India’s 1000th ODI, A look at some of the Greatest ODIs in India’s Legacy

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Modified Feb 6, 2022 12:25 PM IST

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India is on its way to become the first side to play 1000 ODIs as they gear up to face the West Indies today. Their journey to a 1000 ODIs has been as significant as any, and through the years the team has come across many defining moments which helped shape the national Cricket team. While it is tough to pick a set of ODIs out of thousand, here are a few which are fairly important in the history of the team.

See Also: Justin Langer’s Timeline as the Coach of the Australian Cricket Team: 2022 – Cricket Winner

India Vs Zimbabwe 1983 World Cup

The Indian Team came into the fixture in a must-win position and had entered the virtual knock-out stage by the time they faced Zimbabwe. There was immense pressure on India, and back then the Zimbabwe Cricket team was a strong one. The pressure was felt as India collapsed to 17 runs for 5 wickets. A huge chunk of the batting was gone in the opening burst, and it took one of the best one-day innings from Kapil Dev to save India.

Kapil Dev took the attack to Zimbabwe and made 175 from 138 balls to get his side to a good score. They were able to defend their total, and won thanks to a World Record score from Kapil Dev. The win was crucial for them as it set them off in the tournament, and from that point, Kapil Dev’s team never looked back.

India Vs West Indies 1983 World Cup Final

Kapil leads his side to one of their most defining moments

Nobody expected Kapil Dev’s tea to make the finals of a World Cup back in 1983. They were taken as tourists who came to play Cricket in between, but here they were, contesting in the Finals against two time champions West Indies in the third Cricket World Cup. Both sides faced of twice before the finals in the 1983 edition, and had one win apiece. Kapil and Co played some wonderful Cricket against Australia, Zimbabwe and England as well, but nobody gave them a chance against a side that had the likes of Clive Lloyd, Richards and the famous West Indies pace attack.

The underdogs was dismissed for 183 to make things worse, and a good start from Richards took India’s hopes away. After the opening breakthrough though, things changed. Kapil Dev took a good catch to dismiss Richards, and a few hours later the West Indies collapsed giving India a World Cup win at Lords. The victory was a big one in Indian Cricket as it sent a message within and beyond the country that Cricket was taken seriously in the nation. The moment inspired many youngsters to take up the game, and Indian Cricket was truly on its way to achieve greatness.

India Vs Pakistan, 1985 World Series Final

Two years after the World Cup, the World Champions were contesting for another ODI trophy. They were a part of the famous World Series in Australia and made the finals against arch-rivals Pakistan, after beating the likes of Australia and New Zealand. The game turned out to be a one-sided affair with Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma taking the rails of Pakistan’s innings early. Pakistan made 176 and Kris Srikkanth along with Ravi Shastri helped India complete an easy chase. The game wasn’t the most thrilling but it helped establish the Indian Team as a consistent side in World Cricket.

India Vs Pakistan 1996 World Cup Quarter Final

Prasad and Sohail Face off

The 1996 World Cup quarter-finals in Bangalore was probably one of the biggest games in the tournament. Both sides were hosting the tournament, Pakistan was defending champions and it was a knockout game. The game lived up to its expectations. Wasim Akram pulled out in the last minute to begin the drama, and Navjot Singh Sidhu along with Ajay Jadeja took India to 287.

Pakistan began their reply brightly. They raced away to 84 in the first ten, and put the hosts on the backfoot early. It was after the initial phase that the famous Aamer Sohail-Venkatesh Prasad incident happened. After hitting a boundary, Sohail gestured to Prasad asking him to fetch the ball, and a fired-up Prasad took his wicket the very next ball to begin an aggressive celebration. The wicket began a procession as Pakistan lost their way. Playing in his last innings, Javed Mianded put up a brief fight in the end, struggling but keeping himself in the game until a run-out ended things for Pakistan.

India Vs Australia 1998 Coco-cola cup final

Sachin Tendulkar Dominates

The Coco-cola Cup Finals provided two classics, and two games that displayed India’s best ODI batter strongly. The first game was the last league game which saw Sachin Tendulkar play an aggressive innings in a game disturbed by a sandstorm. India lost, but the sand-storm innings helped them go to the finals on net-run-rate.

In the finals, Sachin Tendulkar continued his run, and made easy work of Australia’s target as he charged at Shane Warne. He made two magnificent centuries and won the Coco-cola cup with ease.

India Vs England, Natwest Series Final

A young pair take their side home.

After 1998 India didn’t win any multi-national event, and the 2002 Natwest series came as a welcoming entrant to the trophy cabinet. In the finals, India were given a target of 326, and were reduced to 146 for 5. A target above 300 was not easy back then and an England win seemed highly likely. With the odds against India though, two youngsters in Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh formed a partnership. They countered England well, and Yuvraj in particular was dominant. The partnership quickly took the visiting side to the target, ending the visiting sides run without trophies.

India Vs Australia, 2008 CB Series

A young side complete a strong win in Australia

Australia were three-time World Champions, and had a very strong line-up in the CB series. India on the other hand had a relatively new-skipper. India also let go of some senior players before the match and had a set of youngsters. With some big names missing, not many gave India a chance in the tri-series.

The youngsters though proved to be very capable. Led by MS Dhoni, the fitness in the side improved, and the fielding was brilliant. Yuvraj Singh in particular was a star in the field, and with strong fielders, the tournament went well. While the group stages were dominated by the youngsters though, the finals had an old-timer doing the job for India.

In both finals, Sachin Tendulkar came up with two good innings to steer his team to victory as he along with the bowlers helped win their first ODI event in Australia since the World Series in 1985. The win helped MS Dhoni ease into ODI captaincy as his team started their preparation for the ODI World Cup. The core was found, and from this tournament fitness and fielding became an important factor in the new team.

India Vs Sri Lanka, 2011 World Cup Final

MS Dhoni finishes off in style

The 2008 CB Series win paved the way for a template in Indian Cricket, and that template became very effective in 2011. The Indian team made the finals after a tough ride, losing to South African and tying a game to England. They then went on to beat Australia and Pakistan in the quarter and semi-finals, in two games that could easily be on this list of big games in Indian Cricket.

The finals, held in Mumbai was the first between two Asian sides, and it was between two sides who faced each other so much in the lead-up to the tournament. It was Sachin Tendulkar’s last World Cup, and there were some big names in attendance.

Batting first, Sri Lanka got a good score with a brilliant century from Mahela Jayawardene. There was a good opening spell from Zaheer Khan as well, the home team was given a target of 274. Only one side won a World Cup Final while chasing, and no team crossed 250 chasing in a finals, leaving the pressure on India. To add to the pressure, Lasith Malinga was quick to silence the Mumbai crowd. He picked up Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for 31 runs, and there was pin-drop silence in Mumbai.

With the pressure on the home team, Gautam Gambhir played one of the greatest and underrated knocks in Indian Cricket history. He had a partnership with Virat Kohli, as they looked to recover, Virat Kohli’s 35 was a crucial one as well, and is a knock that is often forgotten. Gautam Gambhir fell for 97, but by then he stitched another partnership with MS Dhoni, who promoted himself to counter Muralitharan.

Promoting himself for the final act, MS Dhoni supported Gambhir nicely, attacking while Gambhir stayed stable. He allowed the required rate to stay within reach, and took his team home with his famous six over long-on to set off the celebrations. The win allowed Sachin Tendulkar to get his hands on the World Cup, and it was India’s first World Cup win in 28 years.