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10 Iconic Moments in Indian Cricket

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Buvanesh Thiraviam

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May 24, 2024

iconic moments in indian cricket

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Cricket isn’t just a sport for Indians, it’s a religion for them. Over the years, the Indian cricket team has put on some brilliant performances, helping the sport gain religious status.

From India’s first World Cup victory to the hard-fought Test series victory in Australia, Indian cricket history has witnessed some memorable moments.

This article will take you through the 10 most iconic moments in Indian cricket.

10. India’s First Test Match Win

The Indian cricket team got Test status in 1932, but it took them 20 years to mark their first Test victory. India hosted England for a 5-match Test series between November 1951 and February 1952.

The first 3 matches of the series ended in a draw, while England won the fourth Test. Chennai’s Chepauk Stadium hosted the last Test between February 6 and 10.

England decided to bat first, but they were bundled out for 266 runs, with Vinoo Mankad scalping 8 batters. In response, India declared their innings on 457 for 9, riding on the backs of centuries from Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigar.

India secured a lead of 191 runs, which proved to be enough to wrap up the English batting lineup on 183, handing India their first-ever Test match victory.

9. Sourav Ganguly’s Epic Shirt Wave at Lord’s

England and India were locked in an epic final of the 2002 NatWest Series that took place at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. England batted first and posted 325 runs on the board.

India were off to a blistering start in pursuit of the 326-run target. Captain Sourav Ganguly (60) and Virender Sehwag (45) put up a 106-run partnership for the first wicket.

It seemed like India would cruise to the target with ease, but 5 wickets fell off in the space of 40 runs. India’s top order was back in the hut, including big match batter Sachin Tendulkar.

That pushed India back into the game and also their hopes. But Yuvraj Singh (69) and Mohammad Kaif (87*) kept fighting hard, forging a 121-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Once Yuvraj went back, Kaif held his nerves and took India home with 2 wickets and 3 balls to spare. After Kaif hit the winning runs, Ganguly took off his shirt and waved it from the Lord’s dressing room balcony.

8. 2007 T20 World Cup Win

A young Indian team travelled to South Africa to participate in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. In the absence of some senior players, no one counted India among the favourites.

But the Men in Blue, led by MS Dhoni, proved everyone wrong. Barring a loss against New Zealand, India had a remarkable run in the tournament, securing a summit clash against arch-rival Pakistan.

India put up a challenging total of 157 on the board. Misbah-ul-Haq was on a mission to take Pakistan home, but his scoop shot landed in the hands of Sreesanth, handing India the T20 World Cup triumph.

7. Anil Kumble Wraps Up All 10 Batters

Anil Kumble, one of the best Indian spinners, put up a once-in-a-lifetime bowling performance against Pakistan in 1999. Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla hosted the second and last Test match between India and Pakistan.

On the fourth day of the match, Pakistan were chasing a mighty target of 420 runs. The visitors started off well, putting on a 101-run opening partnership.

But once Kumble drew his first blood by dismissing Shahid Afridi, the leg spinner ran through the Pakistani batting lineup. He dismissed one batter after another and wrapped up their whole innings on 207 by scalping all 10 wickets.

With that, Anil Kumble became only the second bowler after Jim Laker to grab 10 wickets in a Test innings.

6. Very Very Special Partnership between Laxman and Dravid

India hosted Australia for a 3-match Test series in 2001. The visitors emerged victorious in the first Test played at the Wankhede Stadium, and both teams travelled to Kolkata for the second Test, which was a must-win for India.

However, Australia dominated most of the proceedings, scoring 445 runs in the first innings and bundling India for 171 runs. Australia had a lead of 274 runs and decided to enforce the follow-on on India.

India came out to bat again but were in a tricky situation at 232 for 4. One more wicket here and there and the match would have been titled in Australia’s favour.

At this point, VVS Laxman was batting on 95, and Rahul Dravid joined him in the middle. Both batters played valiantly against the Australian bowling attack, stitching together a 376-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

That extraordinary effort saw India zoom past 608 and eventually declare the innings on 657, setting a hefty target of 384 runs. Laxman accumulated a brilliant 281, while Dravid fell short of his double ton by 20 runs, scoring 180.

