Saturday 24 March 2018 / 07:06 PM


Allan Border’s stinging rebuke last night for young Australian opener Matt Renshaw, who left the field during the first session of the first Test in Pune with an upset stomach, immediately revived memories of the time the legendary AB psyched a terribly ill Dean Jones into staying out in the middle in the famous tied Test in Chennai.

“I hope he’s lying on the table in there half dead,” Border said of Renshaw on Fox Sports. “Otherwise, as captain, I would not be happy.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. He’s obviously just got an upset stomach to some degree and he was probably trying to use the situation where David Warner had just been dismissed to race off the ground and go to the toilet.

“What happened in the ensuring time there, I can’t ever think of a situation like that that’s happened before where someone’s gone off because they’re a bit ill.”

Jones can attest that there’s no way Renshaw would have left the pitch had Border been out there with him.

The brilliant Jones had scored a gutsy 150 against India in the first Test of the 1986 tour, was suffering badly from dehydration and was vomiting on the field.

His batting partner and captain Border responded to Jones’ pleas to retire from the 40 degrees-plus heat by calling him a “weak Victorian”, and that he wanted a “tough Queenslander” to take over.

Jones took the bait – and proceeded to finish off one of the most courageous innings in Test history.

The 25-year-old, playing in only his third Test, made an incredible 210 – the first double-century by an Australian in India – and shared in a 178-run stand with Border, who scored 106.

Despite Australia’s total of 574 and a first-innings lead of 177 runs, the match went down to the wire. The tourists made just 170 in their second dig, before bowling India out with just one ball remaining on the final day and the scores tied – just the second result of its kind in Test history.

Jones, one of the great one-day players, represented Australia in 52 Tests, scoring 11 centuries – including a career-best 216 against the fearsome West Indies in Adelaide during the 1988-89 summer – but he would never eclipse that heroic double-ton under extreme duress in Chennai.

[YouTube – Nihar Maniyar]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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