West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall recently became the first spinner from his country to pick up a 10-wicket match haul in a Test in India. Cornwall achieved the feat during the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Lucknow. After picking up 7 for 75 in the first innings, Cornwall added another 3 for 46 in the second to complete his 10-wicket match haul.
With his feat, Cornwall became the first overseas spinner in two years to pick up 10 wickets in a Test in India. Australia's Steve O'Keefe was the last one to do so, in February 2017. Even Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja last picked up 10 wickets in a Test against England in December 2016. In the wake of Cornwall’s achievement, here’s a look at three famous instances of overseas spinners claiming 10 wickets in a Test in India.
1. Richie Benaud
The legendary Aussie all-rounder Richie Benaud claimed 6 for 52 and 5 for 53 during the third Test of a three-match series played in November 1956 in Kolkata. After Australia were rolled over for 177 courtesy Ghulam Ahmed’s 7 for 49, Benaud hit back for Australia claiming six wickets. He got the big scalps of Nari Contractor, skipper Polly Umrigar, Vijay Manjrekar and Vinoo Mankad as India stumbled to 136 all out. After Australia declared their second innings at 189 for 9, India were set 231 to win the Test. Benaud, however, again tormented India with a five-for. He once more got the better of Umrigar, Manjrekar and Mankad as India folded up for 136 again, to hand Australia victory by 94 runs. Benaud finished with memorable match figures of 11 for 105 as the Aussies clinched the three-Test series 2-0.
2. Greg Matthews
Aussie off-spinner Greg Matthews picked up arguably the most famous ten-wicket haul in a Test in India. After all, it came in the legendary Tied Test at Madras (now Chennai) in September 1986. Australia batted first and posted a mammoth 574 for 7 declared courtesy Dean Jones’ famed double hundred, and centuries from David Boon and skipper Allan Border. Matthews then bowled his heart out in toiling heat to finish with commendable figures of 5 for 103. The off-spinner dismissed Sunil Gavaskar (8), Kris Srikkanth (53) and Ravi Shastri (62) to set India back. It needed a whirlwind hundred from skipper Kapil Dev to lift India to 397. Kapil (119) eventually became Matthews’ fifth victim of the innings.
Australia’s second innings declaration at 170 for 5 left India a target of 348. Thanks to Gavaskar’s 90, India got off to a great start in the chase. In fact, at one stage, they were cruising at 3 for 251. However, Matthews and left-arm spinner Ray Bright combined to take all ten Indian wickets as the Test ended in an incredible tie. While Bright (5 for 94) got the big scalps of Gavaskar and Azhar (42), Matthews (5 for 146) sent back Srikkanth (39), Mohinder Amarnath (51) as well as Kapil (1). Above all, he was the man to trap Maninder Singh lbw and leave Shastri stranded on 48 India were all out for 347. Matthews’ match figures read 10 for 249.
3. Monty Panesar
England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar could not fulfil his potential. However, on the 2012 tour of India he bamboozled a team considered best players of spin. Panesar picked up match figures of 11 for 210 at Mumbai in the second Test of a four-match series held in November 2012. India batted first and, despite Cheteshwar Pujara’s 135, were restricted to 327. Panesar got the better of Virender Sehwag (30), Sachin Tendulkar (8), Virat Kohli (19), and skipper MS Dhoni (29). He also had Ravichandran Ashwin lbw for 68 to finish with 5 for 129.
England responded with Kevin Pietersen smashing 186 and skipper Alastair Cook 122 to post an impressive 413. India were still in the game. However, Panesar soon ran through what was a strong line up on paper, to leaving India crumbling and embarrassed. Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dhoni and Ashwin again fell to Ashwin’s guile as the hosts tottered to 142 all out and lost the Test by 10 wickets. Panesar second-innings figures were even better — 6 for 81. An inspired England went on to win the series 2-1.