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Indian Cricket History Essay Examples

The Indian cricket team made its Test cricket debut in 1932 and has since advanced to be among the top four test teams in the ICC rankings in each of 2005 to 2008.[1] The team won the ODICricket World Cup in 1983 and 2011. In other major International victories, Team India won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 and ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.

Pre-independence[edit]

See also: History of cricket in India to 1918, List of Indian Test cricketers and List of Indian ODI cricketers

A few Indians played as members of the English cricket team while India was under British rule, including Ranjitsinhji and KS Duleepsinhji, but India made its debut as a Test-cricket-playing-nation in England in 1932 led by CK Nayudu, well before Indian independence. The team performed well, with Mohammad Nissar taking 5-93 and 1-42 in the match against England. The match was given test status despite being only 3 days in length. England, batting first, scored 258 with Nissar cleaning up the openers and tailenders. However the Indian team failed to capitalize on their bowling performance, all out for 189 with CK Nayudu the top scorer with 40 runs. England went on to score 275 and set India a target of 346, which always seemed out of the visitor's grasp. India were all out for 187 and lost by 158 runs.

The team's first series as an independent country was in 1948 against Australia at Brisbane. Australia were led by Sir Don Bradman while India was led by Lala Amarnath. The Australians returned home, winning the 5 Test series with the score 4-0.

Post Independence[edit]

India's first ever Test victory came against England at Madras in 1952. India's first series victory was against Pakistan later the same year. In 1954, India drew a 5-Test series with Pakistan 0-0, the batting strength from India had come from Polly Umrigar and Vijay Manjrekar while the prime bowler was Subhash Gupte with 21 wickets in the series. India's first series against New Zealand in 1956 created a comprehensive series victory for India, winning the 5-Test series 2-0. MH Mankad was excellent in his batting, averaging 105.2 in the series while scoring 526 runs. Once again, S.M. Gupte held India's bowling together, with 34 wickets. The remainder of the 1950s did not show as good results as the start: India lost a 3-Test series to Australia (2-0), lost a 5-Test series against the West Indies (3-0),

The team's performances again began to improve in the 1960s, starting with their first series win over England in 1961-62. During this time, India's strong record at home started to develop, in which the team won a series against New Zealand in 1965-66 and drew series against Pakistan, Australia and England. In 1967-68, India won their first series outside the subcontinent against New Zealand.

Sunil Gavaskar made his debut for India in the West Indies in 1970-71 and immediately made an impact, scoring a total of 774 runs for the series and helping India to a 1-0 series win, their first ever win over the West Indies. Together with established players like Bishen Bedi, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Erapalli Prasanna and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Gavaskar formed the nucleus of arguably India's strongest Test team up to that point in time. India's win over the West Indies was followed by home and away wins over England in 1971 and 1972-73.

During the 1980s, other players like Mohammed Azharuddin, Ravi Shastri, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Sanjay Manjrekar, Krish Srikkanth and Maninder Singh emerged. India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, defeating West Indies in an exciting final. In 1985, India won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia. The Test series victory in 1986 in England remained, for nearly 19 years, the last Test series win outside subcontinent. Sunil Gavaskar became the first batsman to accumulate 10,000 runs in Test cricket, and went on to register a record 34 centuries, surpassed only recently by Sachin Tendulkar. Kapil Dev, a genuine all-rounder, became the highest wicket taker in Test cricket, surpassing Richard Hadlee to take a total of 434 wickets, a record which has since been broken by Courtney Walsh, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan and has also been surpassed by fellow Indian Anil Kumble.

The emergence of Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble in 1989 and 1990 was to herald an era of Indian cricket that was dominated by stars and individual brilliance. Sachin Tendulkar became arguably the best batsman in the world, along with Brian Lara of the West Indies and in 1998, Sir Donald Bradman himself remarked that Tendulkar batting style was similar to his. Mohammed Azharuddin, who captained India for most of the 1990s, proved a captain whose main strength, if not his motivational skills, was an ability to stay cool under pressure. Azharuddin's artistic batting however declined during the later years of his captaincy, and his best innings during this time were mostly when playing at home. The Hyderabadi stylist's career ended after 99 Tests when he was banned for life after being implicated in the match-fixing scandal. Under his captaincy, the Indian team became virtually unbeatable at home, with big wins against teams such as England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia. Their performances abroad, however, left a lot to be desired.

Towards the end of 1999, the Indian team was in flux. Although they had performed well in the 1999 World Cup, the winter was marked by a disastrous tour to Australia which exposed the Indian team's weaknesses when playing abroad, marked with a loss of form of most of the batsmen, except Tendulkar and the newly emerged VVS Laxman. After Tendulkar quit captaincy and Azharuddin was banned for match-fixing, Saurav Ganguly took over as captain, and the New Zealander John Wright became coach.

