Cricket, India: A history
(→The armed forces and cricket)
(→Bowlers told Virat to enforce the follow-on)
|Line 564:||Line 564:|
“All bowlers said that we are ready, if follow-on is enforced as we didn’t feel the need to rest. It was an intent to win and not like let’s bat a bit and stretch the game,” he said, elaborating on what the team strategy was.
“All bowlers said that we are ready, if follow-on is enforced as we didn’t feel the need to rest. It was an intent to win and not like let’s bat a bit and stretch the game,” he said, elaborating on what the team strategy was.
Latest revision as of 07:59, 10 November 2019
This is a collection of newspaper articles selected for the excellence of their content.
 An overview: 1932 to the present
The team -over this long duration - had its share of ups and downs. Certainly there have been more valleys than hills in the graph, particularly in the formative years, and more so in the record abroad.
This is a journey that began on June 25, 1932. CK Nayudu led the Indian team on to the field at Lord's in the inaugural Test against England and the babes of international cricket were on their way . There was no storybook script, with the match being lost by 158 runs. But debutants India came out with a lot of credit. Indian teams took a long, long time to settle into a cohesive unit and the result was one disaster after another in the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s, interspersed with the odd win. Before the present generation -brought up on round-the-year cricket -gets the incorrect idea, it must be stated that Test matches were few and far between in those days.
It took almost 20 years for India to notch up their first Test victory, but that inaugural win came only in their 25th Test. Tests were played with greater frequency in the '50s and '60s, yet India played their 100th Test only in July 1967.
Still, there was no denying the fact that by 1970 Indian cricket's overall record was quite dismal, with only 15 victories to show in 116 Tests only three of them abroad, that too against lowly New Zealand.
Whenever one discusses the history of Indian Test cricket, the year 1971 has to stand out. This was the break through year with historic series tri umphs in West Indies and England and the emergence of Sunil Gavaskar.
From now on there would be a marked upswing in the country's cricketing fortunes. With his superb technique and unruffled temperament allied to his dedication, determination and concentration, Gavaskar showed the way for others to follow.
From now on there would be no meek surrender, not to the fastest of bowlers, not even while playing on alien pitches in foreign weather conditions.A new crop of defiant -or stroke-playing -batsmen cropped up. With a vast improvement in the fielding standards and with a quartet of world-class spin bowlers in Bedi, Chandra, Venkat and Prasanna, Indian cricket at last started earning respect worldwide and the victories -both at home and abroad -became more frequent.
The one lacuna remained in the area of fast bowling. But with the discovery of Kapil Dev towards the end of the '70s, even this was bridged. Like Gavaskar before him, Kapil inspired a generation of fast bowlers and before long, the Indian attack wore a balanced look. The victories became even more frequent and various individual world records were set up. By the early '80s, an Indian was the leading rungetter and century-maker in Tests and he later went on to become the first [in the world] to cross the 10,000-run barrier in Test cricket.
A few years later, another Indian became the highest wicket-taker. Through the '80s, India's upward swing in fortunes continued with a series victory in England and two successive shared contests in Australia.
There was a surprising dip in the graph in the 1990s, with India suffering defeats almost everywhere even as they maintained their enviable record at home. But somehow one sensed that the nucleus of a worldbeating side was being formed, with Sachin Tendulkar being the flagbearer. For the first time an Indian was freely acknowledged as the best batsman in the world.
In the new millennium, Indian cricket touched new heights. The most lustrous batting lineup in the world took shape in the form of Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. With Anil Kumble as the kingpin of the bowling attack, there was a sharp rise in the winning graph.
Starting with the major turning point -Kolkata 2001 -Indian cricket went from strength to strength. The team showed it was capable of winning a series in England, winning a historic rubber in Pakistan, sharing contests in Australia and South Africa and winning a series in New Zealand for the first time in 41 years.
Even as the `Fab Five' -not to forget the irrepressible Virender Sehwag -bowed out of international cricket in the second decade of the new millennium, another set of batsmen and bowlers fit to wear their shoes took over.
The Indian team continues to be respected and even feared in international cricket. And while they are able to maintain a near impeccable record at home, it must be said that they can do better overseas. This is one reason why India's overall Test record sees their winning percentage as low as 25.85, below that of Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and ahead of only New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh As Indian cricket crosses an important landmark in Kanpur, it is imperative that the contributions made by the pioneers, who were symbols of courage in adversity in Indian cricket's early days in international cricket, should not be forgotten.
It is never easy to represent a country in its formative years. The dice is heavily loaded against them and more often than not these players were up against far more experienced sides that had all-time great cricketers in their ranks.
This is the time to remember not only the feats of the spin quartet, Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Laxman, Ganguly and Sehwag but also the deeds of Nayudu, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Merchant, Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Md Nissar, Amar Singh, Polly Umrigar, Vijay Manjrekar, Subash Gupte and MAK Pataudi.
 100 Test victories at home
Indian cricketers notched up a plethora of records during the first Test against West Indies at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot and the icing on the cake was that the hosts went on to clinch their biggest victory in Test cricket (by innings).
India pulled off an incredible innings and 272 run victory against West Indies inside three days on Saturday. And this triumph is now in fact India's 100th overall Test win at home which was registered in their 266th match.
India dominated the game, amassing 649 for nine in their first innings before bowling out the West Indies twice on day three, to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
The Windies were bundled out for 181 in 48 overs before lunch and were asked to follow-on. They did not fare any better in the second innings, crumbling to 196 all out in 50.5 overs in the final session.
In the process, India also became the fourth team to get to 100 victories at home after Australia, England and South Africa. Australia top the list with 238 wins out of 415 matches ahead of England's 217 in 515 Tests. South Africa feature third on the list with 104 victories in 230 matches.
Having played their maiden Test at home in 1933/34 against England, it took India close to two decades to record their first victory on home soil. India clinched an innings and 8 run win against England in 1952 for their first home Test win. Download The Times of India News App for Latest Sports News.
 A history by Boria Majumdar
FOR INDIA, LIFE’S A PITCH
From minnows to World Champions, Team India has come a long way.
 The 1880s
Cricket in India had started in real earnest in the 1880s with the first Parsee tour of England in 1886. While this team was hastily put together and did not fare well, the second Parsee team to tour England in 1888 did much better. The improved standard of cricket in 1890s India is something the TOI drew our attention to when the Parsees, the early patrons of cricket, played G F Vernon’s touring English side in Bombay. Vernon’s team won all its matches in India except the one against the Parsees, which the visitors lost by four wickets. Commenting on the Parsee victory, Times of India wrote, ‘The Parsees are heartily to be congratulated on their really splendid victory . . . It is a great feather in the cap of the Parsees to have pulled off the match.’
The improvement was consistent and it was finally in June 1932 that India cut their teeth in international cricket against the English at Lord’s. This tour, from its very inception, was controversial and was marred by a bitter tussle over captaincy, which was beautifully documented in the pages of TOI. The struggle between the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram and the Maharaja of Patiala for captaincy finally ended in favour of Patiala with Vizzy offered the strange designation of Deputy Vice Captain. He soon withdrew from the tour citing health reasons. Patiala followed suit and ultimately the Maharaja of Porbander led the first official Indian touring team to England. Interestingly Porbander was the worst player in the touring party and India’s first homegrown superhero, C K Nayudu, had the privilege of leading India out at Lord’s on June 25, 1932.
After being inducted into the Imperial Cricket Council in 1926, India were invited to play their maiden Test against England at Lord’s in 1932. Apart from the one-off Test, India played a whopping 25 other first-class fixtures on the tour. Natwarsinhji Bhavsinhji, who was the Maharaja of Porbander, was the designated captain but he made way for the more talented CK Nayudu to lead the team. India lost the Test by 158 runs to England captained by Douglas Jardine but not before their pace duo of Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh had made an impression with six and four wickets respectively. Skipper Nayudu would top-score with 40 in the first innings and end the tour with 1618 firstclass runs at an average of 40. The exposure on England soil for nearly four months took a toll on the players as many were battered and bruised by the end.
