India’s Gabba heroics take Gus Logie back to 1988 triumph
Hearing of India’s shock win over Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane yesterday took Gus Logie back 33 years to when West Indies won there by nine wickets.
Australia had not lost at the ground since West Indies won the opening Test of their 1988 tour to Australia before going on to win the five-match series 3-1.
Logie, the former Bermuda coach who is now residing on the island, found it hard to believe that no visiting team had won a Test match at Brisbane since his side, captained by Viv Richards. That win was achieved inside four days after West Indies dismissed Australia for 167 and 289, and posted 394 and then 63 for one to secure the comfortable victory.
“It’s really been a long, long time,” Logie said yesterday. “As a matter of fact, I’m trying to bring my mind back to that particular series.
“I remember getting injured in that series as well, got my nose broken in the [third] match at Melbourne. I would have to go back to the scorecard to remember what happened, but I knew that we did win.”
Logie batted at No 6 in a line-up that included Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Carol Hooper, Richards and wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon at No 7. Logie scored 19 in the first innings after Greenidge (80), (Haynes (40), Richardson (81) and Richards (68) led the batting in their first-innings total of 394.
Curtly Ambrose, who made his West Indies in the first one-day international against Pakistan in Jamaica earlier that year, was the man of the match after taking three for 30 from 16.5 overs in the first innings and three for 78 from 26.1 overs in the second innings.
Courtney Walsh claimed an interesting hat-trick in that match, spanning two innings and three days, and was the eighteenth hat-trick by a bowler in a Test match.
Walsh dismissed Tony Dodemaide with the third ball of his nineteenth over to end the Australia first innings. Then, two days later, he came on as first change in the second innings and dismissed Mike Veletta and Graeme Wood with his first two balls after Veletta and Steve Waugh (90) added 49 for the third wicket.
“I remember there were some brilliant catches as well in that particular match,” Logie said. “I can remember taking a catch at short leg off Courtney Walsh, I think it was [Craig] McDermott. One of the catches, they showed all the time as it was a catch I took one-handed diving to my left.”
West Indies’ success was built at that time around a strong batting line-up and a feared four-prong pace attack that included Malcolm Marshall, Patrick Patterson, Ambrose and Walsh. Ambrose, with 26 wickets, and two man-of-the-match performances, was voted the player of the series.
“I remember that series quite well, we came from England and went to Australia with people like Ambrose really getting into their stride,” said Logie, who had a high score of 90 in the first innings of the second Test in Perth.
In the Melbourne match, Logie suffered a broken nose while fielding at short leg. He was forced off the field for treatment and batted at No 10 in the second innings.
“I remember going to the hospital and asking the guy to give me a nose like Michael Jackson,” he said, finding humour in the serious situation.
“It was a short ball that Ambrose bowled to Merv Hughes and instead of him defending it, he smashed it right into my [helmet] grille. I was led off the field in blood; I always remember Gordon Greenidge rushing to me from slip to ask if I was OK.
“There was blood all over my face; the helmet saved me. The grille was pushed right on to the nose.”
It was that pace attack that made West Indies such a formidable side at the time. It was always felt that the minimum overs required to be bowled per day was introduced to nullify West Indies’ dominance through their fast bowlers.
“We were also penalised on that tour for bowling less than 90 overs in a day,” Logie recalls. “That was the time the 90 overs-a-day rule came in.
“We had so many fast bowlers, and were playing four fast bowlers at a time and finding it difficult to bowl 90 overs in a day. But we were winning Test matches in 3½, four days and still being penalised. We had a pretty good run around that time, definitely.”
Logie added: “At the end of the tour, and I remember it clearly, Clive Lloyd [manager] saying to an official that we were being penalised for doing well. When the prize money was distributed, Australia, who lost the series 3-1, got more money than us because we had to pay money in fines.
“Also, a restriction on short balls was a feature at that time but now I’m seeing teams bowling three and four short balls an over. When I looked at the last Test match in Australia, I see there was a bumper barrage at times.
“Some guys were bowling three and four short balls at the opposition and not much is being done.”
Logie believes that technology has helped the game, especially with replay to aid close decisions. “A lot of people’s careers would have been finished if some of the decision that some umpires gave could not be overturned,” he said.
“We saw people being given out on ten and nought, and then they review it, they weren’t out and they went on to score a hundred. Technology, once used properly, can enhance the game.
“We’ve seen it in the Australia-India series where some decisions were overturned, some quite crucial.”
Logie didn’t see the end of the Australia Test match but got a couple of messages yesterday morning to tell him that India had managed to pull off an unlikely victory after being set 324 to win on the last day with ten wickets in hand. They won by three wickets, with wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant leading the way with 89 not out in 180 minutes.
“I was watching it up to just before tea and decided it was time to get in bed,” he said. “Pant was in and I said if he stays there, they would win the game.
“They have some young players who have a lot of heart and it shows that without some of the superstars that India still had a cadre of players they can call upon. It comes from the amount of international exposure so many of their players would have had in the IPL.
“They are bringing that kind of cricket into the Test arena, exciting cricket and they are fearless and not afraid to play their shots.“
Logie is amazed with how long the unbeaten run at the Gabba had lasted. “It’s quite a record,” he said. “In fact when I saw it the other night, I said wow.
“Somebody said since 1988 but they didn’t say which team beat them then.”
West Indies’ success under Lloyd and then Richards in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in scores of Bermudians travelling to the West Indies for Test matches.
“It was almost like a pilgrimage,” Logie recalls. “Every year we had people coming from all around, coming to Barbados and Jamaica, especially when we played against England and Australia.
“It was fantastic support that we used to get; that’s where the whole camaraderie and relationship may have started.
“I remember coming here to Bermuda for the first time as a youngster in 1976 with the Trinidad & Tobago team and playing against the likes of the Raynor brothers, Colin Blades, George Rock and a young Noel Gibbons.
“He was a very talented young man; I remember him quite well.”
Logie played 52 Tests and 158 ODIs with a highest Test score of 130 against India in the fourth match of the 1983 series, at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, after making his debut in the first Test. He scored 2,470 Test runs and 2,809 runs in ODIs, with a top score of 109 not out.