Ganguly's captaincy heralded a new era in Indian cricket. It began in the famous series against Australia in 2001, when Steve Waugh's strong team was defeated 2-1 in a Test series after having taken a 1-0 lead at Mumbai. The series is best known for a remarkable turnaround by the Indian team in the Kolkata Test, when VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh's performance took India to victory after they had followed on. This series marked a turning point in the Indian team's fortunes, and provided the team with the boost they dearly needed. This was followed by stellar performances by the team when playing abroad, with Test victories coming in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, England, Australia, and a famous series victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in 2004. The series in England in 2002 is billed as Rahul Dravid's series, as he became the top scorer for the Indians, with centuries coming at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, Headingley in Leeds and a famous 217 at the Oval in London. This was followed by a sensational win in Australia at Adelaide in 2003, where Dravid, VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar scripted a come-from-behind victory after the team had conceded 556 runs in the first innings. The series win in Pakistan that followed was marked by Virender Sehwag becoming the first Indian to score a triple century in Test cricket. Along with Sehwag, players like Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif emerged, making the Indian batting order one of the strongest in the world in both forms of the game*. Their performances helped reduced India's dependence on their top guns in one-day cricket, and a 7-batsman policy contributed to India's successes in the limited-overs game, culminating in their reaching the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. In the bowling department, India unearthed a plethora of fast-bowling talent, with Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, and later Irfan Pathan and L Balaji leading the pack. The veteran Anil Kumble became the highest wicket-taker for India after surpassing Kapil Dev, and also passed the 500-mark in March 2006. His bowling performances abroad improved considerably, and he played a major part in India's overseas performances in England, Australia and Pakistan. Harbhajan Singh also provided him great company in the spin department, and at home the two bowling in tandem became a familiar sight.

In 2005, Indian cricket was again shrouded in controversy. After a somewhat slow season marked by a dip in team performance following the famous Pakistan series ended, the coaching job passed from John Wright to the Australian Greg Chappell. Saurav Ganguly, whose batting form had taken a beating in that year, was involved in a spat with Chappell over whether he should be continuing as captain to reduce pressure on him. This was followed by Ganguly being dropped from the team and Rahul Dravid taking over as captain. While Tendulkar, Sehwag and Dravid formed the mainstay of the Indian batting, the coming of age of players like Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif led to the emergence of younger stars like Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. India, however have always struggled in the pace department with the only prominent pace bowler ever coming was Zaheer Khan

Dravid's captaincy was cut short in the ill-fated 2007 World Cup, where India were out of the league stage following an embarrassing loss to Bangladesh. This was followed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni taking over the reins. Under MS Dhoni, India won the inaugural T20 World cup. It also began an era of India's dominance in world cricket in both tests and ODIs, culminating in a victory in the 2011 Cricket World Cup and a 4-0 whitewash of Australia in a home test series.[2] It also saw Indian batsmen scoring the only 200s ever, first Sachin Tendulkar then Virender Sehwag and then Rohit Sharma on three occasions. Dhoni has been widely acknowledged as the most successful Indian captain ever. However, following a drubbing in a test series down under in late 2014, he retired from tests.

International Tournaments[edit]

See also: India at the Cricket World Cup

Since advancing to full Test Status and the creation of more and more international cricket tournaments, India has slowly become involved in a number of Cricketing tournament's including the Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and Asia Cup. India's first two Cricket World Cups were largely failures, and the team failed to progress beyond the first round. But India upset the West Indies in the final of the 1983 Cricket World Cup to claim the Prudential Cricket World Cup for the first time, captained by Kapil Dev. India and the West Indies had cruised through the preliminary rounds in Group B, while England and Pakistan emerged the victors from Group A. Most considered India to be the underdogs in the group stages, and their win against West Indies was categorized as similar to Zimbabwe's win over Australia in the same World Cup. They were, in fact, quoted as having odds of 66 to 1 before the beginning of the tournament.

India's performance in the remaining world cups has been considerably consistent. In the 1987 Cricket World Cup, the team advanced to the semi-finals as favourites, they did the same in 1996, both times they suffered upset defeats in the semi-finals. India was less strong in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, and did not make it past the Super Six section. However they impressed all in the 2003 Cup, only losing two games (both against reigning champions Australia) and advancing to the finals before taking a loss.

