(Last Updated on : 22-12-2010)
When the Indian cricket team came back after its disappointing tour in Australia in 1947-48, it was the time for the team to face the mighty West Indies team in their home soil. The West Indies' first tour of India was in 1948-49, though the West Indians were supposed to come to India in the year of 1946. That tour was suspended due to some unavoidable reasons and it was re-scheduled in 1948-49. The tour is best remembered for the achievements of not an Indian, rather a West Indian player, Everton Weekes, who created history by scoring five consecutive Test centuries against India in the tour.
Both the teams of India and West Indies were not that much aware about the strengths and weaknesses of each other in the tour, as they were meeting for the first time on Indian soil. As a result, the Indians were facing a lot of problems against the West Indians in the Test series and the West Indians; especially Everton Weekes found it easy to play the Indian bowlers. Weekes was in a tremendous form in the series, as he scored five consecutive centuries against India and his total score in the series was 1495 runs, with a great average of 106.78. His achievement of scoring five consecutive Test centuries remained one of the best world records for as long as more than 50 years.
However, the series is also very well remembered for the extremely exciting match between the two teams, where India almost got their first ever Test victory, before falling short of time. The Indian players did a great job to hold the West Indians for a draw in both the first and second Test matches, before losing the third one. The fourth and final Test match of the series is one of the most exciting Test matches in the history of world cricket, as it ended on a nail-biting condition.
The Test started on a very positive note for India, as the Indian bowlers became successful to restrict the first innings of West Indies to only 286 runs. However, the Indian batsmen failed to capitalize on the great start provided by the bowlers and they got all out for a mere 193 runs in their first innings. Batting in the second innings with a lead of 93 runs, the West Indian batsmen did well to get a good score on the board and set a target of 361 runs to be scored within 395 minutes, to win the match for the Indians. Though, the target was looking to be impossible to achieve for the Indians, the Indian batsmen played a very well to get very closer to victory. The legendary Indian batsmen like Modi and Hazare led their team in the fascinating run chase and India was once in a very good position on 175-3. Modi (86) and Mankad started to play their strokes at a later period in the innings and though both of them got out, Hazare continued his hammerings on the West Indian bowlers. Hazare played a wonderful innings of 122 runs to take India's innings closer to the victory mark and the other players like Phadkar and Ghulam Ahmed carried the innings to even closer, after Hazare got out. However, India could not get the victory, as the umpires decided to pull the stumps, when India needed only 6 runs from a minute and a half for the victory. However, the match is still remembered to be one of the most exciting Test matches that India has played so far in its history.