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“Dhoni finishes off in style, A magnificent strike from Dhoni and India lift the world cup after 28 years”. These words by Ravi Shastri from the commentary box with Dhoni’s monstrous hit out of the park might be that one moment for any Indian cricket fan to relish throughout one’s life. But when we speak about Indian cricket as a whole, it is after this world cup that the world looked upon India as one of the best sides in the world. But before all this, there was a team in 1983 which went to England as an underdog and accomplished something that no one thought India would and went on the books as the greatest ever victory for India.
Before the world cup of 1983, India had played two world cups in which they had won just one match against East and Central Africa in 1975. These are the odds that no one can deny. We even see Mohinder Amarnath stating- “Prior to 1983, we used to go to England only to see some blondes with their long legs “ and for Krishnamacharya Srikanth, the explosive opener of India, England was just meant to be a stopover to go to the USA as a belated honeymoon. All of his plans crashed as they went on to play matches, win and eventually defeat West Indies to lift the World Cup. This triumph leads India to make a mark in the world of cricket and worked as a foundation for the future of Indian cricket team.
Then for the first time, India and Pakistan co-hosted the World Cup and were considered as favourites, with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Azharuddin. India came to the World Cup with a positive approach, won most of the matches in the group stage but fell for England in the semi-finals.
India’s World Cup stint from 1992-2007 are mostly forgettable, except for being the finalists in 2003, but one lantern that shined bright throughout all the matches that India played was “Master-Blaster”- Sachin Tendulkar. From his debut in 1989 against Pakistan to his last match against West Indies, in 2013 he has scored 15921 runs in test cricket with 51 centuries,18426 runs in ODI’s with 49 centuries and 34,347 runs with 100 centuries overall. These numbers speak for themselves as it is seen in his achievement. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen that the world has ever seen.
With the emergence of shorter formats of cricket, India needed a new captain and then came M.S Dhoni, leading Indian team for the first time in the T20 World Cup in 2007. He created wonders with his tactical approach to the game, with the sensational 6 sixes over by Yuvraj Singh. India progressed and went on to win the World Cup against Pakistan. His captaincy brought about great changes in Indian cricket. Fitness and fielding of players improved, selection of team became unbiased and results showed under his captaincy -India won 107 matches out of 194 in ODI’s and has won T20 World Cup, Champions trophy, 2 Asia cups and he has taken India to the top spot in test cricket. He is considered as one of the fastest wicket-keepers and has a stellar batting average of 50.53 in ODI’s. He is the man who revolutionized Indian cricket and it is under him that players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma etc rose to the limelight.
India has been a semi-finalist in both 2015 and 2019 world cup and is now lead by the “Run machine” himself Virat Kohli. At present the Indian cricket team has the fittest players and multifaceted personalities. Players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan set examples for the youngsters in the team and the bowling attack with Bumrah, Bhuveneshwar and Shami seem like the best, fast-bowling trio that India has seen in ages.
From being called as the underdog to being one of the best team in the world, Indian cricket has grown further and wider through each passing year, but one constant thing throughout the journey are the “fans”. Cricket in India is seen as a religion and will remain the same for decades to come.
My recommendation for this write-up is a movie named “Lagaan” directed by Ashutosh Gowariker starring Aamir Khan. The movie is set in a colonized India and is the best movie on cricket ever made.
Have an amazing watch!!!
by John Doe
by Susan Mayer
by Daniel Adams