In the year after their World Cup victory, (1984) India continued its new-found dominance over One Day Cricket with a comprehensive win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the final. They went on to secure more victories over their Asian rivals, winning the 1984 Asia Cup with a victory over Sri Lanka in the finals. It won its third consecutive Asia Cup with a victory over Sri Lanka in 1990. It continued its strong streak in 1995, again beating Sri Lanka in the final. However, in 1997, a confident Sri Lanka riding on their first-ever World Cup victory swept past a weaker Indian side, breaking the 4-tournament winning streak.

Recent history[edit]

India's traditional strengths have always been its line-up of spin bowlers and batsmen.[3] Currently, it has a very strong batting lineup with Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag all being selected to play for the ICC World XI in the 2005 "SuperTest" against Australia. In previous times, India was unique in that it was the only country to regularly field three spinners in one team, whereas one is the norm, and of the fifteen players to have taken more than 100 wickets, only four were pace bowlers from the last 20 years.[4] However, in recent years, Indian pace bowling has improved, with the emerging talents of Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Sreesanth and many more playing in the national team.

Historically, the Indian team has not performed as well overseas as it has in India. Since the year 2000, the Indian team underwent major improvements under the guidance of coach John Wright and captain Saurav Ganguly. The team drew a Test series with Australia in Australia, which is usually considered a tough tour. It was followed by a historic Test and ODI series win against arch-rivals Pakistan while playing in Pakistan.

India has had a very good record against Australia and, before the 2004/05 tour, never being defeated by Australia in a Test Series in India since 1969. This was the reason for Australian captainSteve Waugh labelling India as the "Final Frontier".[5] The famous 2001 Australian tour of India saw Harbhajan Singh become the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick and started a good run for the team, as India beat Australia 2-1. India also came runners up to Australia in the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Since 2004, India had not been doing as well in One-day Internationals. The players who took India to great heights over the past ten years such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble grew older and did not maintain their form and fitness. Following the series loss to Australia, India collapsed on the final day in the Third Test in Bangalore in early 2005 against Pakistan to squander a series victory, and then lost four consecutive ODIs against Pakistan. This was exacerbated by the suspension handed to captain Ganguly for slow over-rates. Greg Chappell took over from John Wright as the new coach of the Indian cricket team following the series, and replaced Kumble and V. V. S. Laxman from the ODI team with younger players. India's unconvincing ODI form continued, scraping past a West Indian team depleted by industrial action in the 2005 Indian Oil Cup and a similarly depleted Zimbabwean team only to be defeated twice in the finals by New Zealand, continuing a poor ODI finals record.

The tension resulted in a fallout between Chappell and Ganguly lead to a confidential email sent by Chappell to the BCCI being leaked, in which he condemned the leadership and performance of Ganguly. After a series of high-profile board meetings and public jousting including some players, Rahul Dravid was installed as the captain, triggering a revival in the team's fortunes. The Indians subsequently defeated Sri Lanka 6-1 in a home series. An important part about this series was the discovery of the young talent of the team, including Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir and Irfan Pathan. The team also beat the Sri Lankans in the Test series 2-0 to displace England from its position in second place in the ICC Test rankings, but India slipped back by losing the high-profile[6] series to Pakistan. Indian team continued its good form in ODIs, beating Pakistan 4-1 in Pakistan. India achieved the world-record of winning 17 successive matches chasing the total. India convincingly won England's tour of India winning the series 5-1. After leveling the DLF Cup series 1-1 in Abu Dhabi, India travelled to West Indies where they lost the ODI series 1-4 to a weak West Indies team which was ranked 8th in the ICC ODI Ranking. The series loss again questioned the Indian team's ability to play away from the Sub-continent and the chances of the Indian team to win the 2007 Cricket World Cup.[7] The Indian team later clinched the Test series against West Indies 1-0, the first Indian series win in the Caribbean since 1989. For the statistics of Indian cricket team after 2011 world cup, watch Indian cricket from 2011. Recently the Indian Cricket team has beaten the Australian cricket team with an impressive 2-1 victory in the 2017 Border-Gavaskar trophy and England by 4-0 in the 2016-17 Antony De Mello Trophy in the 5 match test series.