After independence, TOI played an important role in documenting the growing importance of cricket in the Indian public imagination. Wins in the West Indies and England in 1971, considered watershed moments in Indian cricket history, found first-page mention as did India’s first ever Test win against England in 1952 in Chennai. K N Prabhu’s dispatches from the Caribbean in 1971 are invaluable in understanding the significance of this victory and in chronicling the early impact of Sunil Gavaskar on Indian cricket. To their credit the TOI correspondents were farsighted in their analysis. This is borne out from stories on Sachin Tendulkar’s debut series in 1989. Reporting from Pakistan, Sunder Rajan predicted that Sachin was a special talent.
India’s second visit to England in 1936 was notorious for the acts of their megalomaniac captain Maharajah of Vizianagram, famously known as Vizzy. He played backdoor games to send Lala Amarnath home before the first Test citing disciplinary reasons. The loss of their most successful allrounder clearly dampened India’s prospects as they lost the first Test at Lord’s and the third Test at the Oval by nine wickets while managing a draw in Manchester in the second. Vijay Merchant was by far the best batsman for India on the tour with 1,745 runs for an average of 51.32 and three hundreds despite missing many of the 28 first-class fixtures the team played. CK Nayudu was not the batsman he was four years earlier and although Mohammad Nissar took 14 wickets, he too had lost a few yards in pace.
Result: England won 2-0.
 Cricket nationalism
That cricket had become the most potent symbol of Indian nationalism was borne out from coverage of world cups in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007. The 1999 World Cup match against Pakistan occupied many pages drawing attention to the political significance of the encounter against the backdrop of Kargil. And in documenting the curse of match fixing in 2000 or the high of the 2011 World Cup triumph, the paper set new benchmarks. These reports will forever serve as valuable source for historians and aficionados of sport in understanding the emergence of cricket as India’s secular religion.
England were still reeling under the aftereffects of the Second World War when a team from undivided India toured in 1946. In fact, proper first-class cricket had just resumed when the Indians, led by Iftikhar Ai Khan Pataudi, arrived for a four-month long sojourn in a wet summer. Pataudi had incidentally represented England in the Bodyline Series in 1932-33. Only six in the Indian squad had Test experience against an England side which had the likes of captain Wally Hammond, Denis Compton, Bill Edrich and Len Hutton. England summarily won the first Test at Lord’s by 10 wickets as Alec Bedser took 11 wickets and Joe Hardstaff scored a double ton. India held on for a draw in Manchester in the second Test and rain spoiled the party in the third Test at the Oval. The high point for India was the last wicket partnership of 249 between Chandu Sarwate and Shute Banerjee against Surrey, which is still the second-highest first-class partnership for the 10th wicket. .
Result: England won 3-match series 1-0
India were still on a high after having beaten England in Madras the preceding year when they reached England for the first tour after the independence -- their five-day Test series. They resumed their second innings in the first Test with a deficit of only 41 runs. However, they were reduced to 0/4 as Fred Trueman and Alec Bedser wreaked havoc. The tour went downhill from thre: they lost the first Test by 7 wickets, second by 8 at Lord’s, third by an innings and 207 runs in Manchester while rain helped them avoid a whitewash at the Oval. At 35, Vinoo Mankad showed why he was India’s first great allrounder with his effort at Lord’s (72 & 184; 5/196) spending 19 hours on the field out of the total 25 hours.
Result: England won 4-match series 3-0
The first time India played a five-Test series in England. India had lost a home series against West Indies and were going through a leadership crisis, with four people assuming charge in five matches. Key players like Vinoo Mankad, Hemu Adhikari and Ghulam Ahmed had retired. India, under Datta Gaekwad, fared worse than the 1952 side, losing all five Tests, three of them by an innings.
Result: England won 5-0
Another whitewash followed as India lost all three Tests in wet conditions. The team was captained by Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and included the likes of Farokh Engineer, Bishan Singh Bedi, Chandu Borde and BS Chandrasekhar. The series was in the news for England’s decision to drop Geoff Boycott after he crawled to a double century in the first Test in Leeds. Captain Pataudi scored a superb 148 in the second innings of that Test to help India pile up 510 but that was not enough as England won by six wickets. The hosts won the next two Tests at Lord’s and Edgbaston convincingly.
Result: England won 3-0
 Captains and their overseas Test series win: 1967-2015
The number of Tests it took Indian captains before they got their first overseas series win, 1967-2015
No. of Tests captained, but never won overseas
 Unruly spectators: 1967-2015
The Times of India, October 7, 2015
Major incidents of crowd trouble in the past in India
1967 : India vs West Indies, 2nd Test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata: Organizers had sold more tickets than there were seats. The ensuing chaos resulted in the crowd resorting to vandalism on Day Two of the Test. Assurances to players from officials finally saw the visitors win by an innings and 45 runs. A day's play was lost.
1984-85 : India vs England, 3rd Test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata On the third day, the crowd -already angry to see Kapil Dev sitting out -got infuriated with captain Sunil Gavaskar for delaying the declaration. They pelted fruits and garbage. The match ended in a draw.
1996 : World Cup semifinal at Eden Gardens, Kolkata Frustrated over India's poor batting, the crowd burnt stands, threw bottles and garbage and forced organizers to abandon the match when India were 120-8 chasing 252. The game was awarded to Sri Lanka.
1996 : India vs Australia, Titan Cup league match in Bangalore All hell broke loose when Azharuddin fell to a dubious decision while India were chasing 216. Plastic bottles were thrown, forcing the game to be held up for a little over 15 minutes. India won a thrilling game by two wickets.
1999 : India vs Pakistan, Asian Test championship, Kolkata Sachin Tendulkar collided with Shoaib Akhtar while taking a single and was ruled run out. Angry spectators disrupted the game, which subsequently restarted. But next day, organizers were forced to evacuate the unrelenting crowd.Players completed proceedings in an empty stadium.
2002 : India vs West Indies, third ODI in Rajkot India were 200 for 1 in 27.1 overs in reply to West Indies' 300 when the crowd started throwing water bottles and sandbags at visiting players. Play was abandoned.
2015 : Second T20I, India vs SA at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack India's poor batting angered a section of the crowd and the game was halted twice. A section of the stands had to be emptied.
The one that changed it all. Fresh from a historic maiden series win in West Indies, Ajit Wadekar’s India reached England high on confidence. The series was level going into the final Test at the Oval after two exciting draws at Lord’s and Old Trafford. India conceded a 71-run first-innings lead but Chandrasekhar’s dream spell of 6/38, along with some sharp catching by Eknath Solkar, meant India were chasing a gettable 173, which they managed, proving to the world they were no longer pushovers abroad.
Result: India won 3-match series 1-0
 Draws caused by rain or bad light: 1948, 1969, 1971, 1979
Test cricket involving India has witnessed many tight finishes. Some of them were natural outcomes of the way the games unfolded. A few happened due to the elements. Back in 1948, one dramatic finish took place due to an umpiring gaffe. Here’s our top four...
1979: Eden Garden, Kolkata: Against West Indies: Alvin Kallicharan’s team held on in fading light to force an unlikely draw. The visitors were chasing 335. By the time the last overs were bowled, the street lights had come on. Bastman Sew Shivnarine was the WI hero scoring a dogged 36*. Scores: India 300 and 361 for 1. West Indies: 327 and 197 for 9
1971: Lords, London: Against England: Needing 183 to force an improbable win, Ajit Wadelkar’s India were 145 for 8 at tea – 38 short of win. Eknath Solkar (6) and Bishan Singh Bedi (2) were at the crease. But the score stayed that way as rain intervened. Scores: England 304 and 191. India 313 and 145 for eight
1969: Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad: Against New Zealand: India escaped with a draw due to an unsavory combination of riot, rain and allegedly biased administration. Time was lost due to a riot in the stadium when a spectator, who had rushed to the field, was roughed up by the men in uniform. Later, India were down in the dumps at 76 for 7 when rain stopped play. It is said, efforts to resume play were painfully slow. Scores: New Zealand: 175 and 181 for 8. India: 89 and 76 for 7
1948: Brabourne Stadium, Bombay: Against West Indies: Chasing their first ever Test victory, India needed just six runs to reach the imposing target of 361 with two wickets left. Led by Lala Amarnath, hosts had lost their eighth wicket at 321 but Dattu Phadkar (37 not out) and Ghulam Ahmed (nine not out) had dramatically taken the hosts to 355 when umpire Bapu Joshi declared the end of play. Incredibly, Joshi had ended the game with two minutes left when another over could have been bowled. Scores: West Indies 286 and 267. India: 193 and 355 for eight (Vijay Hazare 122)
 1983 WORLD CUP
See also World Cup (cricket): 1983
It was a fluke, they claimed, when India defended a low target to send the West Indies and the world of cricket into shock, and lifted the World Cup. The win changed the destiny of Indian cricket, changed the course of the game for ever, and brought an end to many a historical connotation that cricket had blossomed under until then. To say that it was the World Cup that changed cricket forever would be an understatement.
