Cricket has been India’s beloved sport for time immemorial. This sport is a factor that unites the entire country, keeping all differences aside. Sachin Tendulkar, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli–to name a few–are more than just cricketers. They’re celebrated icons that define an entirely different culture in the country. It’s interesting to see how the sport […]
Cricket has been India’s beloved sport for time immemorial. This sport is a factor that unites the entire country, keeping all differences aside. Sachin Tendulkar, M.S. Dhoni, Virat Kohli–to name a few–are more than just cricketers. They’re celebrated icons that define an entirely different culture in the country. It’s interesting to see how the sport has evolved in the country over the years.
For the best part of the twentieth centuries, Australia, West Indies and England dominated the sport. India emerged as a dark horse in the 1970s and since then the sport has been of massive importance to everyone associated with the country. Indian cricket boasts of glittering history and has blessed the world with some of the greatest players to have ever played the sport.
Let’s take a look at five milestones that have shaped the course of Cricket in India:
1. 1971: The defining year of Indian Cricket
India was a relatively alien identity in the world of cricket in 1971. In this year, Ajit Wadekar led the Indian team to victories in Test series against England and West Indies, both on foreign soil. These victories were extremely special for two reasons: number 1: India made its mark on the map as a serious contender to breach the monopoly held by a few countries, number 2: This series marked the arrival of a certain Sunil Gavaskar, the man who would carry Indian cricket on his shoulders for years to come.
2. 1983 Cricket World Cup Win
Against all odds, Kapil Dev’s men led India to their first-ever World Cup victory. Nobody had given the Indian team much of a chance to take the cup home. This win was a fairy-tale win that sports fans in general love to talk about. Kapil Dev inspired his men to put their heads up and do the unthinkable. Leading by example, Kapil smashed a mind-blowing 175 runs against the West Indies to keep them afloat in the competition. They went on to go all the way, only to face the Carribean side once again in the final. India’s win in this match was a historical moment as it cemented India’s place in one of the big-guns of world cricket, inspiring generations to come for making a career in cricket.
3. India’s CB Series victory in 2007-2008
M.S. Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the best captains ever, and this period was the true genesis of the Indian captain’s career. Indian cricket, under the vision of M.S. Dhoni made some bold moves; dropping off the likes of Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and Virendra Sehwag being one of them. This sparked a lot of controversy, however, Dhoni silenced his critics by winning the series 2-0, a remarkable achievement since this was when India won its first ever ODI series in Australia.
4. 2007 World T20 win
This victory is often stripped off of the credit it deserves. This was India’s first ever ICC Tournament victory in about 24 years, and was a recovery from the disastrous outing in the 50 overs world cup just a few months prior. Moments of individual brilliance coupled with collective planning that led to this success. A young squad under MS Dhoni’s leadership managed to do the unimaginable. This victory marked the revolution of T20 cricket in India. The smallest format has never looked back since then, as India went on to organise the largest T20 event in the world- the IPL.
5. 2011 World Cup win
Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell World Cup. The Indian team was ready to give it all as a tribute to the Master Blaster who had served this country for 23 years. Emotions soared high everytime a World Cup neared, and being held in India, this edition was even more significant. India looked like an organised side throughout the World Cup, taking the correct decisions and executing them flawlessly. Dhoni’s quick-witted decision making largely benefited India, and Yuvraj Singh’s heroics with both the bat and the ball were crucial for India’s run to the finals. In the final itself, fine performances from Dhoni and Gambhir escorted India to a safe victory. Streets were packed, jubilant cries were heard across the Wankhede. This was a fitting farewell to Indian cricket’s greatest legend, and a moment to relish for the rest of our lives.
Other key moments in Indian cricket’s history are the 2001 Test series win over Australia and the 2002 Natwest Trophy Final.
Spearheaded by the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, India continues to create history year in and year out. The Blues are a formidable side, consistently taking long strides towards glory. Having gone through ups and downs, this Indian side has established itself as an unbeatable one across formats. As India focuses on preparing for the World Test Championship final when they play against New Zealand, there’s promise that this side will reach greater heights. That being said, India is a country with rich cricketing history and