References[edit]

Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji was an Indian who played for the English cricket team
Sachin Tendulkar, India's leading run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket.
The Indian cricket team in action in the Wankhede Stadium

India cricket crest

Nickname(s)Men in Blue, Team India, Bharat Army
AssociationBoard of Control for Cricket in India
Personnel
CaptainVirat Kohli
CoachRavi Shastri
History
Test status acquired1932
International Cricket Council
ICC statusFull member (1926)
ICC regionAsia
ICC RankingsCurrent[1]Best-ever
Test1st1st
ODI1st1st
T20I3rd1st
Tests
First Testv  England at Lord's, London; 25–28 June 1932
Last Testv  South Africa at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg; 24–27 January 2018
TestsPlayedWon/Lost
Total [2]521144/160
(216 draws, 1 tie)
This year [3]31/2
(0 draws)
One Day Internationals
First ODIv  England at Headingley, Leeds; 13 July 1974
Last ODIv  South Africa at SuperSport Park, Centurion; 16 February 2018
ODIsPlayedWon/Lost
Total [4]939483/409
(7 ties, 40 no result)
This year [5]65/1
(0 ties, 0 no result)
World Cup Appearances11 (first in 1975)
Best resultChampions (1983, 2011)
Twenty20 Internationals
First T20Iv  South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg; 1 December 2006
Last T20Iv  Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; 12 March 2018
T20IsPlayedWon/Lost
Total [6]9659/34
(1 tie, 2 no result)
This year [7]64/2
(0 ties, 0 no result)
World Twenty20 Appearances6 (first in 2007)
Best resultChampions (2007)
As of 6 March 2018

The India national cricket team, also known as Team India and Men in Blue, represents India in international cricket. Governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status.

Although cricket was introduced to India by European merchant sailors in the 18th century, and the first cricket club was established in Calcutta [currently known as Kolkata] in 1792, India's national cricket team did not play its first Test match until 25 June 1932 at Lord's, becoming the sixth team to be granted Test cricket status. In its first fifty years of international cricket, India was one of the weaker teams, winning only 35 of the first 196 Test matches it played. From 1932 India had to wait until 1952, almost 20 years for its first Test victory. The team, however, gained strength in the 1970s with the emergence of players such as batsmen Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath, all-rounder Kapil Dev and the Indian spin quartet of Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi.

Traditionally much stronger at home than abroad, the Indian team has improved its overseas form, especially in limited-overs cricket, since the start of the 21st century, winning Test matches in Australia, England and South Africa. It has won the Cricket World Cup twice – in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev and in 2011 under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After winning the 2011 World Cup, India became only the third team after West Indies and Australia to have won the World Cup more than once,[8] and the first cricket team to win the World Cup at home. It also won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. It was also the joint champions of 2002 ICC Champions Trophy, along with Sri Lanka.

As of 10 February 2018, India is ranked first in Test and ODIs and third in T20Is by the ICC.[9]Virat Kohli is the current captain of the team across all formats, while the head coach is Ravi Shastri.[10] The Indian cricket team has rivalries with other Test-playing nations, most notably with Pakistan, the political arch-rival of India. However, in recent times, rivalries with nations like Australia and England have also gained prominence.

History[edit]

Main article: History of the Indian cricket team

Early History[edit]

See also: History of cricket in India to 1918

The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, with the first cricket match played in 1721.[11] In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsis to play a match in 1877.[12] By 1912, the Parsis, Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year.[12] In the early 1900s, some Indians went on to play for the England cricket team. Some of these, such as Ranjitsinhji and KS Duleepsinhji were greatly appreciated by the British and their names went on to be used for the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy – two major first-class tournaments in India. In 1911, an Indian team went on their first official tour of the British Isles, but only played English county teams and not the England cricket team.[13]

Test-Match Status[edit]

See also: History of cricket in India from 1918-19 to 1945, History of cricket in India from 1945–46 to 1960, and History of cricket in India from 1960–61 to 1970

India was invited to The Imperial Cricket Council in 1926, and made their debut as a Test playing nation in England in 1932, led by CK Nayudu, who was considered as the best Indian batsman at the time.[14] The one-off Test match between the two sides was played at Lord's in London. The team was not strong in their batting at this point and went on to lose by 158 runs.[15] In 1933, the first Test series in India was played between India and England with matches in Bombay, Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Madras (now Chennai). England won the series 2–0.[16] The Indian team continued to improve throughout the 1930s and '40s but did not achieve an international victory during this period. In the early 1940s, India didn't play any Test cricket due to the Second World War. The team's first series as an independent country was in late 1947 against Sir Donald Bradman's Invincibles (a name given to the Australia national cricket team of that time). It was also the first Test series India played which was not against England. Australia won the five-match series 4–0, with Bradman tormenting the Indian bowling in his final Australian summer.[17] India subsequently played their first Test series at home not against England against the West Indies in 1948. West Indies won the 5-Test series 1–0.[18]

India recorded their first Test victory, in their 24th match, against England at Madras in 1952.[19] Later in the same year, they won their first Test series, which was against Pakistan.[20] They continued their improvement throughout the early 1950s with a series win against New Zealand in 1956. However, they did not win again in the remainder of the decade and lost badly to strong Australian and English sides. On 24 August 1959, India lost by an innings in the Test to complete the only 5–0 whitewash ever inflicted by England. The next decade saw India's reputation develop as a team with a strong record at home. They won their first Test series against England at home in 1961–62 and also won a home series against New Zealand. They managed to draw home series against Pakistan and Australia and another series against England. In this same period, India also won its first series outside the subcontinent, against New Zealand in 1967–68.

