India's thrilling win over South Africa at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata would have brought back memories of the 2001 test match versus Australia at the same venue. If the Mecca of Indian cricket had seen the birth of a modern champion team in 2001, nine years later it saw the same team stamping it's authority and taking home honours o being the best team in Test match cricket. Team India did this over the second best test team in the world according to the ICC rankings.
In 2001 Sourav Ganguly and his men were searching for an opportunity to stop the rampaging Steve Waugh's Aussies who had won 16 tests in a trot. Eight years later it was a battle of ego and self respect for MS Dhoni led side. Nobody had given India a chance against the Aussies in that Test series and going by South Africa's record in India in the last decade they seemed set for a win. History however repeated itself at this historic ground and the home team emerged champions on both the occassions.
India vs South Africa, Final Test - Scorecard
When India had walked into take the field at the Eden Garden on February 14 they had a lot to prove to themselves. They had been castled in three days by the South Africans in the the Nagpur test similar to the defeat they had suffered at the hands of the Aussies in Mumbai which has also warped up in three days. It was in the post tea session of the Day 1 in both the games that Harbhajan Singh produced magic. If he had taken a hattrick in the 2001 test being the first Indian bowler to do so, here he missed it by a whisker.
VVS Laxman had played a scintillating knock of 281 in the 2001 Test which is considered one of the best in the history of the game. The very very special man who could score a hundred at the Edens blindfolded didn't disappoint his favorite crowd and brought up his fourth ton at the ground. His 143 not out may not have been as classy as the marathon innings he had played 8 years ago but it surely sealed India's fate in the game.
If all these analogy wasn't enough to excite you, consider this fact, in both the matches Harbhajan Singh picked up the last wicket in the dying stages of the match. If it was Glenn McGrath in 2001 it was Morne Morkel in 2010. What's more in both the occasions the batsman had been trapped plumb in front of the stumps. The 2001 test had gone on to script a new chapter in Indian cricket, fans would hope 2010 test would do the same.