After two consecutive drawn series, India broke the deadlock with a 2-0 win at home in 1976/77. As was often the case in the 1970s, a home win was orchestrated by the spinners: Bishan Bedi took 22 wickets at 13.18 apiece, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar 17 at 23, and S Venkataraghavan 11 at 28. Richard Hadlee (13 wickets at 33.61) toiled hard on unhelpful pitches, with little spin support.

The batters rose to the task as well. Sunil Gavaskar got 119 and Syed Kirmani 88 in the first innings in Bombay, but the most spectacular stand came in the end. Bedi and Chandrasekhar, renowned for batting ineptitude, added 42 for the last wicket. India won by 162 runs. India vs New Zealand Part 5, 1975/76: Richard Hadlee Avenges EAS Prasanna Heroics.

All eleven Indians reached double figures in the first innings of the second Test match, in Kanpur, in a score as big as 524/9. There were six fifties, of which the most remarkable was Bedi’s 50 not out. This time he added an unbroken 43 with Chandrasekhar.

India might have won this Test match as well. Having to bat out a full day, New Zealand lost seven wickets half an hour before tea, but Warren Lees and David O’Sullivan gritted it out.

All India needed in Madras was a draw. They won the crucial toss and dominated the match, once again asking New Zealand to bat out all of the last day. After scoring 140 in the first innings, New Zealand were now bowled out for 143. Not one of their batters went past 40 in the entire match.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 21, 2021 05:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website