West Indies v India, 2016: Top 5 India - West Indies Encounters in Whites
As India embarks on another series in West Indies, we have been presented with an opportunity to browse through one of cricket’s oldest legacies. Indian exploits against West Indies will always hold a special place in the heart of the fans given it was India’s Test series victory in West Indies that gave them the confidence that they belong on the bigger arena.
The same thing was repeated in the 1983 World Cup Final when India vanquished the giants of cricket and started a new era in short-format cricket. It changed the face of the country when it came to competitive sport. Over the last decade, the clash between the two teams has lost some of its sting, overlapping with the decline in the standards of the West Indian Test team – partly due to the exodus of talent to other sports and partly due to the internal politics and poor infrastructure.
- India have won the last 5 Tests series between the two teams – three in India and two in West Indies. West Indies haven’t won a single Test against India, home or away since 2002, when they pulled off a stunning series win against the visitors. In all, 21 Test series have been played between the two teams.
- India’s winning streak of five series equals the longest. West Indies had won the first five series played between the two teams from 1948 to 1966. India lost 12 Tests before it opened its account in 1971. If India, wins the present series, it will be the longest streak of series wins for one team. Overall, West Indies have won 12 series, India 7 and two have been drawn.
Here, we take a look at 5 of the most memorable India – West Indies series as a curtain raiser for the ongoing series.
#1 – 1974, India
West Indies won the 5-match series 3-2
It was the only Test series between the two teams where every match yielded a result. It also came in a decade where India – West Indies rivalry was scaling new heights. India had won their first Test series (and their first Test) against West Indies in West Indies three years before this series.
West Indies came back with a vengeance, but India didn’t cave in meekly at all. West Indies won the first Test comprehensively by a massive 267 runs in Bangalore. In a Test, where Gordon Greenidge blasted a century in the second innings and missed one narrowly in the first, Andy Roberts tyrannised the Indian batsmen.
The first Test is also remembered for being the debut match of the great Sir Vivian Richards. The second one was an even more one-sided affair as West Indies thrashed India by an innings and 17 runs.
However, India, under the captaincy of Mansur Ali Khan – who didn’t do too well himself – came back strongly, winning the third Test by 85 runs thanks to a stunning century by Gundappa Viswanath and an excellent spell by Bishan Singh Bedi in the final innings.
India won the fourth Test by 100 runs thanks to more runs from Viswanath and a five and four-wicket haul in the first and second innings respectively for Erapalli Prasanna. In a high-scoring affair, West Indies took the Fifth Test on the back of an unbeaten double century by Clive Lloyd.
India, however, gave an excellent account of themselves, with cricket in the country still in its infancy. Although, West Indies had their revenge, India, by no means proved to be an easy challenge. The series is also remembered for its controversy around captaincy of the Indian team.