“Test cricket’s heart is beating hard, it’s beating true,” — this is what commentator Mark Howard remarked seconds after Rishabh Pant had smashed a boundary in Gabba last year to retain the ‘Border Gavaskar Trophy’. At the time, various voices had demanded that BCCI has to come up with a documentary similar to Amazon Prime’s “The Test” that had covered Australia’s resurgence after the Capetown ball-tampering saga.
While the BCCI did not allow any media or film company to cover the team closely, acclaimed filmmaker Neeraj Pandey, having movies like A Wednesday, Special 26 and MS Dhoni: The Untold Story under his belt took the onus upon himself to come up with a documentary titled “Bandon Mein Tha Dum”. The documentary covers, arguably, the greatest series win in modern-day cricket for the Indian side.
The four-part documentary “Bandon Mein Tha Dum” will be released on June 16 on the OTT platform Voot Select. The trailer was released on all social media platforms with the synopsis, “When everything was against them, they stood tall and showed the world their true grit, strength and determination. Witness the story of the greatest fightback. The story behind India’s biggest triumph in Test history.”
When everything was against them, they stood tall and showed the world their true grit, strength and determination.
— Voot (@justvoot) June 1, 2022
And the documentary “Bandon Mein Tha Dum” already looks like a million bucks. It has the perspective of several key figures from both camps that contributed to making the series one for the ages. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammed Siraj, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins amongst others can be seen narrating the events in the trailer of the documentary.
Defeat, injuries and lots of noise all around. But this is the tale of a team that faced all odds together. Bandon Mein Tha Dum is that story! Excited for you to see the struggle behind our story. #BandonMeinThaDum #ImpossibleStory #FightForPrideOnVoot @vootselect #Partnership pic.twitter.com/40vsTJ9lUL
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) June 1, 2022
Dusting off our lowest Test score. Battling injuries and expectations. Overcoming odds stacked against us to emerge victorious when no one gave us a chance.
— cheteshwar pujara (@cheteshwar1) June 1, 2022
Neeraj Pandey described the “Bandon Mein Tha Dum” series as a fight between David and Goliath where the former prevailed, “Nothing excited me more than retelling this story which went beyond high-quality cricket, hard work, perseverance, determination, commitment, sportsmanship and decoding the x-factor through the mind of the players which repeated the David Vs Goliath story”.
The aftermath of Adelaide drubbing
Pummelled by injuries, established players falling like flies, off-field controversies chastening the players to commit mistakes, debutants being subjected to racial abuses and not to forget, the abject humiliation of succumbing at the lowly total of 36 in Adelaide — everything that could go wrong, went awry in the aftermath of the first Test for the visitors.
Such was the state of affairs that the Indian team was without its regular Test captain as Virat Kohli had returned to India to attend the birth of his daughter. The captaincy armband was passed on to Ajinkya Rahane who had to resurrect the team’s fortunes and ensure that the “Bandon Mein Tha Dum” series did not end in yet another 4-nil battering.
The comeback trail
And boy did Rahane lead the team. After the surrender of Adelaide, the Indian team galvanised together, stood tall, took blows after blows on the chin, and when battered and bruised, rose once again, akin to a phoenix to land sucker punches at the verbose and at times, motor mouth Australians.
If Melbourne was any aberration that some cricketing pundits thought at the time — Sydney was the triumph of steely resolve. However, the breach of Gabba — the fortress of Australia that hadn’t been knocked down in 32 years, became a part of Indian cricketing history for generations as Rahane’s young mavericks scripted the unthinkable, defying cricketing logic, common sense and then doing something which nobody could have conjured up in their wildest imagination.
Unlike the hosts, India had only a collection of striplings, pieced together after little rummaging at the eleventh hour, and yet, they managed to humble the ‘so-called fearsome pace triumvirate’ of Australia comprising the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins.
“Never underestimate the Indians’, came the reply from then Australian coach Justin langer who was awestruck after witnessing the brand of cricket that the Indian side had played in their backyard.
"Never, ever, ever underestimate the Indians," says Justin Langer. "There's 1.5 billion Indians. If you play in the XI, you've got to be really tough."
Video: 7 Cricketpic.twitter.com/blSFhDc9l5
— The Field (@thefield_in) January 19, 2021
Perhaps the greatest Test series victory of India
Australia is one of the toughest places to tour for any cricket side. Thus, it would not be hyperbole to say that after the 1983 World Cup and 2011 WC victory, this series tops the charts, or for some, even emulates the first two.
Such was the magnitude that people are still in a stupor, raging in anger when someone shakes them and tries to get them out of the sweet-sweet hangover of the once-in-a-lifetime victory for India.
The hunger for any content regarding the series is still high and the makers of “Bandon Mein Tha Dum” are already off to a good start, given the response they have received in the last 24 hours. Hopefully, the series is as engaging and interactive as the trailer and it ushers an era of sports documentary that are embedded in reality rather than needless exaggerated drama.