That unforgetful grin writ large on his face as he grabbed the stump and ran through a sea of people hovering from all corners of the stadium is now the stuff of dreams. Kapil Dev proudly held the trophy at Lord's but it was Amarnath's workmanlike bating and the underrated, uncanny ability to bowl tight spells that worked the magic for India. Of course, the unlikely heroes scripted a shocker of a success and it was this man's all-round performance that topped the charts back then.
That backward run for close to 20 yards, when he kept his eyes only on a ball that was hit towards deep mid-wicket boundary, and ran to pouch the catch of the tournament. That catch brought an end to the batting of the dangerous Vivian Richards, who looked like having made up his mind to single-handedly give the West Indies what they deserved. That tournament saw several other memorable performances, Sandhu's inswinger to Gordon Greenidge among them. But Kapil's catch will remain etched in memory for a very long time.
Dilip Vengsarkar made it three centuries in a row at Lord’s, but this time it was sweeter as he helped India to a win in the first Test. Chetan Sharma was the star with the ball, taking a fifer in the first innings as India beat the hosts by five wickets. The bigger win, though, came in the second Test in Leeds, where under challenging seaming conditions, India outplayed England. Vengsarkar was the hero once again with a fifty in the first innings and a century in the second. Roger Binny, Madan Lal and Maninder Singh did the job with the ball as Kapil Dev’s men completed a memorable series victory. The third Test in Birmingham was drawn. The tour saw Mohammad Azharuddin playing some eye-catchy knocks and making a reputation as a safe close-in catcher.
Result: India won 2-0.
 1989-2015: The era of the Fab Five
The Times of India, October 22, 2015
Virender Sehwag's retirement in 2015 officially brought the curtain down on a brilliant generation of Indian batsmen known as the `Fab 5.' Shashank Shekhar looks back at their contribution to the game and what they meant to the fans
Virender Sehwag's retirement from international cricket also brought the curtain down on a glorious chapter in Indian cricket. A group of supremely skillful batsmen and driven cricketers, called the `Fab 5', helped take Indian cricket to unprecedented heights, culminating in the team ascending t h e nu m ero u n o s t at u s in Tests for the first time, late in 2009.
The members of this celebrated, and now venerated, group were Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, SouravGanguly, VVS Laxman and Sehwag. These men gave wings to the imagination of the Indian cricket fan, enthralled connoisseurs world over, brought dignity and grace to the sport and gave us fond memories to last a lifetime.
With Sehwag closing the door on his career, this golden chapter passes into history .
Seldom in cricket history, such brilliance has come together in one team. If one has to look for similar quality in one line-up, the mind goes to the feared pace battery of West Indies in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Caribbeans used to field Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner with the likes of Colin Croft and Sylvester Clarke waiting in the wings.
The `Fab 5' had almost everything that a true cricket fan could ask for. When playing, they were like a classical ensemble, profound, rich and in perfect rhythm. Yet, the orchestra was capable of changing gears and reaching buoyant crescendos as and when the situation demanded.
They pooled their resources to lift the team. But while they complemented each other, they carved their own distinct niche. Their purpose bound them, their styles separated them. Similarly , Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and Sehwag had refreshingly different styles of expressing them selves with the willow. Tendulkar was the supremo, the modern Bradman who was just about perfect in everything he did in the middle. Dravid was the epic hero who combined great technique with mammoth powers of concentration.Ganguly was the fighter who batted with flair and tenacity while also marshalling his resources as captain. Laxman was the silent assassin whose batting was poetry in motion.Sehwag was the enforcer who rewrote the rules of batsmanship with his exceptional skill and amazing audacity .
The `Fab 5' earned great respect for Indian cricket and renown for themselves for the way they were on and off the field. Tendulkar remains the biggest cricketer ever in terms of brand value and impact.Ganguly , now a leading cricket administrator, was a consummate general who gave belief to the Indian team and began the process which culminated in India gaining No. 1 status in Test cricket and winning the World Cup in 2011.
Dravid, for many the best Indian Test batsman ever, is one of the most respected modern cricketers for not only his exploits on the field, but also as a statesman who has given a lot back to the game. Laxman has been hailed as one of the most elegant batsmen of modern times and a gentleman cricketer who eve ryone loved.
Sehwag was the odd man out in the group with his `desi' background which he, of course, was most comfortable with. In fact, it was his untutored mind which let him play and live the way he has. He has little patience for things socially and politically correct.It showed in the outrageously effective way he has batted.
The stats tell the tale of their monumental achievements. But these men are worth much more than the numbers. They have been wonderful ambassadors of the game. The added value to the sport they were part of and left the fans with many stories grand kids will be hearing in times to come.
`Fab 5,' you will be missed.
The series was memorable for the The Graham Gooch Test. If India had fond memories of their famous win at Lord’s four years earlier, the England captain crushed it run by run, scoring 333 & 123. Despite Mohammad Azharuddin’s hurricane 121 off 111, India went down by 247 runs. The Test also witnessed Kapil Dev, batting with the last man, hitting four sixes in a row off Eddie Hemmings to avoid follow-on in an unparalleled act of daredevilry. Another high-scoring game followed in Manchester, with six batsmen from each side scoring hundreds, the last among them a curly haired 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar, who scored his first Test ton to take India to safety. The runs flowed in the third Test at the Oval too and England saved the match thanks to David Gower’s century.
Result: England won 1-0.
Mohammad Azharuddin was not the same force as he was with the bat, and his captaincy was also on the wane. Navjot Sidhu walked out of the tour due to his fractious relations with the Indian captain. The series, however, set in stone the foundation of India’s batting might for the next decade, with Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid making their debut and joining Sachin Tendulkar, who was already regarded as the best batsman in the side. England won the first Test in Birmingham as Tendulkar waged a lone battle, scoring a strokefilled 122 in the second innings. Ganguly scored a debut century in Lord’s and Dravid missed out on one by five runs. In Nottingham, Tendulkar and Ganguly again hit tons but India’s bowling lacked venom as England took the series.
Result: England won 1-0
 2001-13: Crises lead to comebacks
The Times of India 2013/08/05
IN A HAPPY SPACE
Indian cricket’s most serious moments of crisis have led to some fighting comebacks. In fact, such has been the trend that the worse the crisis, the better has been the fightback. Here’s a look at how, when the game touched a big low, cricketers got together to give it all a new high...
 2001: THE GHOST OF MATCH-FIXING IS BURIED
Soon after Delhi police caught Hansie Cronje on tape in 2000, the former South African skipper’s revelations opened a pandora’s box and cricket in India hit its first low in the wake of some very serious match-fixing allegations. Viewership and fan-following took a hit as investigations went on and suspicion — for the first time — got deeply entrenched in the game. The need of the hour was to restore its popularity in India, and it came a year later. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid came together in a historic 376-run stand at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens and it infused a great deal of confidence in the minds of one and all. It would mark the beginning of an exceptional run that culminated with India claiming the number one spot in Test rankings in 2008.
 2002 NATWEST TROPHY
Not until the final one that India claimed with a historic chase of 326 runs could one have doubted that Sourav Ganguly's side wouldn't end up winning the series. That was the kind of form India were in and it would only mark the beginning of a run that changed the mental framework of a side labelled `poor tourists'.
