bowling skills started to come to the fore both at home and overseas and the occasional match winning spells started to follow, none better than his brilliant 6/21 vs South Africa in 2nd innings of Ahmedabad test 1996 on this week when India had a paltry 170 target to defend.

The test match  started with India batting first on a difficult batting pitch. Skipper Tendulkar (42) and Azharuddin (35) were main scorers as India managed 223 in first innings with Donald talking 4/37 bowling impressively.  South Africa in reply struggled against spin with Sunil Joshi taking 4 wickets . Darryl Cullinan (42) and fast bowler Fanie D Villiers (67) ensured a slender 21 run lead for South Africa. 

In the 2nd innings India managed to get 190 mainly due to VVS Laxman’s gallant 51 and his stand with Kimble (30) after India were struggling at 124/7. That was Laxman’s first of many 2nd innings match winning knocks that he was to play later in this career.

image credits twitter

Set 170 to win on a deteriorating pitch , India needed regular wickets to keep up the pressure and Javagal Srinath rose to the occasion bowling with pace, venom and hostility.  Hudson(0) was lbw to a sharp break back and talented Cullinan (0) was caught behind off a vicious leg cutter with Proteas 0/2. The spinners kept up the pressure with their share of wickets as Hansie Cronje was staging a lone fight. Srinath came back again and started to make things happen getting  reverse swing on an abrasive surface. He had Jonty Rhodes lbw with a sharp break back.  Keeper Richardson was caught behind and finally Donald and Adams were quickly despatched as India won a low scoring test by 64 runs. South Africa were 105 allout with Cronje (48*) fight a lone hand. Srinath bowled with venom to get 6/21 and won a test for the first time on Indian soil to get player of the match.

Srinath went on to get more laurels for India in both tests and ODIs . In 67 tests he took 267 wickets and in 229 ODIs he took 315 wickets to be the first Indian fast bowler to get 300 plus wickets in ODIs.  Post cricket he came a match referee in ICC panel and excelled in off field cricket activities.  As Srinath celebrates his birthday , today on 31 August, here’s wishing him a great life ahead.

Excepts of his 6/21 vs South Africa Ahmedabad 1996 on this week :

video credits cricket king
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