Reliving India's best victories in One-Day Internationals

As the team prepares to take on the West Indies in its 1000th ODI, we pick 10 of its best victories in this format.

Published : Feb 05, 2022 17:30 IST

Over the years, India has grown into a force to reckon with in ODI cricket - the World Cup wins of 1983 and 2011 being the pinnacle of its achievement in the format.
Over the years, India has grown into a force to reckon with in ODI cricket - the World Cup wins of 1983 and 2011 being the pinnacle of its achievement in the format.

Over the years, India has grown into a force to reckon with in ODI cricket - the World Cup wins of 1983 and 2011 being the pinnacle of its achievement in the format.

India began its One-Day International (ODI) journey with a loss against England at Leeds in 1974. It was a 55-over match that saw India lose by four wickets. Over the years, lessons were learnt and India grew into a force to reckon with in ODI cricket - winning the World Cup in 1983 and 2011. As the team prepares to take on the West Indies in its 1000th ODI, we pick 10 of its best victories in this format.

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Lord’s, 1983, World Cup, final : India beat the West Indies in one of the most stunning results in cricket. It was a game changer. The most-watched final of a limited overs tournament which led to an incredible boost to cricket in India. From nobody, India emerged the team to watch. The team has since assumed cult status in Indian cricket and there was a fitting tribute to the victory in the shape of a movie that celebrated the feat on the big screen. To this day, the West Indians talk of the hurt that the loss caused.

India 183. West Indies 140.

It is celebration time for the Indians as the last wicket of West Indies' Michael Holding is claimed by Mohinder Amarnath, trapping leg before, to seal India's victory in the final of the Prudential World Cup at Lord's on June 25, 1983.

Melbourne, 1985, WCC, final: The triumph was a confirmation of India’s growing status in ODI cricket. It also put a stamp of authority on India’s ability to play best on big occasions. The thumping victory against arch rival Pakistan was a wonderful gift for Sunil Gavaskar, who was leading India for the last time. The bowlers played a huge role in the match and the opening stand of 103 between K. Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri killed the contest. Gavaskar running out counterpart captain Imran Khan with a direct hit was a standout moment from the match.

Pak 176/9. India 177/2.

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Sharjah, 1985, Rothmans Cup, league match: A thriller on a challenging pitch which aided the bowlers. It was low scoring but full of intrigue and excitement. From Ravi Shastri getting out to the first ball of the match by Imran Khan to the wily Kapil Dev castling Tauseef Ahmed to signal an amazing win, it was a match that boasted of some never-ending tales of top class skills. Imran’s six wickets were countered by Gavaskar’s exceptional fielding which won him the Player of the Match honours. A fascinating known by Mohd Azharuddin was one of the highlights. Overall, a masterful show by a confident Indian team.

India 125. Pakistan 87.

Bangalore, 1996, World Cup, quarterfinal : The tension was so unbearable that the players avoided room service. They felt the pressure was unbearable because everyone had just one request, “Beat Pakistan tomorrow.” The opposition was a crack combination. So was India. It all boiled down to who held the nerves to deal with the situation. At the end of it, the top show by Navjot Singh Sidhu, who made 93, and a blistering 45 by Ajay Jadeja set it up for the home team. There was stunned silence as Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail threatened to take the game before local boy Venkatesh Prasad swung the contest India’s way.

India 287/8. Pakistan 248/9.

N.S. Sidhu pulls Ata-ur-Rehman in the quarterfinal between India and Pakistan during the 1996 World Cup in Bangalore on March 9, 1996.

Karachi, 1997, 2nd match, Bilateral Series : This was a match played in the most hostile atmosphere that one can imagine. Stone throwing from the spectators during Pakistan’s innings caused the game to be stopped three times. The Indians feared getting injured and were apprehensive to resume. India carried on in good spirit though. The target was stiff but Sourav Ganguly produced a classic 89 to leave the opposition in a trance. His knock was ably supported by Vinod Kambli, Robin Singh and Saba Karim with a much-needed six by Rajesh Chauhan off Saqlain Mushtaq the icing on the cake in testing times.

Pakistan. 265/4. India 266/6.

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Dhaka, 1998, Silver Jubilee Independence Cup, final : It was almost dark when India reached the target. In a high-scoring match, with the spectators cheering Pakistan, it was a hard task for India, which was put to the sword by the menacing Saeed Anwar (140) and Ijaz Ahmed (117).  India achieved a world record chase in an ODI match thanks to a spectacular knock by Sourav Ganguly (124) and a brilliant 82 by Robin Singh. Small but priceless contributions from the lower order came in handy and a match-deciding cameo by Hrishikesh Kanitkar helped India win the title-contest.

Pakistan 314/5. India 316/7.

Lord’s, 2002, NatWest Series, final : India found new heroes. The young brigade combined admirably with the seniors to pull off a stunning coup at the home of cricket. It was a comprehensive performance that showcased the confidence that Sourav Ganguly had instilled in his team. Faced with a target of 326 and left reeling at 146 for five, India rose from the brink with the help of a stirring display by Mohammad Kaif (87 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (69). Their 120-run stand took India to the shore. The English were left grieving with three balls left as Zaheer Khan hit the winning runs.

England 325/5. India 326/8.

Zaheer Khan celebrates India's victory as England captain Nasser Hussain looks on during the NatWest Series final at Lord's on July 13, 2002.

Centurion, 2003, World Cup: This was a beauty on a belter of a pitch. On the eve of the match, Shoaib Akhtar boasted of snapping Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag cheaply. It was just the motivation for the Indian camp. The high-profile match of the tournament saw Pakistan, riding on Saeed Anwar’s strokeful century, race away to a formidable target but Tendulkar, in a splendid touch, launched a scintillating counter-attack with a knock that sealed the opposition’s fate. Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh completed the job in grand style with an unbeaten winning partnership of 99 runs.

Pakistan 273/7. India 276/4.

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Mumbai, 2011, World Cup, final: A dream fulfilled for millions of Indians. And for the new generation cricketers who were keen to give the World Cup gift to Sachin Tendulkar. The maestro was playing his last World Cup and that added to the expectations. A win against Pakistan in the semifinal was the driving force for India. Thanks to Gautam Gambhir and M. S. Dhoni batting magnificently, India halted a spirited Sri Lanka in the final. Gambhir gave the direction and Dhoni finished in style after Mahela Jayawardena had produced an all-time great century. The nation celebrated the title win to a man, with Tendulkar the happiest person.

Sri Lanka 274/6. India 277/4.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits a six against Sri Lanka as teammate Yuvraj Singh reacts during the World Cup 2011 final at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.

Hobart, 2012, Commonwealth Bank Series, league match : India has to win the match. And win it with an imposing equation. Sri Lanka, with centuries from T. Dilshan and K. Sangakkara, set a target of 321, but  India had to overhaul it in 40 overs in order to keep hopes of playing the final. Virat Kohli took upon the mantle and single-handedly decimated Sri Lanka with an astounding display of strokes as India reached the destination in 36.4 overs. “You can’t do much when they bat like that,” Sangakkara lamented. Kohli’s mind-blowing knock, however, could not help India qualify since Sri Lanka won its match against Australia.

Sri Lanka 320/4. India 321/3.

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