Top 5 Highest 4th Innings Chase by India in Test Cricket

The most dreaded moment for any batting team would be to bat in the 4th innings. This is because it is the hardest job to do. Not only does the fielding side have an advantage during this phase, but the batting side needs to think twice before playing any shot or stroke. It requires skill, temperament and determination to excel in the 4th innings of a Test match.

Speaking about India, they have had many world-class batters and thus, there have been several occasions when India have chased a huge total in the final innings of a Test. Not many cricket pundits would have put their money on India on such occasions, but the “Men In Blue” have managed to pull out such chases. There is a reason why such chases are celebrated for decades and decades.

So what are India’s highest 4th innings chases?

Today we shall be looking at India’s five highest successful chases in the 4th innings in the history of Test cricket.

5) 264/3 Vs Sri Lanka, Kandy, 2001

There’s a reason why the current state of Sri Lanka saddens one and all. They were a force to reckon back then, and one special game against them was considered a victory to remember. Such was the case of this chase. What seemed to be a straightforward victory for the men in blue became a tricky and tough one owing to some brilliance by the Lankan lions.

India was initially leading Sri Lanka by 42 runs after the completion of their first innings. Muttiah Muralitharan’s sensational 67 helped Sri Lanka set a target of 264 for India in the fourth innings. This seemed tricky, but an unbeaten 98 by the then captain of India Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid’s 75 saw India winning the Test match and getting across the line with seven wickets remaining. Muralitharan also took two wickets while bowling 25 overs in the fourth innings.

4) 276/5 Vs West Indies, Delhi, 2011:

In the first Test of the 2011 tour in Delhi, the Windies seemingly grabbed the advantage as they ensured a 95-run lead over India after scoring more than 300 in the first innings. The Test debutant Ravichandran Ashwin spun his web around the Caribbean batsmen as his spell of 6/47 set a target of 276 runs for India to win the first Test.

The fifties from Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman helped India secure victory by five wickets. India then went on to win the match rather comfortably. This was the start of the Ashwin era as the office from Chennai then became one of the greatest spinners to have played the game. 

3) 329/7 Vs Australia, Brisbane, 2021: 

This is one of the most recent chases. Not only is it iconic, but it is one of the most motivational 4th innings chases you could ever witness. India was playing a full-strength Aussie side at their fortress in Brisbane with the series in line. To make matters worse, India played with their second-string side as most of their players were injured or unavailable.

After scoring 276, the Aussies asked India to score 329 runs. Batting on day 5, India got off to a flyer thanks to an amazing 90+ score by Shubhman Gill. Pant and Pujara then took out the chance of India losing only for Pant to become the hero. He scored an unbeaten 89. India managed to win the game in the last hour of the fifth day.

2) 387/4 Vs England, Chennai, 2008:

Virender Sehwag’s 83

Cricket experts have a funny tendency of discrediting a record or an achievement if it is an accomplishment at home. Scoring runs on your home turf isn’t as easy as what people perceive it to be. This chase is a perfect example of that. England was a super Test team back then.

Boosted by a Strauss special, the poms took a lead of 77 runs in the first innings against India. England then declared in the second innings to set the men in blue a target of a whopping 387 runs. Virender Sehwag and his breathtaking batting saw India get off to an absolute flyer. His 83 from 68 balls was well supported by his opening partner Gautam Gambhir, who struck a wonderful 66.

After a mini-collapse, Sachin Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 103 and was well supported by Yuvraj Singh, who scored an unbeaten 85, completing a memorable chase for India. This is the second time we see Sachin’s name in these remarkable chases. No wonder he leads the chart for the most runs in the 4th innings of Test cricket. This chase was even more special because Chennai isn’t one of the easiest tracks to bat on. 

1) 406/4 Vs West Indies, Port Of Spain, 1976:

This is arguably one of the greatest chases in the history of cricket. Not many would have given India a chance to win after they conceded a lead of 131 runs in the first innings of the Test. The declaration from the then Windies skipper Clive Lloyd set India a target of a massive 403 runs. The West Indian team had as many as three spinners in their ranks.

The Indian batters took the onus upon themself as Sunil Gavaskar, and Gundappa Viswanath scored their respective hundreds. Mohinder Amarnath’s 85 and unbeaten 49 from Brijesh Patel ensured India’s highest successful chase in Test cricket, and thus, they rewrote history that day. This is also the third-best run chases in Test cricket history ever.

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