As a child, I grew up knowing not of any professional sport than cricket. I can still remember my family crowding the living room to watch every India match. The prayers said watching the last over are unmatched to any heard within the walls of a temple. Our passion and love for the game and the Indian cricket team is undying. Here goes my list of the ten most defining moments in the history of Indian cricket.
Virender Sehwag scored his first triple century in test cricket against Pakistan in Multan which included 39 boundaries and 6 sixers. After Dravid’s wicket, Sachin and Sehwag built up a strong partnership which was the biggest turning point of that match. With this innings, Sehwag broke VVS Laxman’s record of the highest score by an Indian in test cricket. Laxman’s record was undefeated for 72 years of Indian test career till Sehwag’s brilliant 309 out of 375 balls in Multan.
Anil Kumble created history in the Feroze shah kotla stadium of New Delhi on 8th February when he became only the second bowler after Jim Baker of England to have taken all 10 wickets in a test inninings. Kumble achieved this incredible feat against India’s arch rivals, the Pakistan team. Kumble’s majestic 10 wickets for 74 runs is one of the most popular moments in the history of Indian cricket.
The Warne vs Tendulkar clash in 1998 at Chennai, which Warne called nightmare took place when both star cricketers were at their peak. It was rumored that Warne spent an entire summer practicing and determining the best way to face Tendulkar. Warne took out Tendulkar for 4 runs in the first innings. However, in the second innings our ever favorite Sachin came out with all guns blazing and scored a massive 155 with 4 giant sixers. Wisden called his stroke play awesome belligerence.
In the final match of the Natwest series, England set a massive target of326.Though India started off well, after a quick fall of wickets, was reduced to 146 for the loss of 5 wickets. Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif built a strong partnership of 121 runs and Kaif guided India to a historic win with 2 wickets and 3 balls remaining.
Sachin Tendulkar hit double century on 24th February 2010 against South Africa in the 2nd ODI of the series.His first century came off 90 balls and his next century came off just 57 deliveries. Dhoni set the late fireworks in the innings setting a huge total of 401 losing just 3 wickets with just 9 extras. India won the match comfortably by 153 runs.
On September 2007, India met England in the qualifiers of the inaugural World T20. The match remains imprinted in every cricket fan’s memory mainly for the 6 sixes that came off the bat of Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj Singh made the fastest half century in T20 cricket coming off just 12 deliveries. India scored 218 runs off 20 overs and won the match by 18 runs.
Sachin’s innings at Sharjah against Australia will forever remain everyone’s favorite Sachin Tendulkar knock. He scored 134 against the tough Aussie attack and under immense pressure. This knock is a special one, because the master had made this knock on his 25th birthday. Australia set a target of 273. This innings was studded with some classy shots with 12 fours and 3 maximums. The Aussie captain Steve Waugh said “It was one of the greatest innings I have ever seen. There is no shame being beaten by such a great player, Sachin is perhaps only next to the Don.”
The 1983 World cup victory at Lord’s changed the dimension of the game in the country. Though the feat was repeated under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, according to many, nothing can beat the euphoria of 1983. India put up a score of 183 after some resilience from the bowlers. The West Indian batting was put to disarray and they fell 43 runs short of the target. Mohinder Amarnath was awarded the “Man of the match” title for his all round performance.
In the 2007, T20 World Cup, India set a target of 158 against Pakistan. In the second ahlf of the game India looked good until an over from Sreesanth turned the tables. Pakistan needed a reasonable 13 from the last over. With a wide and a six off the second ball, Pakistan needed only 6 runs from the remaining 4 deliveries. In the next ball, Mishbah was caught by Sreesanth, leaving Pakistan all out for 152 runs.
India regained the coveted world cup after 28 years, defeating Sri Lanka in the finals which took place in the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai. The Indian team chased 275 runs with Gambhir scoring 97 and Dhoni scoring an unbeatable 91. India won the match with 10 balls to spare. The winning six by Dhoni sent the cricket crazy nation into an absolute frenzy and that was the moment the Indian fans would remember forever.