‘We still talk about it’: Why an Australian victory in India can last forever
When Ian Redpath catches up with his old Australian teammates they still talk about it because even after more than a half a century, you never forget what it’s like to win in India.
- Over 50 years since Australia’s triumph in India in 1969-70, Ian Redpath and his teammates still swap stories of the victory
- Australia has only won one series in India since
- The 81-year old Redpath was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame last week
Redpath was part of the Australian side who triumphed on the subcontinent in 1969-70, and Australia has only won one series on Indian soil in the years since.
Cricket was a different game then, but as Australia prepare to take on the Indians again, Redpath believes the current crop have as good a chance as any of ending the long drought.
“Some of my associates, we get together for lunch once a year, usually when Ian Chappell comes through, it’s about four or five of us and we still talk about that,” Redpath told ABC Sport.
“Chaps said ‘when we went there we were confident in our ability to play spin’ and we didn’t have to put up with the fearmongering about the spinning wickets.
“We went over there and thought ‘we can play the spinners, let’s not be dominated by them’ and most of the blokes – you don’t see it as much as you used to — but fellas used to use their feet a lot against spin.
“They’d get down the wicket for spin and, as Keith Stackpole used to say, give them something to think about.
“But the players today, they’ll handle it. We have a fabulous side at the moment and I think they’ll be pretty confident about it all. I think we’ll go OK.”
The 81-year old Redpath was one of the iconic Australian cricketers of the 1970s and was recently inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
He made his Test debut in 1964 against South Africa, scoring 97 as he opened the batting alongside Bill Lawry, but had to wait almost five years for his first Test century.
Redpath played some of his finest cricket in his final years in the Test side and retired after scoring 4737 runs at 43.45, with eight tonnes to his name from his 66 Test appearances.
“I was fortunate to be held onto. When we played in England they didn’t cover all the wickets – it was a different game then, there was no helmets.
“But they weren’t very good, the figures at the start of my career, I just made runs at the right time.
“Hundreds can be fantastic but 60s and 70s at the right time can be worth 200. That’s the game, you can cash in some days and other days are a bit tougher. I suppose when I played my first instinct was to do a job.
“It (the hall of fame) was a real honour that came out of the blue for me. I’m still a bit flabbergasted.
“I must admit, I started a bit of a period of reflection and just thought about how blessed I’d been and how I was lucky to play a long time.”
Redpath also played in the first ever one-day international against England in 1971.
“About 160 would win a 50 over game and now they’re just fantastic at it, they play so well,” Redpath said.
“But that was the first one and they had about 40,000 there and the one-day game took off.”
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