Indian cricket team
The Indian cricket team is a national cricket team representing the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It made its Test debut on June 25, 1932 at Lord's, England, becoming the sixth test team. In 1983, they won the Cricket World Cup and reached the final in 2003.
For nearly fifty years, the Indian cricket team was weaker than most of the other international test cricket teams, such as Australia and England. The team gained strength in the 1970s with the appearance of Sunil Gavaskar and has been a top team since.
Some of its current members are Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, V. V. S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Mohammad Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Ajit Agarkar, Lakshmipathy Balaji, and Dinesh Mongia. Famous former players include Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, and Mohammed Azharuddin.
History of Indian international cricket
Some of the earliest heroes of Indian cricket were CK Nayudu and Lala Amarnath. India made its test debut in England in 1932 led by CK Nayudu, and its first series as an independent country was in 1948 against Australia at Brisbane. Australia were led by Don Bradman while India was led by Lala Amarnath. India's first ever test victory came against England at Madras in 1952. India's first series victory was against Pakistan the same year.
Some of India's star cricketers of the 1950s and 1960s were Vinoo Mankad, Hemu Adhikari, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Vijay Hazare, Vijay Merchant, Mushtaq Ali, Chandu Borde and Subhash Gupte. India's first overseas series victory came against New Zealand in 1968.
Most of the 1970s was dominated by India's spin quartet of Bishen Singh Bedi, Erapalli 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. This bunch of players was responsible for the back-to-back series wins in West Indies and England in 1971 under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar. Than came the emergence of Mohinder Amarnath and "Mr. Dependable" Dilip Vengsarkar who was the undisputed No. 1 batsman in 1986-87. Kapil Dev emerged as a quality all-rounder in this decade.
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 the final. In 1985, India won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia. The test series victory in 1986 in England remains, to date, India's last test series win outside the subcontinent. Sunil Gavaskar became the first batsman to cross 10,000 runs in test cricket and went on to register a record 34 centuries, equalled recently by Sachin Tendulkar. Kapil Dev 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.
The emergence of Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble in 1989 and 1990 gave further proof of Indian cricket's depth and the Indian side went from strength to strength during the 1990s, though mostly at home.
In 1999, Anil Kumble became the second bowler to take all ten wickets in a Test match innings when he took 10 for 74 against Pakistan at New Delhi. Sachin Tendulkar continued to set new records while Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, Javagal Srinath made their mark in international cricket during this decade. India reached the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup played in South Africa, but lost to Australia.
Though there has always been no dearth of talent in the Indian team, and many Indian cricketers have been acknowledged and respected the world over, the Indians have had trouble performing well overseas. But the current Indian team seems to have realized the strength within them and, under the guidance of coach John Wright and captain Saurav Ganguly, jelled well into a team. As a sample of their newly acquired confidence, they drew a test series with Australia in Australia, which is usually considered a very tough tour.
India has had a very good record against Australia and, before the 2004/05 tour, had never let Australia beat them in a Test Series in India since 1969. This was the reason for Australian Captain Steve Waugh labelling India as the Final Frontier. The famous 2001 Australian Tour of India started a good run for the team, as India beat Australia 2-1. India also came to the 2003 World Cup Finals, only to beaten by Australia.
However, in the past couple of years India has not been doing as well in ODIs (One Day Internationals). They placed #7 on the ICC (International Cricket Council)'s rankings while they are #3 in test cricket. The players who took India to great heights over the past 10 years such as Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble are growing older and not consistently maintaining form and fitness. Under the new coach Greg Chappell, who took over from John Wright in 2005, India faces a challenge to build a winning team before the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.
The series with Sri lanka in 2005 is probably the best oneday series for India for quite a long time now. They had taken hold of the series by winning 6 out of the 7 one day internationals. The best part about this series has been the discovery of the young talent of the team. The series has also seen the return of Sachin Tendulkar to form after losing 6 months to injury.