HomeCricketFlashback: Memorable Test Matches Between India And West Indies

Flashback: Memorable Test Matches Between India And West Indies

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India is up for another crucial series and after a productive Asia Cup 2018, the focus shifts to the Test series against the West Indies. Both teams gear up for the first Test in Rajkot, starting October 4.

The Men in Blue will be looking to bounce back from the 1-4 series defeat against England. Virat Kohli will be leading the side as India look to gain authority against a young Windies outfit.  When one looks at the statistics, in total, these two teams have played 94 Test matches.

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West Indies have enjoyed a 30-18 advantage with a majority of their glory coming in the yesteryears that boasted of a golden generation of players, who ruled world cricket. When the two sides have met in India, there have been 45 Tests played with the visitors bagging 14 out of them. India has won 11.

With time one may be wondering what the West Indian cricket has fallen from the glory they enjoyed. But hopefully, their recent results against Bangladesh at home will help them to come forward and give a better account of themselves.

There have been some great battles in the past enjoyed between the two sides. Here we look at some of the memorable encounters.

India’s moment of finesse in 1971

Sunil Gavaskar was exceptional on the tour (Image: Hindustan)

This was one of the most memorable Indian victories on foreign soil and also their first under then skipper Ajit Wadekar. It was the second Test match played at the Kingston in Jamaica, where Sunil Gavaskar came calling and contributing immensely.
Bishen Singh Bedi and EAS Prasanna stood tall to pick a flurry of wickets and dismiss the hosts for 214 runs in the first innings. The Indian batsmen stood tall and responded with a fine 352. Dileep Sardesai was the pick of the lot with a magnificent ton (112). Gavaskar hit a solid 65 as well.
Charlie Davis struck an unbeaten 74 as Windies set a target of 124 runs after managing 261. Srinivas Venkataraghavan picked 5/95 to halt the Windies. In reply, Gavaskar scored a gritty unbeaten 67 to help India seal the match by three wickets.
The win helped India to bag the 4-match series 1-0.

Windies bowlers steal the show in 1997

West Indies beat India narrowly in this tightly fought series by a 1-0 margin. The defining moment came in the 3rd Test. Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck a classy century (137) as the hosts managed to get to 298. Venkatesh Prasad led the 3-men pace attack as they picked 8 wickets between them.
India then took a slender lead with gritty fifties from Rahul Dravid (78) and Sachin Tendulkar (92). The visitors managed 319 runs in their first innings. The trio of Indian pacers picked 10 wickets between them to dismiss the WI for a paltry 140. Abey Kuruvilla was the pick of the lot with figures of 5/68.
India needing 119 runs collapsed from the word go. VVS Laxman managed 19 runs with rest of the side being dismissed in single-digit scores. The quartet of WI pacers ripped apart India and dismissed them for 81. It was an astounding win for Windies after being on the mat.

When Kumble did the unthinkable in 2002

They say bravery is one of the vital aspects of life. Nobody knows this better than Anil Kumble, who battled all odds and came on to the field to play with a broken jaw and a bandaged head. The Test match ended in a draw as both teams played one inning each and scored piles of runs.
But this match will be always remembered for India’s Kumble. Jumbo came back and bowled 14 overs on the trot and got the wicket of Brian Lara. The leg-spinner was earlier hit on the jaw by pacer Mervyn Dillon, but he came back to surprise everybody when India bowled.
It was the 4th Test of the 5-match series. India scored a mammoth 513/9 in their first innings. West Indies then replied with a stunning 629/9 on a flat track that saw three of their batsmen scoring tons. India lost the series 3-1. But Kumble stole the show for being a lion on the field.

A modern day classic at the Wankhede in 2011

West Indies got off to a dream first innings score of 590 with 6 of their batsmen hitting 50+ scores. Darren Bravo led the way with a stupendous knock of 166. R Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers bagging a five-for. India in response managed 482.
India’s first six batsmen got off to starts, but none of them crossed the three-figure mark. In came Ashwin with the score reading 331/6. He smashed a fine century (103) to get India to a respectable score in the end and stay within touching distance.
The scenario changed completely in the 2nd innings when the Indian spinners wrecked havoc on a turning pitch. Pragyan Ojha and Ashwin picked 10 wickets between them to bowl Windies out for 134. In pursuit of 243, India was reduced to 189/6 before Virat Kohli batted along with the tail.
After his dismissal, the onus was on Ashwin. The equation came to two needed off 1 ball. Ashwin scampered back for a 2nd but was run out. The match was tied.

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