India's most forgettable moments in ODI Cricket
If you have been following India’s ODI expeditions in the last six months or so, you might have more grey hair than earlier. It feels like they have suddenly gotten onto a roller-coaster they are not quite sure how to get down from.
They thrashed England 3-1 and then went on to lose all four games down under, two against Australia and two against England. From there, they went on an incredible seven-game winning streak to reach the World Cup semi-finals defeating the likes of South Africa and Pakistan with ease.
But in the first series after the World Cup and the carnival called IPL, they lost 1-2 to Bangladesh in Bangladesh, their first bilateral series defeat against the side that looked ordinary in the lone Test that was perpetually interrupted by the rain.
History shows that India has had some ebbs in its wonderful ODI history but has made great comebacks when least expected. But today, we will take a look at some of its more painful losses in One Day Internationals.
Mind you, a lot of contemporary games have been chosen over games in the early ODI era largely because you are not quite saddened as much when you are at the bottom as you are when bigger things are expected of you.
#6 Port of Spain, Against Bangladesh, Lost by Five Wickets
To many Indians, this defeat still hurts. It remains one of the biggest blotches on an otherwise glorious career of Rahul Dravid who captained India in the 2007 World Cup. India crashed out in the first round and didn’t even make it to the Super Eight. The whole tournament’s TV ratings suffered because of India and Pakistan crashing out so early.
Batting first, India managed just 191 with Sourav Ganguly scoring a painful 66 in 129 balls.
Tamim Iqbal smashed a 53-ball 51. The other three pillars of the current Bangladesh team that beat India recently also contributed. Mushfiqur Rahim scored an unbeaten half-century and so did Shakib Al Hasan. But Mashrafe Mortaza was given the Man of the Match for his bowling figures of 4-38 that devastated the Indian batting order.
Bangladesh chased steadily and reached the target in 48.3 overs winning by five wickets. India lost subsequently to Sri Lanka and were knocked out, with only two teams proceeding to the next round from each group of four.
#5 Gwalior, Against Kenya, 1998, Lost by 69 runs
There was a time when the Kenyan team had some stars and were on an upward curve, reaching the pinnacle under the coaching hand of Sandeep Patil in 2003 World Cup, which they co-hosted. But five years before that, they got a big boost through their giant killing act. The World Cup semi-finalists were humbled in their own den and how.
Batting first, Kenya put 265 on the board with Maurice Odumbe, top-scoring with 83 off just 91 balls. The Indian batting order was solid but were never in the chase once they lost Sachin Tendulkar in the ninth over.
Before they knew, India stumbled from 62 for two to 106 for five. There were some lower order partnerships but none of them helped as India hurtled along for a 69 run defeat, all out for 196 in 47.1 overs, giving Kenya one of their greatest ODI moments.
#4 SCG, Against Australia, 2004, Lost by 208 runs
This was the prestigious VB Series Final but it was the Invincible team from Australia that India were pitted against, a team very similar to the one that hammered them in the 2003 World Cup Final.
It was not much different this time around either as Australia piled on 359, thanks to Matthew Hayden’s 122-ball 126. The Indian batting line-up folded over for just 151 in 33.2 overs as Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Yuvraj and Sehwag all failed against Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie.
India lost by 208 runs in a game where Irfan Pathan was their top-scorer with 30 runs.
#3 Dambulla, Against New Zealand, 2010, Lost by 200 runs
This was one of the toughest triangular tournaments India had participated in, if you looked at the team’s forms, stumbling to two of its biggest defeats. In the first game of the series, India were set a target of 289 by New Zealand, thanks to Ross Taylor’s 95. It was Kane Williamson’s debut game.
Ashish Nehra was brilliant with figures of 4-47. However, after a brisk start that saw India reach 39 for no loss in the seventh over, things went bad very quickly. There was a procession off the field as India lost all its 10 wickets for just 49 more runs, being bundled out for 88 in 29.3 overs.
They lost the game by 200 runs, their fourth biggest margin of loss but very embarrassing given the opponent’s form and the venue which should have favoured India more.
#2 Dambulla, Against Sri Lanka, 2010, Lost with 209 balls remaining
In terms of balls remaining, this is the match that saw India’s biggest defeat. India won the toss and opted to bat first. After being 50 for two in the 13th over, they were dealt blow after blow by Thissara Perera who picked up a five-wicket haul. All India could manage was 103 as they were all out in 33.4 overs with Yuvraj Singh top-scoring with 38.
Sri Lanka chased down the target in just 15.1 overs with eight wickets remaining in one of the most one-sided games in Indian history.
#1 Sharjah, Against Sri Lanka, 2000, Lost by 245 runs
It was around the time when India made a habit of losing to Sri Lanka often. It started with the 1996 World Cup when India lost to Sri Lanka twice, including the now infamous semi-final at Kolkata. It took them a decade before they could reverse the pattern but during that period, India suffered some of its most embarrassing debacles at the hands of its sub-continental neighbours.
But, none tasted bitter than the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy Final, which remains India’s biggest loss by runs till date. Sri Lanka scored 299 batting first, Sanath Jayasuriya missing out on a probable double century having scored 189. What followed was a disaster.
India folded out for 54 losing the game by a whopping 245 runs. Only one batsman, Robin Singh, scored in double figures, 11. Extras, just six, were the third highest contributor to the score. Chaminda Vaas picked up a five wicket haul, while Muttiah Muralitharan had figures of 6-3-6-3. A game Indians will not forget in a hurry, much as they might want to.