KANPUR: India wrapped up a 197-run victory over New Zealand Monday, providing the icing on cake for the celebrations to mark their 500th Test match.
AFP looks back at some of the other most memorable encounters in the history of Indian Test match cricket:
The Tiger Roars
The late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who lost his sight in one eye before making his international debut, was instrumental in shaping the nation’s cricket fortunes.
India’s youngest Test captain at 21, ‘Tiger’ Pataudi led the team to its first overseas series victory in 1969 in New Zealand, where a 3-1 victory proved Indian cricket had come of age.
The main damage was done by the spinners Bishan Singh Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna who bamboozled the New Zealand batsmen on their own turf. India won the third and fourth Test by eight wickets and 272 runs respectively.
West Indies dominated world cricket for two decades from the early 1970s and so India’s first series victory in the Caribbean in 1971 looks even more impressive with hindsight.
While the other four Tests were drawn, India clinched the series in Port of Spain when the spinning trio of Bedi, Prasanna and S. Venkataraghavan were instrumental in a seven-wicket victory in a region best known for producing fast bowlers.
The match also featured a young Sunil Gavaskar, who would go on to become the first player to score 10,000 Test match runs.
1986 Tied Test
India were involved in one of the two tied Tests in the history of the game, against Australia in 1986 at Madras, now Chennai. While the match made the career of several of the players, it ended that of Indian umpire V. Vikramraju.
Greg Matthews, who finished the match with 10-249, trapped India’s No.11 batsman Maninder Singh lbw after Vikramraju raised the finger to end with scores level at 347. While the umpire maintained Singh was out, he came in for heavy criticism after the match amid claims from the batsman that the ball touched his bat before it struck his pad.
The match is also remembered for Dean Jones’ career-defining double hundred in testing conditions. Australia were also involved in the first tied Test in 1960, against West Indies in Brisbane.
Kumble’s Perfect 10
A win against arch-rivals Pakistan is always cherished by Indian fans but the team’s 1999 victory in New Delhi was especially satisfying. India’s current coach Anil Kumble secured his legendary status by taking all 10 wickets in Pakistan’s second innings at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
On the fourth afternoon, Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin threw the ball to leg-spinner Kumble and the rest, as they say, is history.
He ran through the batting to claim a match-winning 10-74, becoming only the second bowler after England spinner Jim Laker to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings. It was a series-levelling win.
Very Very Special Laxman
Steve Waugh’s Australia had steamrollered India in the first Test in Mumbai when the action shifted to Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens in 2001.
Even the most ardent Indian fan had given up hope after the hosts were made to follow on but in came VVS Laxman at number three to join Rahul Dravid and that sparked a classic revival. Laxman, who scored a career-best 281, tamed the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne with his sublime batting as he put on 376 with Dravid (180).
India’s spinners, led by Harbhajan Singh, then ran through the Aussie batting to seal a 171-run win, sparking an incredible turnaround that eventually saw the hosts seal the series 2-1.