87 runs off 75 balls, six fours and two sixes, a strike rate of 115.38 and a 121-run stand with Yuvraj Singh for the sixth wicket. Kaif played the kind of role in the final that was chiefly responsible for Ganguly's jersey-waving daredevilry at the Lord's. Ganguly himself was a contributor with a crisp 60 off just 43 balls and so was the dynamic Yuvraj Singh, scoring 69 from 63. Yet, it was Kaif coming in at No. 6 that changed the equation for India against a bowling attack that included Gough, Tudor, Flintoff, Giles and Collingwood.
With Sourav Ganguly handing him the gloves wicket-keeper's, of course Dravid transformed from a batting machine to a far more rounded contributor that made an unquestionable difference to India's combination of an eleven. Dravid scored 245 runs from six innings but that wasn't the only factor that underlined his contribution. Four catches, a stumping, and monitoring the field from behind the wicket, he marshalled India's resources to the T as Ganguly became the face of a side that dominated all ends.
 2003: START OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN SOJOURN
...RAISES A STORM
A shaky start against minnows Netherlands, followed by a ninewicket loss to eventual titlewinners Australia was enough to politicians to stall parliament proceedings, public to burn effigies on the street and miscreants to pelt cricketers’ homes right at the start of the World Cup. The BCCI too had come under immense pressure to as India struggled to find their feet in South Africa. However, just when experts and commoners alike had begun to give up, Sourav Ganguly’s team rose like the phoenix, winning the next eight matches to make it to the final. The title-clash didn’t go India’s way but a lot of pride certainly got salvaged in the run.
 2007: DISASTROUS WORLD CUP CAMPAIGNS
...HAS POSITIVE EFFECT
Greg Chappell’s experiment, fractured relationships and the debate on a possible divide between the senior and junior cricketers in the team took a toll on the World Cup campaign in the West Indies as Rahul Dravid’s team didn’t go beyond the first round. It was India’s worst outing and the anger of demanding fans led to further agony. Chappell had to leave but in the year that followed, the senior most cricketers in the side —now led by Anil Kumble — worked on the road to resurrection. The Asia Cup, followed by an impressive tour of Australia and success sought at home saw Team India make it to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time ever.
 2011: TWO WHITEWASHES LEAD TO HUMILIATION
The enigmatic MS Dhoni’s worst moment as captain of Team India came in the aftermath of eight successive Test defeats in 2011 (four each in England and Australia). The result of it wasn’t just a public backlash but selectors too demanding Dhoni’s scalp as skipper and wholesale changes in the team. Dravid and Laxman — who had resurrected Team India’s fortunes a decade ago — called it a day and seniors like Sehwag, Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Zaheer were dropped as Dhoni began work on a younger team. The result came in the form of victories at home, followed by a 4-0 whitewash of Australia in early 2013. Dhoni’s captaincy received a fresh lease of life with the freedom to build a new Team India as he wished.
 2013: SPATE OF WINS OVERSHADOWS IPL MESS
Shocking revelations of the involvement of BCCI president N Srinivasan’s son-in-law in the betting scandal raised a storm in the Indian cricket fraternity. BCCI’s many conflicts of interests, MS Dhoni’s player-management company, Delhi and Mumbai police investigations and heavy politicking caught Indian cricket in a mess and it did appear that matters would get worse. Far away from it all, Dhoni and a young Team India fought great pressure on and off the field to win the Champions Trophy in style — the only title missing from India’s cupboard — to restore a bit of faith among fans. India reclaimed the ODI top spot in rankings and the winning streak has continued.
India, under Sourav Ganguly, were changing their image of poor travellers and the emergence of the ‘Fab Five’ batting unit played a key role in it. A lot had changed from 1996. The exhilaration in Sachin Tendulkar’s batting had given way to a measured efficiency, Rahul Dravid had become ‘The Wall,’ Ganguly was driving less through the offside but flaying more, VVS Laxman had arrived with his ‘281’ and Sehwag as a dynamite opener. India went down in the first Test at Lord’s but the Dravid-Tendulkar-Ganguly combine saved them in Nottingham. In Leeds, India batted after winning the toss under overcast skies and the same trio scored centuries and later the spinners came to the party to script a memorable win. Dravid would make it three hundreds in a row with a double ton at the Oval in the drawn final Test.
Result: Series drawn 1-1.
 2005- 2017: triumphs
India's opponents and year-wise performance, 2005-17
 Test matches
India were trying to recover from the shock exit at the 2007 World Cup. They were lucky to have gotten away with a draw in the first Test at Lord’s as rain and a generous Steve Bucknor came to their rescue, giving MS Dhoni not out on a plumb lbw call, on the final day. In the second Test in Nottingham, Zaheer Khan showed how a county stint had benefitted him. He took nine wickets, bamboozling the English batsmen with late swing and clever changes of angle and in a way answering the jelly beans taunts. All batsmen, led by Sachin Tendulkar’s 93, chipped in as India cruised to a seven-wicket win. India never looked like letting go of the lead in the final Test at the Oval where Anil Kumble scored his maiden Test century as Dravid became the first captain to win a series in England after 1986.
Result: India won 1-0.
 1st ICC World T20
With one wicket in hand, Pakistan needed six runs from four balls. Joginder Sharma was under immense pressure after giving away seven runs of the first two balls -- a wide and a six over long-off. Misbah-ul-Haq was at the crease along with Mohammed Asif and all the players in the Pakistani dug-out were on their feet, waiting for Misbah to score the winning shot and celebrate, what would have been one of their biggest wins at the international stage.
Joginder has a long chat with skipper MS Dhoni, who came all the way down from the wicketkeeper's end to soothe his bowler.
Joginder takes a deep breath, takes off from his run-up, and bowls a slower delivery outside the off stump. Misbah goes for the scoop shot over short fine-leg. The ball goes straight up in the air and S Sreesanth takes the catch, a moment because of which his name got etched in the record books.
India had won the inaugural ICC World T20 defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg in one of the most dramatic finals cricket fans have ever witnessed.
12 years have passed since that evening of September 24, 2007 but still that moment of Dhoni lifting the World T20 trophy is as fresh as it can get in the memories of cricket fans across the country.
BCCI on its official Twitter handle, shared a 16-second video of the final moments of the game along with the caption: "This day in 2007, Team India were crowned World T20 Champions."
India's journey to the World T20 title was quite like a fairytale. It was a relatively young team, led by a long-haired Dhoni. They were not even counted among the contenders to enter the semi-finals, leave aside the trophy. They had the 50-over World Cup debacle in their memories.
However, against all odds, the young Indian team made it's way into the last-four riding on most famous wins over the likes of South Africa and England.
And after beating hot favourites Australia in the semis, the Men in Blue entered the summit clash with a belief they could achieve something special and leave behind the poor performance in the 50-over World Cup where they exited in the group stage in the West Indies.
Electing to bat, Gautam Gambhir, who had been one of India's top performers in the tournament, scored 75 runs as Dhoni's side were limited to 157-5 in their stipulated quota of 20 overs. The other Indian batsmen fell cheaply and only Rohit Sharma managed to hit some good runs as he made 30 not out.
In reply, Pakistan suffered an early blow when Mohammad Hafeez was dismissed in the first over. Kamran Akmal fell for a duck soon afterwards. The hopes were all but dashed for Pakistan when they lost Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. However, Misbah played a blinder of an innings to take his team almost across the finishing line until he went for the scoop down the short fine leg and made Pakistan short of winning the title by just five runs.
India went into the series as World Cup winners with probably the most skilful seamer in the world at that time in Zaheer Khan. But the left-armer limped off due to a hamstring injury on the first morning of the first Test and the die was cast. India’s summer of disarray began. Kevin Pietersen’s double hundred set up the win for the hosts who followed it up with a comefrom-behind victory in Nottingham thanks to Stuart Broad’s devastating 6/46 and Ian Bell’s 159, assisted by MS Dhoni’s decision to recall him after a controversial run out. There was no change in result at either Edgbaston or the Oval, where Sachin Tendulkar came close to his 100th international century before falling agonizingly short. Rahul Dravid was India’s player of the Series, scoring three centuries.
Result: England won 4-0.
India won the test series against South Africa, 3-0: See graphic.
