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Big Mouths……Then & Now

by Bored Guest

On the eve of just concluded Nehru Cup Football finals between India & Syria, a statement made by Syrian Coach Fajr Ibrahim caught my attention. Syria reached the finals beating all the other four teams in league matches including India(1-0) whereas India could win only two of four. He said “We can beat India even if we play only nine players of our B-Team.” Reading it I felt something, something very deep inside me. What kind of statement was that? Was he confident or over confident. Was he arrogant or something else? Whatever it was but he surely asked for trouble.

The feeling I had was similar to that I felt 40 years back, when on the eve of 3rd test match at the Firoz Shah Kotla Grounds the then visiting Australian captain Lawry said something similar to that.

It was cricketing season of 1969-70. Australians were on a visit to play five test match series. They were full of confidence after beating India by 8 wickets in the 1st test played at Bombay. The 2nd test at Kanpur was drawn where Gundappa R Vishwanath made his debut and scored a brilliant 137 in 2nd innings. So both teams landed in Delhi for third match and after inspecting the pitch Lawry made this comment – “If we win the toss we will beat India in three days.”

Well, they did win the toss. Made 296 runs in 1st innings. India replied with 223 runs thus conceded a lead of 73 runs. Australia started their 2nd innings. It was day three of the match and things started happening. They were bowled out for mere 107 runs. Bishan S. Bedi 5/37 & Erapalli A.S. Prasanna 5/42 were the wreckers. India needed 181 runs to win. They did it convincingly on fourth day winning by 7 wickets. How Lawry felt was anybody’s guess.

So beware Big Mouths! Though we Indians are mild mannered but when it comes to our pride we hit back. Not by words but action. The opponents could not understand what hit them. You don’t believe me? Ask Mr Fajr Ibrahim.

Er… I forget to tell. India won the Nehru Cup beating Syria 5-4 on penalty shoot out.


by Mukesh


Niki said...

yea... first one here!!!!
loved the post, hope to see more soon.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Welcome on Bored Mukesh!

That Syrian coach was asking for it, and looks like Lawry was pretty far "GAAAAAWN" those days too.

Guess we'll need some good old fashioned keera to get us gng in the CT.

Megha said...

These Aussies never learn, do they!

straight point said...

welcome on bored mukesh!

very 'indian' post if you know what i am talking about... ;-)

megha they will never understand... remember the tape recorded statement of macgrath before every ashes... "we will beat them 5-0..."

achettup said...

Welcome on Bored Mukesh! Thats just what we need before the Champions Trophy, some desi josh before we take on Younis Khan's Pakistan, who are itching to beat India in the league match. Bring 'em on, says I!

Samir Chopra said...

Well, well, look who's here!

Great story. This test features in Partab Ramchand's "Great Moments in Indian Cricket." Well worth a read.

Mukesh said...

Thanks everyone for the appreciation :) Hope to see India win the CT

Aditya said...

When asked whether Sachin Tendulkar was still a threat to Pakistan, Afridi said, "In case of Sachin, you’re talking about him in the form he was in 2003. This is 2009."

taken from

@Megha add Pakistanis to the list too!
Hopefully this will fire the Indian team up ! :)

Unknown said...

With Yuvraj out of action every Indian player has to give his 100% in this tournament. As far as Pakis are concerned they have eaten dust everytime they opened their mouth against India. Hope history repeat this time too.
Good luck team India. 1200 million people are behind you.

Sid said...

tussi chha gaye...