In the rich history of Indian cricket, there have been many times when Indian cricketers have recorded moments to be cherished forever. Let’s recall some of those memorable times when our cricketers have raised the tri-colour high.
India’s first Test
India played their first-ever Test match against the hosts England at the iconic Lords’ cricket ground. The Indian team was led by Colonel C. K. Nayudu whereas England’s captain was Douglas Jardine. India started strongly on day one and in no time, England was 19 for 3 thanks to India’s pace bowling duo of Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh. However, Jardine led the recovery for his team and scored twin fifties in the match which India eventually lost by 158 runs. Nissar took six wickets in the match and Amar Singh impressed all with his all-round ability.
India’s first Test win
India finally won their first-ever Test match in their 25th attempt. It was the 5th Test match of England’s tour in the 1951-52 season and India’s win came at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai (then Madras). This win helped India to draw the series 1-1 for the first time in their history. For India, all-rounder Vinoo Mankad was the star contributor with 12 wickets (8 for 55 and 4 for 53) in the match to ensure England was bowled out for a low score both times. There were also centuries from Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigor.
World record opening partnership
During India’s early days in Test cricket, Vinoo Mankad was their biggest star and match-winner who was part of many iconic moments during that period. His opening partnership with Pankaj Roy of 413 runs against New Zealand at Corporation Stadium in 1956 was a world record for an opening partnership which stood for 52 years before being broken by South African pair of Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie. Mankad scored 231, his highest First-class score and Roy scored 173 as India beat New Zealand by an innings and 109 runs and won the series comfortably 2-0.
India’s twin away series wins in 1971
India’s first away series win came against the relatively weaker New Zealand in 1968 but to gain more respect Indian team needed away series wins against some formidable opponents. The opportunity finally came in 1971 when the Ajit Wadekar led team won back to back away series in West Indies and England. These were two of India’s most important series wins which came as a result of hard work and a great combination of youth and experience in the team especially highlighted by the young Bombay Opener Sunil Gavaskar who announced himself during these tours.
India’s first Series Whitewash
By the 90’s India was already considered as one of the stronger teams especially in limited over cricket. Their performance in home Test matches was stable but in 1993 during England’s tour of India, captain Mohammad Azharuddin and manager Ajit Wadekar introduced the ‘spin trio’ of Anil Kumble, Venkatapati Raju and Rajesh Chauhan which made them almost unbeatable at home. It was an immediate success and England was routed 0-3, India’s first-ever whitewash, as the spinners ended as top three wicket-takers in the Test series by picking up 46 wickets out of possible 60.
Kolkata Test, 2001
When Steve Waugh led Australian squad stepped on Indian soil, they were considered arguably one of the strongest teams in history. They came to Kolkata with 17 consecutive wins. By end of day two, their 18th win looked formalities despite Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick. The Indians had to follow on but the turnaround which followed was exceptional. VVS Laxman scored 281 and added 376 runs with Rahul Dravid who himself scored 180. On the final afternoon, Indians took less than 70 overs to bowl out the Australians and stopped their juggernaut. Harbhajan finally finished with 13 wickets.
Series wins in Pakistan
India never won any series in Pakistan till 1989. After that, there was a big break in India’s tour of Pakistan due to the tension between these two countries. India finally went to Pakistan for a full Test and ODI series in 2004. It was one of the most anticipated series during that period and India finally came as triumphant with a 2-1 series win. The most iconic moment during this Test series was Virender Sehwag’s 309, the first-ever Test triple hundred by an Indian. It was one of the most memorable wins for India.
Series win in Australia
India finally wins their first Test series in Australia in 2018. It took them 70 years to win their first Test series down under since their first tour of 1948. Indian fast-bowling trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami were the stars for India and create all sorts of trouble for the Aussie batsmen. India won the Test matches in Adelaide Oval and the Boxing Day Test match at Melbourne. Even they were in a strong position in the ‘New Years Test’ at Sydney Cricket Ground which ended in a draw due to rain.