The 4 most significant ODI wins for India outside ICC tournaments post-2000
India's best and most significant ODI victories post 2000 apart from ICC tournaments.
Often a mediocre team in the early 2000s, India were a power house at home but pushovers away, especially in big finals. It was after the match fixing scandal in 2000 that India became a force to reckon with in ODIs under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy.
Since then, the subsequent captains Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have ensured India have been a consistent force in ODIs till date.
Here we look at 5 of India's greatest ODI wins since 2000 excluding the wins in ICC tournaments:
1.India vs England, Natwest series Finals, Lords, 2002
The match which is believed by many as the beginning of India's dominance in ODIs, especially because it came in a big final, took place at the famous Home of Cricket, Lords.
Leading into the match, Team India under Sourav Ganguly had a bunch of talented youngsters like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan along with the senior pros in Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble who had been playing some of their best cricket at the time.
However, questions remained about their ability to perform in the big match given their miserable finals record till then. Opting to bat, England made a huge 325-5 in their 50 overs making it seem like the match was all but finished and another morale sapping defeat was waiting for the Indians.
Then, came the Indian reply full of bravery and intent, something unseen in former Indian teams with Sehwag and Ganguly smashing the English bowlers to all parts and racking up a 100 partnership in no time.
Suddenly, just when the whole of India started to believe, the ever so familiar collapse came to the fore, bringing back the old, unpleasant memories as India were reduced from 106-0 to 146-5 with the big guns all back into the hut.
The sight of a dejected Sourav Ganguly walking into the rooms inside the balcony symbolized another familiar script for India in the finale. Then slowly two youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Faif started milking the singles, running hard for twos and stringing together a partnership. As the 200 came up, then the 250, whole of India started to believe albeit only as a wild dream that something miraculous can be achieved.
Then, just as the dream seemed to be heading towards reality, Yuvraj was dismissed for a magnificent 69 and even if the result went against India, they knew they had someone that was going to be a match winner in the future for many years.
But this was the new India, one full of belief and "never say die" attitude. Mohammad kaif along with Harbhajan Singh continued the chase, which finally was achieved when Zaheer Khan hit the ball to the covers and scampered back for two on overthrows for India to achieve probably its greatest ODI win since the World cup 1983 final and probably its greatest come-from-behind victory.
The wild scenes in the balcony with Sourav Ganguly waving his shirt as a mark of revenge towards Andrew Flintoff is one that will never be forgotten by any Indian forever. This was the match that turned around Indian cricket as dominant force in world cricket.