75 years of independence, 75 iconic moments from Indian sports: No 74 - India’s first Test series win in West Indies

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes.  Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.

March 11, 1971: India registers first ever series win in West Indies

The 1970-71 season was a landmark of sorts for the Indian cricket team. It saw many firsts — a Test win against West Indies  in its own backyard, a series triumph and the arrival of a champion, Sunil Gavaskar .

The five-match series turned many heads when the first Test at Kingston ended in a draw.The stage was set for the 21-year-old Gavaskar. The stylish right-hander walked into a dressing room, filled with positivity and confidence, for the second Test at Port of Spain. He meant business from the first ball he faced.

After playing a few aggressive shots — including a hook off Grayson Shillingford — he was almost dismissed. Sir Garry Sobers failed to take the nick at second-slip off Vanburn Holder when Gavaskar was on 12.

He added 68 runs for the first wicket with Ashok Mankad and also went on to score a half-century.

When India  looked comfortable at 186/2, off-spinner Jack Noreiga provoked Gavaskar to play a rash stroke that went straight into the hands of Clive Lloyd at square-leg. He batted for 262 minutes and scored a gritty 65, studded with seven fours.

Gavaskar carried the momentum into the second innings. He helped India chase down 124 with another half-century on Day Five.

He not only remained unbeaten on 67, but he also hit the winning runs to script history.

The article was first published on March 6, 2018.

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