The Laxman-Dravid partnership brought India back into the game, winning it by 171 runs and eventually clinching the series 2-1.

5. Sachin Tendulkar’s Desert Storm

India faced off against Australia in the last league match of the 1998 Coca-Cola Triangular Cup held in Sharjah. This was a must-win game for India to play the final against Australia 2 days later.

Australia batted first and put up a challenging total of 284 runs on the scoreboard. To win the match, India needed 285 runs or reach 254 to qualify for the final based on NRR.

Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar opened the innings for India, though Ganguly fell on 38. Then Tendulkar took the mantle in his hands and charged at the Australian bowlers.

He was looking in good element, but a sandstorm hit the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, halting the play for 25 minutes. Once the storm dissipated, India’s target was revised to 276 runs in 46 overs or score 237 to enter the final.

As Tendulkar came back to the crease, he unleashed his beast, storming onto the Australian bowlers without showing any mercy. He scored a magnificent 143 runs off 131 runs, helping India qualify for the final.

4. India’s First Test Series Win in Australia

Between 1947 and 2014, India toured Australia for 11 Test series, but couldn’t win a single time. But that fact changed in January 2019, when India toured down under for a 4-match series.

India started the series on a winning note, defeating the hosts by 31 runs in Adelaide. Australia then levelled the series 1-1, thrashing India by 146 runs in Perth.

The third match was a Boxing Day Test played at the iconic MCG, which India comfortably won by 137 runs, taking a 2-1 lead. In the final Test in Sydney, India outperformed Australia, scoring a mammoth 622 and later bundling them for 300, drawing the match to win the series 2-1.

3. India Breaches Fortress Gabba

India replicated their 2018-19 series win again in 2020-21. This time, though, they started on a terrible note, losing the first match at Adelaide by 8 wickets. In their second innings, India was bowled out for a paltry 36, which was even more embarrassing.

After this match, everyone thought India would get thrashed by the Aussies. But the boys made a resounding comeback in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli and injured experienced players.

Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane led the charge in the Boxing Day Test, handing Australia a defeat by 8 wickets. The third Test was a mental battle for the Indians, but they managed to draw the hard-fought match.

The series was hanging in the balance going into the fifth Test played at the Gabba in Brisbane. Australia had been unbeaten at the Gabba since 1988, so they were favourites to win the series.

But the Men in Blue had other plans and made the Aussies sweat in their own backyard. Going into the last day, India were on 4 runs and needed to chase 328 runs.

Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Rishabh Pant batted brilliantly and helped India breach the fortress Gabba, defeating Australia twice in a row.

2. India Lifts the World Cup After 28 Years

The Indian cricket team had a horrendous outing in the 2007 ODI World Cup. So, the 2011 World Cup, co-hosted by India, was their best chance at getting over the crushing performance.

The Indian team had a stellar run in the tournament, winning 4 of their 6 group-stage matches and qualifying for the Quarter-Final. They overcame the Australian challenge in the Quarter-Final to set up a Semi-Final clash with arch-rival Pakistan.

India got better of their neighbours in the Semi-Final to square off against another neighbour, Sri Lanka. Riding on the back of a hundred by Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka posted 274 runs on the board.

India couldn’t get a better start, losing Sehwag on zero, followed by Tendulkar on 31. Then Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli steadied the ship by putting up a crucial 83-run partnership.

As both were looking good, Kohli lost his wicket on 114 runs, prompting captain MS Dhoni to walk in. He, along with Gambhir, took India closer to the target.

Gambhir fell on 223, scoring a valiant 97, but that didn’t stop Dhoni from helping India clinch their second ODI World Cup by smashing a match-winning six.

1. India Pulled Off a Miracle in 1983

Going into the 1983 World Cup, India were underdogs, with no one giving them a chance to win the trophy. But the Indian team stunned the whole world.

India had beaten the 2-time champions, the West Indies, in their first match itself, but they wanted to do it again, and that too in the final. 

However, India couldn’t get enough runs on the board, getting wrapped up for a mere 183 runs. This should have been an easy chase for the Windes, but Indian bowlers kept things tight.

They put on a collective effort with the ball, strangling the Windies for 140 runs and winning the final by 43 runs. The miraculous win inspired many back home, changing the cricketing landscape in India for good.

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