India has always been one of the most passionate cricket-playing nations. The country is home to some of the greatest players in the history of international cricket and boasts a rich culture that celebrates this sport with tremendous enthusiasm. India have come a long way and now are a powerhouse in the game. Let us list out three of the most iconic matches in Team India’s history that you may or may not remember!
The Natwest Series final between India and England at Lord’s in 2002 was a spectacle, as fans witnessed a gripping match. While England dominated for the majority of the match, it was Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif’s combination that stole the show.
England batted first and scored 325 runs thanks to centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain. It was their highest ODI total at the time. The ‘Men in Blue’ got off to a flying start in their chase for the Natwest Trophy. Skipper Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag attacking England in the opening 15 overs. However, India’s middle-order collapse ensued, with the team losing wickets in a heap.
With nothing to lose, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif put up a memorable 121-run stand, propelling India to a stunning two-wicket victory over England. However, as much as the game is known for the Yuvraj-Kaif show, Sourav Ganguly removing his T-shirt on the Lord’s balcony is a lasting memory in the minds of Indian cricket fans.
During his 24-year marathon career, Sachin Tendulkar had a number of noteworthy innings. One such knock happened on his birthday in 1998 when India beat the powerful Australians by six wickets in the Coca-Cola Cup final in Sharjah.
Australia scored a difficult 272 for nine in their first innings, with to fifties from skipper Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann. India got off to a good start before losing their first wicket, Sourav Ganguly, for 23 runs at 39.
Tendulkar and Nayan Mongia put up an 89-run partnership to keep India on track in a difficult chase. Following Mongia’s dismissal, India’s captain Mohammad Azharuddin joined Tendulkar. The two put on a 120-run partnership that placed India on the verge of victory.
Tendulkar got out, but he had already provided India with the foundation for a historic triumph. Tendulkar smashed 134 runs off 131 balls, including 12 fours and three sixes. India triumphed by six wickets and took home the title.
The innings came two days after he hit 143 from 131 deliveries in the famed ‘Desert Storm’. Despite the fact that India lost, the Master Blaster’s century helped India qualify for the final.
India defeated the West Indies in Guyana, less than three months before the commencement of the World Cup. Then, in the World Cup’s opening match, India defeated the Windies by 34 runs. However, they were still the underdogs heading into the final.
India, who chose to bat first, did not get off to the best of starts, losing Sunil Gavaskar early on. For a time, K Srikkanth and Yashpal Sharma kept the ship afloat before the former got out. After that, none of the Indian batsmen got going as West Indian pacers took wickets at regular intervals to keep India at bay.
When Vivian Richards took the crease, India were on the verge of loss. However, a great catch by Kapil Dev ended Richards’s innings and gave India hope. India began to strike on a regular basis, and last man Michael Holding was caught in front by Mohinder Amarnath. An unlikely outcome was realized and India won the World Cup for the first time in the game’s history.