The key to India's bowling in the 1970s were the Indian spin quartet – Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. This period also saw the emergence of two of India's best ever batsmen, Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath. Indian pitches have had the tendency to support spin and the spin quartet exploited this to create collapses in opposing batting line-ups. These players were responsible for the back-to-back series wins in 1971 in the West Indies and in England, under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar. Gavaskar scored 774 runs in the West Indian series while Dilip Sardesai's 112 played a big part in their one Test win.

One-Day Cricket and World Cup Success[edit]

See also: History of cricket in India from 1970–71 to 1985

The advent of One Day International (ODI) cricket in 1971 created a new dimension in the cricket world. However, India was not considered strong in ODIs at this point and batsmen such as the captain Gavaskar were known for their defensive approach to batting. India began as a weak team in ODIs and did not qualify for the second round in the first two editions of the Cricket World Cup. Gavaskar infamously blocked his way to 36 not out off 174 balls against England in the first World Cup in 1975, India scored just 132 for 3 and lost by 202 runs.

In contrast, India fielded a strong team in Test matches and was particularly strong at home, where their combination of stylish batsmen and beguiling spinners were at their best. India set a then Test record in the third Test against the West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 1976, when they chased 403 to win, thanks to 112 from Viswanath. This West Indian defeat is considered to be a watershed in the history of their cricket because it led to captain Clive Lloyd dispensing with spin altogether and relying entirely on a four-man pace attack instead. In November 1976, the team established another record by scoring 524 for 9 declared against New Zealand at Kanpur without any individual batsman scoring a century. There were six fifties, the highest being 70 by Mohinder Amarnath. This innings was only the eighth instance in Test cricket where all eleven batsmen reached double figures.

During the 1980s, India developed a more attack-minded batting line-up with stroke makers such as the wristy Mohammed Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar and all-rounders Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri. India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, defeating the favourites and the two-time defending champions West Indies in the final at Lords, owing to a strong bowling performance. In spite of this, the team performed poorly in the Test arena, including 28 consecutive Test matches without a victory. In 1984, India won the Asia Cup and in 1985, won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia. Apart from this, India remained a weak team outside the Indian subcontinent. India's Test series victory in 1986 against England remained the last Test series win by India outside the subcontinent for the next 19 years. The 1980s saw Gavaskar and Kapil Dev (India's best all-rounder to date) at the pinnacle of their careers. Gavaskar made a Test record 34 centuries as he became the first man to reach the 10,000 run mark. Kapil Dev later became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 434 wickets. The period was also marked by an unstable leadership, with Gavaskar and Kapil exchanging the captaincy several times.

Late 20th Century[edit]

See also: History of cricket in India from 1985–86 to 2000

The addition of Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble to the national side in 1989 and 1990 further improved the team. The following year, Javagal Srinath, India's fastest bowler since Amar Singh made his debut. Despite this, during the 1990s, India did not win any of its 33 Tests outside the subcontinent while it won 17 out of its 30 Tests at home. After being eliminated by neighbours Sri Lanka on home soil at the 1996 Cricket World Cup semifinal, the team underwent a year of change as Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, later to become captains of the team, made their debut in the same Test at Lord's. Tendulkar replaced Azharuddin as captain in late 1996, but after a personal and team form slump, Tendulkar relinquished the captaincy and Azharuddin was reinstated at the beginning of 1998. With the captaincy burden removed, Tendulkar was the world's leading run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs, as India enjoyed a home Test series win over Australia, the best-ranked team in the world.