 2016-17: Eight consecutive ODI series wins
See graphic, ' Between early 2016 and Dec 2017 India achieved eight consecutive ODI series wins '
 BCCI doubles retainer fees
Jadeja has been rewarded for his all-round show in the ongoing home season
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay also jumped to the top category
The annual retainer amounts have been doubled for all the categories
NEW DELHI: Ravindra Jadeja has been rewarded for his all-round show in the ongoing home season as BCCI elevated him to Grade A in the annual contracts for the 2017-18 season announced on Wednesday. Along with Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay also jumped to the top category. The Committee of Administrators (COA) met earlier in the day to decide on the annual player contracts for men cricketers for the period ending 30 September 2017.
The annual retainer amounts have been doubled for all the categories and Grade A players will be paid Rs 2 Crore per annum, Grade B will be paid Rs 1 Crore per annum and Grade C will be paid Rs 50 lakh per annum, which is double the amounts paid in the earlier years. The match fee enhancement for men cricketers will be effective from October 1st 2016 onwards and Rs 15 lakh per Test, Rs 6 lakh per ODI and Rs 3 lakh for T20 international will be paid.
The seven cricketers in the top bracket are Dhoni, Kohli, Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jadeja and Vijay. While seniors like Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra have found place in Grade B and C respectively, the biggest name missing is Suresh Raina, who till recently was a permanent member of the limited overs fixtures. Young Rishabh Pant is a part of Grade C contract. Raina had in fact played after October 1, 2016 but is not there in the 32-member list.
Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir are not in the list as they have played before the said date, from which the contracts are to come into effect. Grade A: Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, M Vijay
Grade B: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuvraj Singh
Grade C: Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Ashish Nehra, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Rishabh Pant
 India’s overseas record (till 2019 Aug)
India captain Virat Kohli feels the team is “really lucky” to have Jasprit Bumrah on their side. Since Bumrah’s debut in the Cape Town Test against South Africa (Jan 5-8, 2018), India have won 6 of 14 Tests played outside the subcontinent (drawn 1, lost 7). All these wins have been fashioned, in particular, by Bumrah — who has 42 wickets and 5 five-wicket hauls in these wins — and in general by the pace attack.
It’s expected that the fast bowlers will call the shots in seaming conditions outside the subcontinent, but the degree of their dominance over their spin-bowling teammates is staggering — the Bumrah-led pace battery has taken 84.87% wickets in these 6 Tests, compared to only 15.13% by the spinners.
With his work ethic and rare skills, Bumrah has long shed the tag of being just a T20 specialist and has proved himself invaulable in all formats, feels Kohli. Kohli went so far as to say the 25-year-old fast bowler is “the most complete bowler in world cricket right now”.
“He confuses with his angles, swing and pace,” Kohli said after India’s 257-run win in the second Test, in which Bumrah claimed a hat-trick. “It’s really pleasing to see a guy who was tagged a T20 specialist, he came and took over the One-day International scene and now Test cricket. He is proving people wrong, that there is a set template for every format,” he added.
Bumrah became only the third Indian cricketer to register a Test hat-trick during his lethal opening spell in the West Indies’ first innings here. Kohli said as a captain, he was lucky to have Bumrah in the ranks.
“He (Bumrah) definitely wants to be the best bowler in the world. He has moulded his life like that, he has moulded his discipline, his work ethic. The way he trains, the way he takes care of his diet. He has absolute control over what he is doing,” he said.
Kohli said it was difficult not to feel for batsmen who were left bamboozled by Bumrah’s pace and variations. “There is not much you can say about Jasprit and the way he has been bowling.
“All we can say that we are really lucky to have him in our team. Very rarely do you find a pack of bowlers who are hunting together, bowling for each other, bowling in partnerships,” Kohli said.
“When he (Bumrah) gets some kind of momentum then you can see what he can do with 5-6 overs with the new ball in the first innings. I haven’t seen many more lethal spells than that. Standing in slips, you feel for the batsmen,” he added.
 ICC allowed Team India to wear Army caps
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Indian cricketers were granted permission to wear camouflage military caps in the third ODI against Australia as a tribute to the country's armed forces, a gesture which Pakistan has objected to.
In the third ODI in Ranchi on March 8, the Indian team sported military caps as a mark of respect to the CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack and donated its match fee to the National Defence Fund.
"The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers who have died, which was granted," ICC's General Manager Strategic Communications Claire Furlong said in a statement.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had sent a strongly-worded letter to the ICC, calling for action against India for wearing the caps.
"They took permission from ICC for some other purpose and used it to do something else, which is not acceptable," PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said on Sunday in Karachi.
In February, the BCCI had asked the ICC to "sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates" following the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. The responsibility of the attack was taken by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.
 Kohli towers; Pant follows; so do Rohit, Bumrah, Yadav
Indians in the ICC awards of the year (2018, declared in Jan 2019)
Kohli towered; Pant followed; so did Rohit, Bumrah, Yadav.
The number of years that it will take Kohli to catch up with Tendulkar’s records
most test tons;
most test runs;
most prolific in 2018;
most test runs overseas;
most ODI tons;
most ODI runs;
Virat Kohli's captaincy records;
Rishabh Pant- some records- 2018
 Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Karnataka wins
If Mayank Agarwal had Steve Waugh’s wit, he might would have said, “You dropped the Cup, mate,” to Vishal Gite. Agarwal, trying to hit back-to-back boundaries, miscued a drive. Karnataka, chasing 156, were 26/1 at that time. Gite, running backwards, failed to hold on to the catch.
Agarwal was on five when he got the first reprieve. Over the next 15 overs, Agarwal, having got another life on 38, made the Maharashtra team pay heavily for their largesse. The right-hand batsman hit an unbeaten 85 (57b; 6x4; 3x6) and stitched a crucial 92-run partnership with Rohan Kadam (60; 39b; 6x4; 3x6) to propel Karnataka to a comprehensive 8-wicket win over Maharashtra in the final at the Holkar Stadium on Thursday.
Having won almost everything, the one prize missing from Karnataka’s cabinet was the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Kadam continued with his red-hot form while Agarwal made most of the charmed life to help Karnataka fill that void.
Kadam and Agarwal launched a scathing attack on Maharashtra bowlers despite the early loss of BR Sharath. In the fourth over, after being dropped by Gite, Agarwal hit the bowler Satyajeet Bachhav for a six and a four as Karnataka raced to 40 for 1 in four overs. The pair added 88 more in the next seven overs when Agarwal got one more life. This time, the guilty was Maharashtra skipper Rahul Tripathi as he failed to grab a catch off Fallah’s bowling in the 11th over.
 11th straight home series win a world record
India’s records after its 11th straight home series win on 13 Oct 2019
 Bowlers told Virat to enforce the follow-on
Umesh Yadav was named in this Indian squad to face South Africa as a replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah. Although he was part of the squad for West Indies tour, he did not get a game. The last Test he played was in December 2018 in Perth. He knows he isn’t the first name on the teamsheet.
“This is part and parcel of the game, so these situations will keep coming but what I need to do in these situations is, even if I am not playing, I have to be ready for my chance,” Yadav, 31 said after the match.
“For that, it is important to remain focussed and positive. I try that in matches that I play, (be it) Ranji or India ‘A’, it gives me good match time.”
In this match, his opening spell, where he removed both South African openers — Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar, set the tone of the match. He finished with match figures of 6-59.
So how does he manage to perform whenever he has been called upon? He has asked the selectors to select him for India ‘A’, or any other game.
“When I didn’t play in the Windies, the selectors put me in India ‘A’ but when there is a big gap with ODIs, T20s. I have only told selectors that whatever match is there, please let me play, as match practice is very important for me.”
“The season is yet to start, so I cannot play Ranji, so I told them I would like to play. When you play matches, you are in that mindset and it helps. Suddenly, you come from home and play a match, it can be a tad difficult as a fast bowler,” he said before adding that the Indian pacer are doing an excellent job at the moment and there is healthy competition in the group.
At the end of third day’s play, the big question was, whether India would ask Proteas to follow-on or not, which they eventually did to win the Test by an innings and 137 runs.
On Saturday, Ashwin had said that the captain would take a call on the ‘follow-on’ decision, but, in fact, the bowlers insisted on asking the visitors to continue batting.
