The 2001 Kolkata Test between India and Australia was named among the greatest Tests ever played during the WTC final on Saturday. Veteran wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, who is a part of the broadcast team, was involved in the iconic series against the Aussies too, but as a ballboy. That Test is still etched in everyone’s memories for various reasons — be it Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick, VVS Laxman’s 281 or his partnership with Rahul Dravid, and India’s win after being forced to follow on.
In the Test at Chennai, which India won too, Karthik was present as the ballboy.
“I was a ball boy during the next Test. It was a great experience, throwing the ball to these guys," said Karthik, who was aged 15 at the time.
“I remember at the time I would get up at 8am and switch on the television and they went the entire day without losing a wicket. For a young player in India that was incredible and you have to remember that Australia at the time were insurmountable," said Karthik.
As far as that match is concerned, India were bundled out for 171 in the first innings, in reply to Australia’s 445. Then following on, India scored a massive 657-7. Then Harbhajan Singh went on to take six wickets on the final day to help India win. Eventually, they won the series 2-1.
Meanwhile, Karthik went on to make his Test debut against Australia in 2004, on their next tour. He went on to play in the fourth Test in Mumbai. That was a close match where he scored 10 and four in the two innings he batted in, and India went on to win the match by 13 runs.
As far as the WTC final is concerned, India had scored 146/3 when bad light stopped play on day two. Virat Kohli was batting on 44.