After failing to reach the semifinals at the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Tendulkar was again made captain, and had another poor run, losing 3–0 on a tour of Australia and then 2–0 at home to South Africa. Tendulkar resigned, vowing never to captain the team again. Ganguly was appointed the new captain and the team was further damaged in 2000 when former captain Azharuddin and fellow batsman Ajay Jadeja were implicated in a match-fixing scandal and given life and five years bans respectively. This period was described by the BBC as "the Indian cricket's worst hour". However, the new core – Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble and Ganguly – swore not to let this happen to them again, and lead Indian cricket out of the dark times. And the first three put aside personal ambitions to let Ganguly lead them into a new era.[22]

Turn of the Millennium[edit]

See also: History of cricket in India from 2000–01

Since 2000, the Indian team underwent major improvements with the appointment of John Wright as India's first ever foreign coach. India maintained their unbeaten home record against Australia in Test series after defeating them in 2001. The series was famous for the Kolkata Test match, in which India became only the third team in the history of Test cricket to win a Test match after following on. Australian captainSteve Waugh labelled India as the "Final Frontier" as a result of his side's inability to win a Test series in India.[23] Victory in 2001 against the Australians marked the beginning of a dream run for India under their captain Ganguly, winning Test matches in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England. The England series is also known for India's highest ODI run-chase of 325 runs at Lord's which came in the Natwest ODI Series final against England. In the same year, India were joint-winners of the ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka and then went to the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa where they reached the final, only to be beaten by Australia. The 2003–04 season also saw India play out a Test series in Australia where they drew 1–1 with the world champions, and then win a Test and ODI series in Pakistan.

Controversy and World Cup Flop[edit]

At the end of the 2004 season, India suffered from lack of form and fitness from its older players. A defeat in a following home Test series against Australia was followed by an ODI home series defeat against Pakistan followed by a Test series levelled 1–1. Greg Chappell took over from John Wright as the coach of the Indian cricket team following the series, and his methods proved to be controversial during the beginning of his tenure. The tension resulted in a fallout between Chappell and Ganguly, resulting in Rahul Dravid being made captain. This triggered a revival in the team's fortunes, following the emergence of players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and the coming of age of players like Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh. A thumping home series victory over Sri Lanka in 2005 and a drawn series with South Africa put India at second place in the ICC ODI rankings. Dravid, Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were selected to play for the ICC World XI in the 2005 "SuperTest" against Australia. A convincing ODI series win in Pakistan in early 2006, following a loss in the Test series, gave India the world record of 17 successive ODI victories while batting second.[24] Towards the middle of 2006, however, a 4–1 series loss in the West Indies gave rise to a slump in India's ODI form, while they achieved a 1–0 victory in the Test series that followed, giving them their first Test series victory in the Caribbean since 1971. India's ODI form slumped further with a disappointing performance in the 2006 Champions Trophy and a drubbing in the ODI series in South Africa. This was followed yet again by an initial good performance in the Tests, giving India its first Test match win in South Africa, although they went on to lose the series 2–1. This Test series was marked by Ganguly's comeback to the Indian team.[25]

In December 2006, India played and won its first ever Twenty20 international in South Africa, becoming the most recent Test team to play Twenty20 cricket. The beginning of 2007 had seen a revival in the Indian team's ODI fortunes before the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Series victories against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, marked by the comeback of Ganguly, and strong form by Tendulkar, and the emergence of young players like Robin Uthappa saw many pundits to tip India as a real contender to win the 2007 Cricket World Cup. However, defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka saw India fail to reach the second round.

Success under Dhoni[edit]

After winning the Test series against England in August 2007, Dravid stepped down as the captain of the team, following which Dhoni was made the captain of the Twenty20 and ODI team. In September 2007, India won the first-ever Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa, beating Pakistan by 5 runs in the final. In 2007–08, they toured Australia where India lost the highly controversial home Test series 2–1 but managed to win the CB series the following month with a whitewash final of Australia.

In April 2009, India secured their first Test series win in New Zealand in 41 years. After beating Sri Lanka 2–0 in December 2009, India became the No. 1 Test team in the world. They retained the ranking by drawing series against South Africa and Sri Lanka. In October 2010, India whitewashed Australia 2–0 in the home test series, giving them back-to-back series wins against them. Later that year, India managed to draw the Test series in South Africa at 1–1.[26]

India's results in international matches
 MatchesWonLostDrawnTiedNo resultInaugural MatchLatest Match
Test[27]521144160216125 June 193227 January 2018
ODI[28]93948340974013 July 197416 February 2018
T20I[29]915533121 December 200624 December 2017

On 2 April 2011, India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup by defeating Sri Lanka in the final, thus becoming the third team after West Indies and Australia to win the World Cup twice, the previous win being in 1983. Gautam Gambhir and the skipper Dhoni led the way with 97 and 91* respectively.[30] India also became the first team to win the World Cup on home soil.

