5 Great moments from India vs West Indies cricket rivalry

India v West Indies - ICC Champions Trophy
India and West Indies have been involved in some exciting encounters over the years.

After successfully defending the Asia Cup 2018 and winning the tournament for a record 7th time, Team India's next assignment is a home bilateral series against a relatively inexperienced West Indies squad (still short of their major global franchise T20 players) across all three formats of the game.

Serving as a warm-up for India's upcoming visit to Australia from November '18 to January 2019, India will host the West Indies for 2 Tests in Rajkot and Hyderabad, before switching to a 5 match ODI Series and lastly a 3 match T20I series.

The series is scheduled to take place all through October and into November 2018, before the Indian team's highly-anticipated tour of Australia in what could be their best chance to win a Test series Down Under for the first time in their history.

While India, the World No.1 Test side, are expected to be heavy favourites in home conditions against the Windies, the West Indies have slowly been putting together some good results over the last twelve months, and will definitely pose a challenge to India in some areas of the game.

Before that, however, here’s a quick look back at a selection of some of the most significant moments from India’s clashes with the West Indies; a rivalry that stretches back over 50 years of cricket with various phases in the evolution of both teams.

1. 2nd Test: India’s Tour of the West Indies 1971

India's Tour of the West Indies, 1971
India won a Test Series in the West Indies for the first time in their history under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar in 1971

India’s first ever Test series victory against the West Indies in West Indies, captained by the late great Ajit Wadekar, was one of their greatest early accomplishments in cricket and one that will stand the test of time, given how the West Indies were by far the strongest side in world cricket back then.

India won the second match of the series and managed to hold the mighty West Indies to a draw in all the remaining Tests to hold out for a 1-0 series win. This was also the series where the legendary Sunil Gavaskar made his debut for India and showed his potential to become India’s greatest ever Test opener; with four centuries and a double century in the series.

2. ICC Cricket World Cup Final 1983

Kapil Dev with the ICC Cricket World Cup 1983 Trophy
Kapil Dev led India to a shock upset over the West Indies to win India's first ever ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983 and inspire a whole generation of new Indian cricketers

THE Match. The match that will forever be etched in Indian cricket folklore. The match that kick-started India’s cricket revolution and gave the whole country a truly world-class once-in-a-generation sporting moment to feel proud of for the rest of time.

India had reached the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1983 after navigating a group consisting of West Indies, Zimbabwe and Australia, and then defeating England in the Semi-Finals with a disciplined first-innings bowling effort and a good run-chase.

The semi-final win against England set up a summit clash with the West Indies, the 2-time back-to-back champions and the greatest team of their era.

In the final, India lost the toss and had to bat first against the world’s most intimidating bowling attack. Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding, the famed West Indian pace quartet, ripped through India’s batting lineup; restricting them to a below-par score of 183.

Kapil Dev, however, marshalled his team and led a stunning fightback with the help of Balwinder Sandhu, Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath to dismiss the best team of their times for a mere 140 all out.

This stunning upset in the final gave India their first ever World Cup and inspired a generation of young cricketers to emulate their heroes and take the Indian cricket team to new heights in the years to come.

3. 3rd Test: West Indies’ Tour of India 2011

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravi Ashwin took 9 wickets and scored a brilliant 103 against the West Indies in this match

A match made famous because it was only the second time in the history of the game that a Test had to be drawn because the scores were level at the end of the 4th innings.

Ravichandran Ashwin was India’s man of the moment in this series after his recent breakthrough into international cricket and won Man of the Match this Test for an excellent all-round display.

In the Test, he took 9 wickets across both innings and scored a brilliant 103 in the first innings that showcased his all-round potential. India needed to chase down 243 in the 4th innings but were pulled back after fifties from Virender Sehwag & Virat Kohli; leaving Ravi Ashwin batting and needing 2 runs to win off the last ball.

Ashwin managed to hit the ball down long-on and get the single to tie the scores but was run out when he tried to return for the second run, resulting in the match being drawn, although India wrapped up the series 2-0. Ashwin was also named Man of the Series.

4. 2nd Test: West Indies’ Tour of India 2013

Sachin Tendulkar's Farewell Match
Sachin Tendulkar's emotional farewell match from International Cricket was against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell international match before his retirement led to the scoreline of the matches in the series (which India won 2-0) mostly being a side note to the emotional affair.

Tendulkar walked out to bat for India for the last time ever at the Wankhede, and struck a beautiful 74 in his final innings, as India won the match by an innings and 126 runs.

Tendulkar later delivered an emotional post-match farewell speech that left several grown men in tears. The West Indies players were class throughout to the departing legend as well, offering a guard of honour to the Little Master and earning the goodwill of the world cricketing fraternity.

5. ICC World T20 Semi-Finals 2016

Lendl Simmons
Lendl Simmons' 82*(51) helped West Indies chase down a mammoth total against India in the ICC World T20 2016 Semi-Finals, and they went on to win the title for the second time

This massive semi-final pitted the two white-ball powerhouses of world cricket; India and West Indies, against each other in a match that would likely decide the winner of the whole tournament.

With India gunning for their first ICC trophy in three years and the West Indies for their first in four, the stakes were high. India batted first, with Rohit Sharma & Ajinkya Rahane giving a good platform before Virat Kohli took over and scored a vintage T20 half-century filled with good running between the wickets, to post a strong total of 192.

However, the West Indies came roaring back into the contest with a quickfire fifty from Johnson Charles, before Lendl Simmons & Andre Russell displayed the kind of brutal power-hitting that would take the West Indies all the way to the trophy.

The Windies managed to chase down India’s huge total with two balls to spare, and then defeated England in the final with another sensational innings of power-hitting from Carlos Brathwaite.

This tournament showcased to the world the West Indies’ incredible talent in the shortest format of the game and made them the first team to win multiple ICC World T20 trophies.

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Edited by Kumud Ranjan