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Top Ten : India's Best Cricket Test Victories

976   //    13 Jul 2011, 22:20 IST

Indian team’s comprehensive win over Sri Lanka at Green Park a couple of days ago was its 100th in Test Cricket. It took 20 years for India to register its first win. But in last 20 years, Indian team has been fairly consistent ( being ranked at top of ICC rankings is the testimony). Here is an attempt to enlist top ten victories registered by Indian team. Havin been an avid follower of Indian Cricket for over 35 years, most of these wins (barring first two) are itched in the memory. So, in a way, this is a trip down the memory lane. Readers can choose to differ with my selection. They are welcome to express their choice here.

Here’s my pick:

1. Vs England at Chepauk, Madras 6-11 Feb 1952
India’s first test victory. Spearheaded by vinoo Mankad’s 12 wickets in the match and centuries by Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigar. Vijay Hazare was India’s first winning captain.
England 266 (Robertson 77, V.mankad 8/55) and 183 ( Robertson 56, V Mankad 4/53) lost to India 457 (P.Roy 111, P.Umrigar 130*) by Innings and 8 runs. 

2. Vs new Zealand at Dunedin 15-21 Feb 1968
India’s first victory on foreign soil. Marked the beginning of era of spin quartet. Superb batting by Ajit Wadekar in both innings and Erapalli Prasanna’s 6/94 were the highlights of the match. Captain MAK Pataudi
NZ 350 ( Dowling 143, Abid ali 4/26) and 204 (Murray 54, Prasanna 6/94) lost to India 359 (Wadekar 80, Motz 5/80) and 5/200 (Wadekar 71, alabaster 6/48) by 5 wickets.

3. Vs West Indies at Port Of Spain Trinidad March 1971
An upset victory by underdogs India over mighty West Indian team led by Gary Sobers. India’s emerging hero Sunil Gavaskar guided the team to emphatic 7 wicket victory aided by veteran Dilip Sardesai’s century in first innings and Off Spin duo of Prasanna and Venkatraghavan. Captain Ajit Wadekar
WI 214 ( David 71, Prasanna 4/54) and 261 (R.Fredrics 80, S.Venkat 5/95) lost to India 352 (D.Sardesai 112, s.Gavaskar 65, J Noreiga 9/95) and 125/3 (S.Gavaskar 67*) by 7 wickets

4. Vs West Indies at Eden Gardens Calcutta 27-31 Jan 1975
India, down 0-2 in the series staged a dramatic comeback with the help of heroics by G.R.Vishvanath who scored a match winning hundred in the second Inninings. S.Madan Lal made an impressive debut as all rounder. Bedi and Chandra were stars with the ball in demolition of WI. Captain MAK PAtaudi
India 233 (G Vishvanath 52, Andy Roberts 5/50) and 316 (G.Vishvanath 139, Roberts 3/88) beat WI 240 (r.Fredricks 100, Madanlal 4/22) and 224 (Kalicharan 57,B.S.Bedi 4/52) by 85 runs.

5 Vs West Indies at Port of Spain 7-12 Apr 1975
This is one of the golden moments in the history of Indian test cricket. Chasing a mammoth total of 404 in the fourth innings, was achieved only once before. But a soild beginning by Sunil Gavaskar followed by scintillating century by another little master Vishvanath helped India achieve the world record. Captain BS Bedi
WI 359 (Richards 177, Chandra 6/120) and 271/6 (Kallicharan 103*, Venkat 3/65) lost to India 228 (Vishvanath 41, M.Holding 6/65) and 406/4 (S.Gavaskar 102, G.Vishvanath 112) by 6 wickets.

6. Vs Pakistan at Chennai 16-20 Jan 1980
Captain Sunil Gavaskar’s masterly century and Kapil Dev’s superb all round show helped India register a decisive win over the arch rivals Pakistan which was a strong side under Asif Iqbal. Kapil Dev’s incisive bowling (4/90 and7/56) and boisterous 84 in the first innings was the highlight of this match.
Pakistan 272 (Majid Khan 56, Kapil Dev 4/90) and 233 (Wasim Raja 57, Kapil Dev 7/56) lost to India 430 (S.Gavaskar 166, Imran khan 5/114) and 78/0 (C.chauhan 46*) by 10 wickets.

7. Vs Aus at Eden Gardens Calcutta 11-15 Jan 2001
In one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in the history of test Cricket, India, following on after a first inning deficit of 274 runs, staged a remarkable recovery through VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180). Off spinner Harbhajan Singh’s performance of 13 wickets in the match (including first ever hat-trick by an Indian) was instrumental in breaking Australia’s world record winning streak. Captain S.Ganguly
Australia 445 (s.Waugh 110, Harbhajan singh 7/123) and 212 (M.Hayden 67, Harbhajan singh 6/73) lost to India 171 (VVS Laxman 59, g.McGrath 4/18) and 657/7 (VVS Laxman 281, R.Dravid 180) by 171 runs.

8. Vs Pakistan at Multan 28-31 March 2004
This win has a special place in every Indian’s heart. It was India’s first win in Pakistan. Virender Sehwag scored first triple hundred for India. A minor controversy following acting captain Dravid’s declaration in spite of Tendulkar batting at 194 was quickly forgotten as Anil Kumble wrapped Pakistan’s second innings well short of Innigs defeat. Captain R.Dravid
India 675/6 (v.Sehwag, S.Tendulkar 194*) beat Pakistan 407 (Y.Hameed 91, I.Pathan 4/100) and 216 ( Y.Youhana 112, a.Kumble 6/72)

9. Vs. South Africa at Johannesburg 15-18 Dec 2006
One of the best away victories of Indian team. On a seamer friendly pitch, India beat the South Africans at their own game. S.Shreesanth, the eccentric medium pacer from Kerala took 8 wickets in the low scoring match in which the hosts were bundled out on a platry 84. Captain R.Dravid
India 249 (VVS Laxman 51, SM Pollock 4/39) and 236 (VVS Laxman 73, SM Pollock 3/33) beat South Africa 84 ( A.Prince 24, S.ShreeSanth 5/40) and 278 (A.Prince 97, A. Kumble 3/54) by 123 runs.

10. Vs. Australia at Perth 16-19 Jan 2008
This victory was remarkable for more than one reasons. Firstly, an unprecedented controversy that erupted during the previous match at Sydney where Harbhajan was accused of racial abuse and un-sportsmanlike behaviour by Ponting’s men. Secondly, Australia had never lost at Perth since 1996.And India once again broke Aussie winning streak. Captain Anil Kumble.
India 330 (R.Dravid 93, M.Johnson 4/86) and 294 (VVS Laxman 79, S.Clark 4/61) beat Australia 212 (A.Symonds 66, RP Singh 4/68) and 340 (M.Clarke 81, I.Pathan 3/54)

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