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Test Cricket 2000
The year 2000 will be remembered for……..  
By Kavita Sehgal

The year 2000 will be remembered for the phenomenal winning sequence of the unstoppable Aussies. The Aussies didn’t lose a single Test; neither did they draw a Test. This was the year, when Steve Waugh’s team re-wrote the record books after they broke the record of the most consecutive Test win, held by formidable West Indian side of mid-eighties. Much has been made out of Australia’s convincing wins and they were compared to Bradman’s “Invincible Aussies”, Benaud’s tied-test bunch and Ian Chappell’s redoubtable team of 70’s. The year also saw the menacing McGrath taking 10-27 in Melbourne Test.

England also created some sort of history, when it defeated the West Indies in a series, for the first time since 1969. The pace trio of Cork-Gough-Caddick were the heroes of this victory. But, more significant and equally historical was their first series victory in Pakistan in 38 years. Naseer Hussain’s team turned the table in Pakistan with superb team-effort. England won the third test at Karachi by six wickets in darkness. The stoic Graham Thorpe played the best half-century of the year with an unbeaten 64.

The year will also be remembered for Sri Lanka’s triumph over Pakistan in Pakistan, due to Murlitharan’s outstanding performance. Later, in the home series against Pakistan, the former captain and the only player to have participated in country’s first and 100th Test, Arjuna Ranatunga retired.

Andy Flower’s excellent performance and Chris Cairn’s continued success with bat and ball were the highlight of the year. In between, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid’s batting were a noticeable event of the year.

The year will be also remembered for some record-breaking performance by some great players of the game. Courtney Walsh, become the highest wicket taker in the world, when he broke the record of Kapil Dev, during the series against Zimbabwe. The two ‘Ws’ of Pakistani cricket also entered in the record books. The Sultan of Swings-Wasim Akram became the only 4th bowler in the history of game to have 400 victims. In the same test match, his long-time partner Waqar Younis also took the 300th wicket.

The two other giant fast bowler of the game, Alan Donald and Glen McGrath achieved their 300th wickets, as well.

The year also saw, the South African captain Shaun Pollock got his 200-mark in the last test of the year.

But, the bowler of the year was the mesmerizing Murali, who took 64 wickets in just 9 Test matches, at an average of 20.34. Murali come on the verge of taking 300 wickets. With one Test still to finish in the year, Murli may achieve that too!

The year will also remembered for the retirement of one of the most lethal bowler’s in Test cricket, Curtly Ambrose. Despite the repeated request to continue till the Aussies tour, Ambrose stood firm to his decision.

Notwithstanding, the biggest scandal of the game in 2000, the year still produced some brilliant cricket by the teams and the individuals to keep the game alive in coming years.