“All bowlers said that we are ready, if follow-on is enforced as we didn’t feel the need to rest. It was an intent to win and not like let’s bat a bit and stretch the game,” he said, elaborating on what the team strategy was.
 Chappell: ‘Copy India’s attitude’
‘Others should copy India’s attitude’
Australian great Ian Chappell says India’s attitude towards achieving excellence should be copied by the ambitious cricket nations for the well-being of the Test format. In the wake of their 3-0 whitewash of South Africa in a Test series recently, the former Australian captain called India the envy of world cricket. “If Test cricket is to be a viable part of the game’s future, the standard of play needs to remain high. Whilst it’s true India - with a large talent pool, unlimited finances and the IPL - has a huge advantage, it’s their attitude towards achieving excellence that should be copied by any team with an ambition to be the best,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
 PART B
 500+ conceded by India: 2012- 2014
500+ conceded by India 2012- 2014
Instances of India losing an ODI series of 4 or more matches after the first 3 games itself, 1983-2016
India's highest successful chases in ODIs
 Test matches that made history
 India's 10 Greatest Tests
From The Times of India: see graphics on this page.
Memorable test matches, India versus England, 1932, 1952
Memorable test matches India versus Australia 1964
Memorable test matches India vs. England 1971
Memorable test matches India vs. West Indies 1976
Memorable test matches India vs. England 1979
Memorable test matches India vs. Australia 1981
Memorable test matches India vs. Australia 1986
Memorable test matches India vs. Australia 2001
Memorable test matches India vs. England 2008. Some of India’s famous series victories
 Bowlers for India
 From after the 2011 World Cup to 2015 Oct
The Times of India, Oct 30 2015
Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Stuart Binny, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Munaf Patel, Ashoke Dinda, Zaheer Khan, Jaydev Unadkat, RP Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun
Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Stuart Binny, Praveen Kumar, Varun Aaron, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Abhimanyu Mithun, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Pankaj Singh z Laxmipathy Balaji, Parvinder Awana and Sandeep Sharma played in T20Is only
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Rahul Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Virender Sehwag, Ambati Rayudu, Parvez Rasool, Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Karn Sharma, Murali Vijay (captured one wicket in two innings), Sachin Tendulkar
Ravicwhandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Karn Sharma, M Vijay (captured one wicket in nine innings), Abhimanyu Mukund, Sachin Tendulkar
 2015-2019 Oct
In the mid 1970’s, a familiar but intimidating chant (especially for visiting English teams) used to go around Australian Test cricket venues. “Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, if Thomson doesn’t get ya, Lillee must.”
The chant was to highlight the fearsome skills of Australian pace pair, Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.
If Indian cricket fans, so used to salivating over batting feats, while playing at home, choose to borrow that phrase, they might as well sing, ‘’Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, if Shami does not get you, Umesh must’’ and also add the names of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah (when fit) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the list.
Since January 2015, the time that Virat Kohli took over as India’s Test captain, the pacers, Shami, Ishant, Umesh, Bumrah and Kumar have picked up 428 wickets in 52 Tests at a strike rate of 51.51. Sixteen fivefors have been registered at an astonishing average of 25.54. At home, the pacers have taken 152 scalps in 26 Tests, away, in more helpful conditions, they have picked up 276 wickets in 26 Tests with 13 five-fors.
In India’s 3-0 whitewash of South Africa, Shami and Umesh bowled with pace and potency even on unresponsive tracks and have not made the team feel the absence of the brilliant Bumrah.
“They understand their gameplans. The energy has been very good. There is an intent and self-belief that they can pick up wickets,” observed former South African skipper Shaun Pollock during his analysis on Cricbuzz. His former colleague and former captain, Graeme Smith alluded to it in his post-match show on Star Sports. “South Africa expected a lot of spin, but were outdone by pace. The areas that Umesh and Shami bowled in were brilliant. They looked to hit the stumps and make the batsmen play,” Smith commented and praised Kohli for the way he rotated his bowlers.
With the way the pacers have been bowling for the last two years, is it fair to say then that this is the greatest Indian pace attack?
Former Indian left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra sees a problem with that. “Yes, it is a very skilful pace attack, but that does not mean the earlier guys were not good. Now, because of improved fitness, exposure to IPL and India ‘A’ cricket, players have improved. There is competition and players have been forced to raise the bar. We must remember that bowlers like Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath took a lot of wickets on Indian pitches and bowled well overseas, too. Let us not make this only about numbers,” Nehra pleads.
As captain, Kohli always loved pace. Even when he captains RCB in the IPL, he prefers speedsters and his endorsement of the speedy Navdeep Saini is a testament to that.
“It is a myth that fast bowlers cannot bowl well in India. The wickets help reverse swing and the SG ball can be very helpful,” says Nehra. He reckons India have been fortunate that a pool of talented pacers are playing at the same time and all are fit and experienced, a ‘luxury’ earlier captains did not have. Being fast through the air, they also take the surface out of the equation.
In the 24 Tests that Kohli has captained in India, the pace attack has taken 137 wickets at an average of 27.44 and a strike rate of 57.2. From November 2017, a time when yoyo tests, carb-free diets and improved fitness became part of every Indian cricketer’s vocabulary, pacers have picked up 69 wickets in eight Tests at 20.64 and a strike rate of 39.30.
Shami, speaking after the Ranchi Test mentioned the celebrated ‘F’word. “Fitness has become a revolution in this side. The team management also gives us the confidence and the fields we want,” he said.
Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan, while analysing the bowling performance, on TV, said, “Kohli really takes care of his fast bowlers. He gives them their space, their fields. Only when something does not work, he steps in.”
The skipper seems to be doing the off the field stuff well too, like posing for selfies with his pacers at airports and calling them lean and mean machines and complimenting them and their toned physiques on social media.
Pakistan tearaway Shoaib Akhtar too talked about the impact Kohli has on his pacers. “Kohli enjoys captaincy and gives full freedom to his bowlers,” he analysed on his You-Tube show.
In the current series, Indian seamers accounted for 26 of the 60 wickets to have fallen and struck every 35 balls. Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander came to India with greater pedigree, but the South African pacers picked up just 10 wickets at 70.20 and an unflattering strike rate of 131.20. At a recent event in Mumbai, West Indies great Brian Lara had commented that the Indian pace attack reminded him of the great West Indies bowling attack of yore.
That, indeed, is high compliment.
 Split captaincy, worldwide, 1997-2019
• MS Dhoni for ODIS and T20s; Anil Kumble for Tests from Nov 2007 to Oct 2008
• MS Dhoni for ODIS and T20s; Virat Kohli for Tests from Jan 2015 to Jan 2017
• Adam Holliaoke for ODIs; Alec Stewart for Tests June 1997 to March 1998
• Alastair Cook for ODIS; Andrew Strauss for Tests June 2011 to June 2012
• Eoin Morgan for ODIS; Alastair Cook for Tests Jan 2015 to December 2016
• Eoin Morgan for ODIs; Joe Root for Tests Jan 2017 to present
• Steve Waugh for ODIS; Mark Taylor for Tests from Dec 1997 to Jan 1999
• Ricky Ponting for ODIS; Steve Waugh for Tests from March 2002 to Jan 2004
• Graeme Smith for Tests; AB de Villiers for ODIs April 2011 to March 2014
• Hashim Amla for Tests; AB de Villiers for ODIS June 2014 to Jan 2016
 Captain-coach combinations
 Kohli- Shastri, 2017- 2019
2017, July- 2019, July: India’s record in international cricket under coach Ravi Shastri, overall, and with Virat Kohli as captain
 2019: Rs10 cr salary for Shastri
Recently reappointed India head coach, Ravi Shastri will be earning close to Rs 10 crore a year, according to a report in the Mumbai Mirror. This is a 20% increase over his previous package and was agreed upon at the time of reappointment, according to the report. Shastri was given an extension of 26 months and will remain at the helm till the 2021 World T20 to be held in India.
Salaries of other support staff members have also seen impressive hikes. Bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar are now “expected to get around Rs 3.5 cr” while new batting coach Vikram Rathour will get between Rs 2.5 cr to Rs 3 cr, according to the report.