Transition Period[edit]

India were whitewashed 4–0 in away Test series by England in August 2011 due to which England replaced India as the No. 1 Test team in the rankings.[31] This series was followed by another 4–0 whitewash of India in January 2012 in Australia. The disastrous whitewashes saw the retirement of Dravid and VVS Laxman from Test cricket in 2012. Tendulkar retired in November 2013 after his 200th Test match. With Ganguly having retired in 2008, this period signalled the end of the fabled middle-order batting line-up India had for a decade. 2012 signalled a rough period for Indian cricket as they were beaten 2–1 by England at home in the Test series. This was the first Team India were beaten by England at home in the modern era. This was followed by a 2–1 loss in the ODI series against Pakistan, India's arch-rivals, at home. India was then knocked out in the second round of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. India also failed to qualify for the 2012 Asia Cup final which closed out a disappointing 2012 for the Indian cricket team. 2013 saw a resurgence in Indian cricket.

Worldwide Limited-Overs Success[edit]

In early 2013, India returned the favour to Australia and whitewashed them 4–0 at home in a Test series. India then beat the Aussies 3–2 in the 7-match ODI series and won the one-off T20I. However, India lost heavily against New Zealand and South Africa away from home and led to heavy criticism of Indian cricketers for not being able to perform overseas. India defeated England in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy final and Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first captain in history to win the three major ICC trophies, namely- ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Champions Trophy. This was followed by a victory in the West Indies Triangular Series in 2013 consisting of India, West Indies and Sri Lanka. In 2014, India toured Bangladesh and England. Although they beat the former 2–0 in 3 One Day Internationals, Team India were beaten 3–1 in 5 Test matches by England. This series included a famous win for the Indian team in the first match of the series at Lord's. The Test series was followed by a 3–1 win for the Indians in a 5-match ODI series and a loss in a one-off T20, both against England.

India failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup yet again in 2014. In the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 hosted in Bangladesh, India narrowly missed out on another ICC trophy by losing to Sri Lanka in the final. This tournament saw the rise of Virat Kohli as one of the best limited overs batsmen in world cricket, as he was adjudged the man of the series. India soon comprehensively beat Sri Lanka and West Indies in ODI series to cement their position at the top of the ODI rankings. India toured Australia towards the end of 2014 for a 4-match Test series, which is remembered for MS Dhoni's sudden retirement from Test cricket after the end of the second Test. Virat Kohli was appointed as the captain of Team India in Test matches but he was unable to turn the series around and India lost 2–0. Kohli's first series win as captain came away from home in a 3-match Test series vs Sri Lanka, which signalled the beginning of an unbeaten Test series run for India.

Dominance at Home under Kohli[edit]

2015 saw the beginning of India's dominance at home in Test matches under new captain Virat Kohli when they comprehensively beat South Africa. This series was the beginning of an unbeaten streak of 19 Test matches for India which was brought to an end by Australia in early 2017. This series also saw the emergence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as two of the best spinners and all-rounders. They spun webs around touring batsmen, much like the spinning quartet of the 1970s. This was followed by limited overs victories over Australia and Sri Lanka away from home. India was knocked out of the 2015 World Cup in the semi-final stage, to eventual winners Australia. India began 2016 by winning the 2016 Asia Cup, remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament, beating Pakistan along the way. India were favourites to win the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 which was being held at home, but they lost in the semi-final to eventual champions West Indies. Virat Kohli was again named the man of the series.

In 2016, "The Grand Home Season" began for India, including series at home against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. India whitewashed New Zealand to regain the number one ranking in Test cricket after almost 10 years. Before the series against England in November 2016, MS Dhoni resigned as captain of India in limited overs, thus handing the captaincy to Virat Kohli across all formats. India beat England across all three formats, with a notable 4–0 win in the Test series. This was followed by Test series wins against Bangladesh and Australia, which meant India reclaimed the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest cricketer of all time to reach 250 wickets; he and Ravindra Jadeja occupied the top two spots in both the ICC Bowlers and All-Rounders rankings at the time. In the process, India became the third team (after South Africa and Australia) to have won their most recent Test series against all the other Test-playing nations. India holds an unbeaten streak of 8 consecutive Test series wins as of 19 August 2017.

