From the Vault: Kapil Dev hits 4 sixes in 4 balls to save India from Follow-On

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 30, 2018 7:27:22 pm

Kapil Dev hit four consecutive sixes. (Express Archive photo)

Kapil Dev’s four consecutive sixes off Eddie Hemmings remains a remarkable feat in the history of Test matches between India and England. In the modern era of cricket smashing four sixes on the trot is not a big accomplishment but to do so in a Test match 28 years ago and that too to avoid the follow-on makes the former India captain’s effort even more magnanimous.

It was the first Test of India’s tour of England in 1990. The visitors had won the toss and opted to field first. However, the decision backfired bigtime as England posted a mammoth 633 in first innings. Skipper Graham Gooch had scored a brilliant triple hundred while Allan Lamb and Robin Smith hit fine centuries of their own. India replied strongly with hundreds by Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin, while Dilip Vengsarkar contributed with his half-century. However, the efforts were still insufficient in saving India from following on. At 430/9 India needed 24 more runs to avoid the follow-on.  With one wicket in hand and Narendra Hirwani for a company, Dev knew the onus was on him to wipe out the deficit.

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After playing out the first two balls, Dev showed launched a brutal assault on Hemmings and dispatched him for four consecutive sixes. Each of the 4 sixes were hit straight over bowler’s head. All the maximums were smashed towards the long on the region as the England team could only watch in awe. Hirwani was out on the next ball and India had just avoided being put into bat again. While Kapil Dev remained unbeaten on 77 his indomitable spirit had saved India the blushes.

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