Shastri was recently reappointed by a panel comprising ex-players Kapil Dev, Angshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy following India’s semifinal exit in the World Cup. High points of his previous stint included India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia in 2018-19. Their ODI record has also been very impressive, with wins in Australia and New Zealand. The low point, however, was the relative disappointment of a semifinal exit in the World Cup.
 Disciplinary issues
 Players sent back from overseas tours, 1936-2019
In 1936, the legendary Lala Amarnath was sent back from the tour of England by the erstwhile captain Maharaja of Vijianagaram or ‘Vizzy’ for alleged insubordination during a firstclass game.
In 1996, Navjot Sidhu left the tour of England on his own after a heated exchange with skipper Azharuddin before a practice game. He left without informing anyone, paving the way for roommate — Sourav Ganguly — to make his Test debut at Lord’s and score a century on debut. PTI
2019: While there has been a history of disciplinary issues on tours, the Pandya-Rahul issue is the first time that the BCCI has acted and called back errant players. Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul being sent back from an overseas tour is only the second such instance in 82 years in Indian cricket. [Pandya made boastful comments about his sex life, while Rahul listened on, on the TV show Coffee with Karan ]
 Great domestic players
Amol Muzumdar is South Africa's interim batting coach, a worthy recognition for the Mumbai batsman who scored prolifically in domestic cricket but never represented India. There are several other cricketers like him who narrowly missed the bus. Here's a playing XI of those who scored runs by the bucket and scalped wickets galore in first-class cricket but never got the chance to play Tests, ODIs or T20Is.
MV Sridhar: Compact and elegant, the Hyderabad opener possessed the right ingredients to represent India. Scored 21 first-class centuries, including a career-best 366 against Andhra Pradesh. Overall first-class average: 48.9
V Sivaramakrishnan: The lanky southpaw, who played for Tamil Nadu and Bihar, owned the technique and temperament to claim an India cap. Was unlucky not to convince the selectors even after scoring over 6,000 first-class runs. Sharp close-in fielder too.
Hari Gidwani: The extremely talented Bihar and Delhi batter consistently proved his mettle in domestic cricket and against the best of visiting attacks in the 1970s. But the handy leg-break bowler remained a hard luck story.
Amol Muzumdar (C): When Muzumdar announced his arrival with 260 in his debut Ranji game against Haryana in 1994-95, everyone felt it was a matter of time before he played for India. Even after 11,667 runs at an average of 48.1, he never did.
KP Bhaskar: Few cricketers end their first-class careers with a 50+ average. But only the rare sign off without an international career. Delhi middle-order batsman Bhaskar, who scored 5,443 runs at an average of 52.8, should have played for India in the 1990s but sadly didn't.
Devendra Bundela: Long-lasting and reliable, the Madhya Pradesh batter finished with 10,004 runs in first-class cricket and 58 wickets in the bag in 2017.
Sitanshu Kotak: For nearly two decades starting 1992-93, Kotak was the rock of Saurashtra batting. Finished his first-class career with 8,061 runs and 70 wickets. As a coach, was instrumental in Saurashtra's rise as a force in domestic cricket.
BB Nimbalkar (Wk): A solid wicketkeeper-batsman, Nimbalkar's 443 for Maharashtra against Kathiawar in 1948-49 remains the highest score by an Indian in first-class cricket. A safe gloveman, he ended a two-and-half-decade career with a batting average of 47.9.
Rajinder Goel: A colossus of domestic cricket, Goel's career began in the Nehru era and ended during the Rajiv Gandhi reign. The slow left-arm spinner from Haryana took a staggering 750 first class wickets and was listed among Gavaskar's Idols. Like Bombay's Padmakar Shivalkar, he sadly played cricket mostly during the Bishan Singh Bedi years.
Pandurang Salgaoncar: Hailed as an exciting paceman in the barren early 1970s, he was distinctly unlucky not to travel to England in 1974. Had a first-class career of 214 wickets at 26.7.
Ranadeb Bose: The tall Bengal medium pacer with a ponytail bowled adroitly and with accuracy to trouble the best in domestic cricket. 317 first-class wickets at 25.8 bear testimony to that. Selected for 2007 England tour but returned without donning India colours.
 Substandard pitches in India: history
With the Pune pitch being rated as poor by the ICC, TOI looks at other instances when other pitches in India were of substandard quality
INDIA VS SRI LANKA, DEC 25, 1997, INDORE
The second match of the India vs Sri Lanka series saw a bone-dry and chocolate brown surface greet both teams. India instructed the curator Narendra Menon to roll out another pitch. Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga had none of it and complained to match referee Justice Ebrahim that the pitch was being changed without informing him.Ebrahim ordered India to play on the original strip.Javagal Srinath's first ball exploded through the surface. The same over saw wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia collect a delivery over his head and one near the ankle.Srinath's second over saw more of the same and even injured No.3 batsman Roshan Mahanama. The umpires said enough is enough and the match was called off.Both teams played out an exhibition match which didn't see any pacers bowl.Sri Lanka won the 25-oversa-side match by two runs.
INDIA VS AUSTRALIA, 2004, MUMBAI
With the series lost, India were looking to salvage pride, but even they would not have bargained for a sand-paper type of pitch which saw 40 wickets fall in just over two days. India were bowled out for 104 and the Aussies responded with 201. Day Three saw both teams lose all their wickets.India got to 205 with 50s from Tendulkar (55) and VVS Laxman (69). A bizzare spell of play though saw India collapse from 182 for 4 with Michael Clarke taking 6-9 in 6.2 overs. Australia, chasing 107 for victory were bowled out for 93. Murali Kartik was the man of the match for his 3-32 despite Harbhajan Singh's five-for. The Aussies left generous traces of saliva on the pitch before leaving for home.
INDIA VS SOUTH AFRICA 2008, KANPUR
After being blown away by the South African seamers in the second Test in Ahmedabad on a sporting wicket, MS Dhoni replaced an injured Anil Kumble as captain. He got a tailor-made wicket for his captaincy debut. South got 265, India scored 325. The hosts opened the bowling with Harbhajan Singh in the second innings and he took four wickets and Virender Sehwag took three as South Africa were bundled out for 121. Chasing 62 for victory, India won by eight wickets.
INDIA VS SRI LANKA, DEC 27, 2009, KOTLA
The fifth ODI between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned because the pitch was reckoned to be too dangerous after just 23.3 overs. Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillkaratne Dilshan were struck numerous blows on the body as the ball reared off a surface which had uneven grass covering and had numerous bald and dry patches as debutant pacer Sudeep Tyagi briefly metamorphosed into a combination of Marshall and Ambrose. The ICC match referee Alan Hurst deemed the pitch to be very poor.
INDIA VS SOUTH AFRICA, NAGPUR, 2015
If one were to be kind to the pitch at the VCA for the third Test between India and South Africa, one can call it a dustbowl. India managed to win inside three days and with it they won the series, but no one remembers that triumph as Kohli's men won on a joke of a surface. 33 wickets of the 40 fell to spinners. In the first innings, South Africa were 12 for 5 before being all out for 79. No batsman reached 50 in all the four innings. The ICC promptly dismissed the surface as poor.
 India troubled by spinners
The Times of India, November 6, 2015
Dean Elgar is not the only unknown
Dean Elgar is not the only unknown spinner to trouble India. There are other unassuming tweakers in the list:
KEN BARRINGTON, OLD TRAFFORD 1969
In reply to England's 490, India crashed to 208 with Barrington dismissing Chandu Borde, Bapu Nadkarni and Ramakant Desai. In the 2nd innings , he dismissed Polly Umrigar for 118 and Surendranath.England won by 171 runs.
MARK BURGESS, NAGPUR 1969
Burgess, a top-order batsman for New Zealand contributed to his team's 167-run win at Nagpur in 1969 their first ever over India. After top-scoring with 89, Burgess, who had only one wicket in nine Tests dismissed Wadekar, Venkataraghavan and Pataudi in eight overs.
GRAHAM HICK, KOLKATA 1993
India were well placed at 3465 with skipper Mohd Azharuddin looked set to get to his first double ton. But Hick, with his gentle off-spin dismissed Kapil Dev, Azharuddin for 182 and Venkatapathy Raju to trigger a collapse.
