Indian cricket touched highs and lows in the last 85 years of International cricket and we witnessed its Golden year in 1971 with two overseas wins under Ajit Wadekar. India’s first victory was achieved in the year 1952 with the heroics of Late Vinoo Mankad, who completed the birth centenary recently. Notably1986 tie test at Madras against a formidable Australian side was the icing on the cake in a long and illustrious history of Indian cricket. But the best of the best was the 1983 World cup win over West Indies, two time winners of the cup at Lord’s in front of capacity crowd.
India remained number one test side for a considerable side with veterans like Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly in the side. The fab five were part of our winning combination in the past. The heroics of Virat Kohli with the bat and the all round show of Ashwin all saw India remained as a super power in test cricket and got a long rope as the leader among the test playing countries. India’s 15 run win against Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg was the best in the shortest format of the game. The highlight of all wins was the 2011 World Cup win at home proved a high point in Indian cricket history over the years.
Talking about test cricket, we come across Kapil Dev’s 432 tally of wickets was not just a countdown but a reality as he was the leading wicket taker breaking the record of the then test topper Richard Hadlee of New Zealand. Sunil Gavaskar completed 10,000 test runs at Ahmadabad to become the first player to touch the milestone. Sachin Tendulkar hit 49 test centuries and remained as the highest aggregate in test match cricket. Anil Kumble touched career record of 600 wickets and remained as the best Indian spinner. Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly all made runs in plenty in tests and showed the cricketing world we are second to none. However for the poor show in 1974 when the team led by Ajit Wadekar pitted against battery of English pace at Lord’s could muster only 42 and Eknath Solkar with 18 remained as the top scorer in that debacle. In all we witnessed vintage cricket when Team India played at home and abroad. In India, the game of cricket is a religion and we enjoy every moment in the 500 years of test match cricket.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)