Widely regarded as one of the leading cricketing teams of today, India has a long and rich history in the sport since its independence from Great Britain in 1947. Indeed, fans who like to place a cricket bet in the run-up to matches to enhance their enjoyment will often favour India nowadays – but it didn’t always use to be like that.
Let’s take a look back at some of India’s most iconic moments of the last 50 years to better understand their journey from sporting newcomers to world beaters.
1983 World Cup win
Perhaps the most defining moment of India’s cricketing history is a good place to start. Going in to the 1983 World Cup, India were by no means considered contenders for the titles. However, all that began to change when Kapil Dev smashed 175 runs past Zimbabwe in the group stage to signal their intent. Further impressive victories against Australia and England, before a 43-run win over the all-conquering West Indies team of the era put the golden seal on their accomplishment. A truly historic victory.
2001 victory against Australian invincibles
Going into this match, Australia were on a hot streak of 15 victories home and away and they quickly made that 16 by taking the first Test in Mumbai. A dismal first innings saw India trail by 274 runs, with Australia forcing the follow-on in the belief they could close out the series quickly. However, some remarkable batting work from VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid turned the tie around and they became only the third team to win a Test after following on, before edging past the Aussies in Chennai by two wickets to win the series 2-1.
T20 World Cup in 2007
T20 was still in its infancy as a cricketing format when the inaugural World Cup was held in 2007. India made it to the final against arch-rivals Pakistan, who were heavily fancied to triumph due to their better pedigree in the event. However, young captain MS Dhoni and prolific batsman Gautam Gambhir had different ideas. Even though Pakistan only needed 13 runs from the final over, Dhoni’s choice of Joginder Sharma to bowl it proved to be a masterstroke as he caught Misbah-ul-Haq out to win by five runs.
2011 World Cup win
Dhoni captained the side to another memorable trophy in 2011, scooping their second World Cup gong 28 years after the first – and Dhoni would do a majority of the heavy lifting himself this time. Up against a formidable Sri Lankan side in the final, India lost key batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag early on, with Virat Kohli falling soon after. Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order to join Gautam Gambhir and close out the win, with Dhoni fittingly hitting a mammoth final six to clinch victory.
ICC Champions Trophy in 2013
Dhoni became the only skipper to lift all three major ICC trophies by leading his side to victory against England in a rain-drenched final in Birmingham in 2013. India started the tournament strongly by overcoming South Africa with ease and only improved from there, but it would take an incredible 363 runs from five matches from Shikhar Dhawan and a nail-biting final over against England to achieve the feat. In the end, Ravichandran Ashwin kept his nerve to prevent England from scoring the 14 runs from six balls they needed and India triumphed by five.
These are our most important moments from India’s history with the sport… what are yours? Tell us which ones we’ve missed out in the comments below.