MICHAEL CLARKE, MUMBAI 2004
In the final match of the 2004 series in India, it was Clarke the bowler that sizzled. On a Wankhede minefield, Clarke stunned India in their second innings: 38 balls, six wickets for nine runs. No Aussie has claimed six wickets for fewer runs.
SHAUN UDAL, MUMBAI 2006
Aged 36, the Hampshire offie found a spot in the XI for the deciding Test in Mumbai, with India leading 1-0. Udal took 4-14 in 9.2 overs as India were bowled out for 100. It was his last game.
The Tasmanian achieved the second best figures by an Australian on Test debut. However, he also conceded more runs than anyone in their maiden Test appearance. His debut inning figures of 8-215 and match haul of 12-358, troubled India.
 Impact Index
 India’s greatest
Numbers appear cold, perhaps even limited, yet they seem definite. But if you delve a little deeper, numbers tell you stories that you didn't know existed. Impact Index, a cricket analytics system created by Jaideep Varma in 2009, is based on a very simple idea -of accounting for every cricket performance first within the context of its match. And after that, the series or tournament the match is from. The quality of a batsman's performance, for instance, is measured on a variety of parameters: Pressure Impact, Partnership Building Impact, Runs Tally Impact, Strike Rate Impact, New Ball Impact, Chasing Impact, Batting Impact, Failure Rate (Batting), Series Defining Performance etc. The new methodology has thrown up a bunch of startling facts that's likely to stir a passionate debate in cricket-crazy India. Dravid is India's highest impact Test batsman
No Indian batsman has produced more high impact performances in critical circumstances (in a series context) than Dravid. In fact, in all Test cricket, only Inzamam-ul-Haq has as many series-defining (SDs) performances as him (eight).Between 2001 and 2006, Dravid was the second highest impact batsman in the world after Inzamam-ulHaq. In that period, India made considerable strides in world cricket (including notable overseas wins), and it is uncanny how Dravid played the leading role every single time in those landmark wins.
He also has the second highest batting consistency in Indian Test history after Sunil Gavaskar. He has the highest Runs Tally Impact (proportion of runs made in every match relative to the match standard, with a higher value on `tough runs') and Partnership Building Impact (self-explanatory) in Indian cricket history . And the fourth highest Pressure Impact (of falling wickets) after Gundappa Viswanath, Chandu Borde and V V S Laxman. Interestingly, he even has the fourth highest New Ball Impact (ability to see off the new ball). There are only three batsmen ahead of him, all openers: Gavaskar, Gautam Gambhir and Navjot Sidhu. This is an indication of what a reliable No. 3 batsman he was. Combine all that with his longevity (163 Tests in 16 years, second only to Tendulkar), and his place cannot be disputed.
No Test batsman in history absorbed more pressure than Pataudi
The conventional view on Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (or Nawab of Pataudi Jr) is that he was one of India's greatest captains and an unorthodox, fearless player who gave India a sense of belief. And that he was a very good batsman who would have touched greatness if he had not lost one eye in an accident six months before his Test debut. All of this is true.But he was more than this -in deed, not just in potential.
In the history of Test cricket (minimum 40 Tests), no batsman in the world has absorbed more pressure (of falling wickets) in his career than MAK Pataudi. Those immediately below him include Peter May , Andy Flower, Angelo Mathews, Kane Williamson, Brian Lara, Warwick Armstrong, Younis Khan and Clem Hill (Williamson and Younis have ongoing careers, of course). Perhaps, more than anything else, this demonstrates Pataudi's greatness. Losing one eye was not his only cricketing tragedy -he was also not part of a world-beating side. It would be entirely human to not be fully motivated in such circumstances but it did not stop him from repeatedly playing at his best when his team needed it the most.
His batting average of 35 in 46 Tests (between 1961 and 1975) does not suggest that he was a world beater. However, in the five years when he was at his peak (196468), he averaged 56 in Australia (in three Tests), 45 in England (three Tests) and 43 overall in 25 Tests. Even this does not tell the real story, given how little success Indian teams had in those days, especially overseas, and how many players scored more runs and averaged more than him in world cricket.
Pataudi scored tough runs, more than anybody else in the world in that period. In fact, he was the second highest impact batsman in the world in this period (minimum 20 Tests), after Garry Sobers, partly because of his extremely high Pressure Impact. He also had one seriesdefining performance (vs Australia, October 1964) to his credit at a time when India hardly won any series.
India's most under-rated batsman in Tests & ODIs: Sidhu
Navjot Sidhu as a higher im pact Test batsman than Sehwag and Azharuddin, despite averaging just 42.13 with the bat and registering only 9 tons, will raise eyebrows. But when one analyses the significance and timing of his contributions, Sidhu emerges as the fifth highest-impact batsman in India's Test cricket history, after Dravid, Tendulkar, G av a s k a r a n d Viswanath (minimum 50 Tests). Despite a relatively high failure rate, Sidhu's high New Ball Impact and Partnership Build ing Impact suggest his effectiveness as an opener.
But the big reason for his high impact are those two seriesdefining performances he registered in just 51 Tests. In India's only Test match win (also series win) outside its own shores in the 1990s against Sri Lanka (1993), Sidhu was India's highest impact batsman (with 82 and 104). Then against Australia in the famous momentum-changing Chennai Test of 1998, Sidhu was India's second highest-impact batsman (with 62 and 64) and in the second innings, with India still in the arrears, he began a famous assault of Shane Warne (which Tendulkar continued spectacularly with his classic unbeaten 155). India came back from behind to win this match and later, the series.The frequency at which he produced a series-defining performance is the main reason why he is higher impact than Virender Sehwag -the latter had three SDs in 104 Tests compared to Sidhu's two in 51.
Also, Sidhu scored a higher proportion of runs in the matches he batted (Runs Tally Impact) than Azharuddin, and thus is of marginally higher impact than him with the bat. Interestingly, Sidhu's longevity is not as low as his tally of 51 Tests suggests, because his Test career actually lasted 16 years.
 Test venues
 How India’s test venue policy evolved
HOW INDIA’S TEST VENUE POLICY HAS EVOLVED...
Till 1990s: There was no prescribed policy for Test match allocation in India. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru hosted a majority of the Test matches, but centres like Jalandhar and Cuttack were also awarded Tests.
On the lines of Boxing Day Test at the MCG in Australia, there was briefly a practice of having a New Year’s Test in Kolkata and a Test during Pongal in Chennai, but was discontinued due to an overcrowded calendar.
Early 2000s: The then BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya introduced a system where Tests would only be distributed among 10 designated centres. Apart from the traditional centres, Ahmedabad, Mohali, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Kanpur were allocated Tests on a fairly regular basis.
Since 2016: There has been a notable shift with Tests in India having been taken to many new venues including Indore, Rajkot, Ranchi, Dharamsala.
 PART C
 The armed forces and cricket
The armed forces and cricket, 1932-2019
 PART D: The law/ court judgements
 Income tax on Cricket bodies
 HC, 2019: charitable work, hence no income tax
Cricket bodies doing charitable work, not liable to pay income tax, says Gujarat HC: Playing cricket may be a money-spinning business, but organizing cricket matches is still a charitable activity, ruled the Gujarat High Court while upholding the exemption from paying income tax granted to Gujarat’s cricket associations. The issue arose with television rights of international matches and the IPL matches through which the BCCI started earning huge sums of money. The board used to pass on certain amount of this to the state cricket associations. The income tax department treated the funds given by the BCCI to these associations — Gujarat Cricket Association, Baroda Cricket Association and Saurashtra Cricket Association — as their income and concluded that this activity did not fall in the definition of charitable work.
 See also
Cricket, India: A history
Cricket, India: A history (2016) and other individual years
 ...and also
World Cup (cricket): history <>World Cup (cricket): 1975 <>World Cup (cricket): 1979 <>World Cup (cricket): 1983 <>World Cup (cricket): 1987 <>World Cup (cricket): 1992 <>World Cup (cricket): 1996 <>World Cup (cricket): 1999 <>World Cup (cricket): 2003 <>World Cup (cricket): 2007 <>World Cup (cricket): 2011 <>World Cup (cricket): 2015 <>World Cup (cricket): 2019