2017 ICC Champions Trophy and onwards[edit]

India defeated Pakistan in their first game of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, winning by a convincing 124-run margin,[32] but lost their second game of the group against Sri Lanka by 7 wickets despite posting a total of 321.[33] In their final group game against South Africa, a must-win encounter, India won comfortably and sealed a spot in the semi-finals, against Bangladesh.[34] India comfortably won the match by 9 wickets, and faced arch-rivals Pakistan in the final, the first time they had met at this stage of a tournament since 2007.[35] In an anti-climax, considering India were the clear favourites, Pakistan defeated India comfortably by 180 runs in the final, outclassing them across all three departments.[36]

India beat the West Indies 3–1 in a 5-match ODI series in the Caribbean in July 2017,[37] but lost to the same opposition in a one-off T20I.[38] India then toured Sri Lanka, and comprehensively defeated them 3-0 in a three-match Test series, the first time India had whitewashed a team away from home in a Test series with at least three games.[39]

Governing body[edit]

Main article: Board of Control for Cricket in India

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing body for the Indian cricket team and first-class cricket in India. The Board has been operating since 1929 and represents India at the International Cricket Council. It is amongst the richest sporting organisations in the world. It sold media rights for India's matches from 2006–2010 for US$612,000,000.[40] It manages the Indian team's sponsorships, its future tours and team selection.

The International Cricket Council determines India's upcoming matches through its future tours program. However, the BCCI, with its influential financial position in the cricketing world, has often challenged the ICC's program and called for more series between India, Australia and England which are more likely to earn more revenue as opposed to tours with Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.[41] In the past, the BCCI has also come into conflict with the ICC regarding sponsorships[42] and the legitimacy of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Selection committee[edit]

Main article: Indian national cricket selectors

Selection for the Indian cricket team occurs through the BCCI's zonal selection policy, where each of the five zones is represented with one selector and one of the members nominated by BCCI as the Chairman of the selection committee. This has sometimes led to controversy as to whether these selectors are biased towards their zones.[43]

The current chairman of the selection committee is M. S. K. Prasad. Devang Gandhi, Sarandeep Singh, Jatin Paranjpe, and Gagan Khoda are the other members of the selection committee from 21 September 2016.

Team colours[edit]

Since colours have made their way into international cricket, the Indian cricket team has chosen blue as their primary colour and orange/red as their secondary colour and have worn one or the other shade of blue. The blue colour of their uniform has also earned them the nickname of "Men in Blue". With the advent of the World Series Cup in the 1970s, each team was to don a primary and secondary colour on their uniforms. The Indian team elected to wear light-blue as their primary colour and yellow as their secondary colour. Even during the 1999 Cricket World Cup, the secondary colour on the Indian cricket team's clothing was yellow. However, this has since been replaced with the tricolour. In the past, the Indian ODI outfits were changed to different shades of blue, mostly darker than the current,[44] and the team donned navy blue during 1992,[45] and then the sky blue colour for the next decade. Indian team has got a new kit from 2009 which is feroza blue with India written on it in orange.[46] Currently, from October 2010, the team is once again using a light blue shade though not as light as the previous sky blue one, with India written in orange, and shades of the tricolour at the sides. The kit sponsor for the Indian cricket team is Nike, which in 2005 bought the kit rights in a $27.2 million contract with BCCI.[47]

Due to their love for blue colour Nike with Board for Control of Cricket in India launched the mega campaign called "Bleed Blue" for the support of Indian team in 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup which turned out to be a huge success and people over the internet and places adopted this to cheer for India.[48]

A new ultramarine blue coloured jersey of the one-day cricket team was released on 20 October 2010[49] for the upcoming tours and ICC Cricket World Cup. The jersey has been designed by team's apparel and kit sponsor Nike. Previously, the Indian cricket team has worn a darker shade of blue and before that, the team has worn sky blue. The vertical tricolour band has been made on both sides in comparison to just one side in the previous shirt. OPPO, the manufacturer of Chinese electronics is the official team sponsor logo is on the central part of the jersey (above orange coloured INDIA logo and on the right arm Nike logo is visible. The name and jersey number of the player are printed in orange at the back while on the chest the logo of BCCI is on the left side. The one-day cap was also sky blue with the BCCI logo on the front.

When playing first-class cricket, in addition to their cricket whites, Indian fielders sometimes wear a sunhat, which is dark blue and has a wide brim, with the BCCI logo in the middle of the front of the hat. Helmets are coloured similarly. Some players sport the Indian flag on their helmet. The current kit sponsor for the Indian team is Nike, Inc. and current team sponsor is Oppo Electronics.

Previous sponsors before Oppo Electronics were Star India (2009-2016), Sahara India Pariwar (2002-2008) and Wills (1994-2000).

International grounds[edit]

Main article: List of international cricket grounds in India

See also: List of international cricket centuries on Indian cricket grounds and List of international cricket five-wicket hauls in Indian Grounds

A graph showing India's Test match results against all Test match teams from 1932 to September 2006
With 619 wickets, Anil Kumble is the world's third highest wicket-taker in Tests and India's highest Test and ODI wicket taker .[21]
The Indian cricket team in action in the Wankhede Stadium

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