With their outstanding performance in Australia, England, and numerous other foreign countries, the Indian International Cricket Team is making waves. Given that the Indian cricket team has always performed better at home than abroad, the achievement is unique. We go into history to examine the development of cricket in India as the Men in Blue get ready for the World Test Championship (WTC) in England.
History of Cricket In India
Over two centuries after Vasco da Gama’s initial discovery of the sea passage connecting Europe and India in 1498, the first British ships set off for India. The new foreigners would engage in leisure pursuits off the Kutch shore that aroused the interest and curiosity of the bystanders.
One of those sailors by the name of Downing described his time in India in his memoirs, saying, “Every day we distracted ourselves with playing cricket and other exercises.” This is the first instance of cricket in India that is known to exist. The British troops played the English settlers in India’s first game that was recorded, which took place in 1751.
The spread of the sport only grew when the so-called merchants eventually became kings. This was formed in 1792, the year the Calcutta Cricket Club (now known as CC & FC) was founded. After the MCC, which was founded in 1787, this was supposed to be the second cricket club in history.
A match between its team and the Old Etonians was organized by the CCC, as it was known to the public back then. As the game continued, Robert Vansittart of the visiting team batted a strong century, the first one ever recorded on Indian soil.
The Indian army, often known as “sepoys,” was among the earliest groups of Indians to play cricket. They were familiar with the fundamentals of the game since they had regularly observed senior army personnel playing it for fun. This gave Indians their first introduction to cricket.
Indian Cricket Team – The Early Days
As the (English) Indian cricket team advanced, Lord Harris, the governor of the Bombay Province at the time, did his part to advance the sport in India.
Along with organizing an annual tournament between Parsis and Europeans for the presidency, he set aside land on Mumbai’s seashore for the construction of the renowned Gymkhanas and Maidans.
An “All-Indian Cricket Team” made their first-ever trip to England in 1911. Some of the top cricketers at the time were on the team. These featured a number of veterans, including Colonel Mistry, Wazir Ali, Prof. DB Deodhar, C.K. Nayudu, Baloo Palwankar, and JG Navale.
Cricket In India: Formation of BCCI & the 1st International Match
The Board of Control for Cricket in India was founded in 1928, with Grant Govan serving as its inaugural president and Anthony De Mello as its inaugural secretary.
Due to Bombay’s lengthy history and involvement with the sport, the city was chosen as the organization’s headquarters. India finally earned the right to compete in Test matches four years later, in 1932.
The first Test was played at Lord’s in 1932, and Col. C.K. Nayudu was given the distinction of leading India in its maiden Test match.
Initial Success of Indian Cricket Team
From 1932 to 1952, the Indian International Cricket Team had to wait more than 20 years to begin play in Test matches. The Indian cricket team won by an innings and eight runs in the fifth and final Test of the 1951–1952 England tour of India series at Chennai. The Indian cricket team quickly won the series in 1953 after defeating Pakistan, their bitter rivals.
India defeated the New Zealanders 3-1 on their home fields in 1967–1968 to clinch its first Test series victory away from home.
Indian Cricket Team: The 1983 Cricket World Cup
66/1 odds, only 1 World Cup victory after 6 games. These were the unforgiving statistics with which the Indian international cricket squad entered English territory.
When the knockout rounds came around, India was doing a great job of striking above their weight.
They had somehow surpassed Australia to place second in the Group Stage. They were scheduled to play the hosts, England, at Old Trafford in the semifinals.
After opting to bat first, England went on to reach a respectable total of 217. The bowling trio of Roger Binny (2/27), Mohinder Amarnath (3/35), and Kapil Dev were outstanding in the first innings. India defeated its erstwhile rulers by 6 wickets thanks to strong starts from Yashpal Sharma (61), and Sandeep Patil (51). The player of the game was Mohinder Amarnath.
The West Indies, who were considered to be the clear favorites in the competition, were the opponents in the grand decider at the Lord’s. India only scored 183 runs in the opening frame. A score that was thought to be reachable by all, especially considering that WI was home to some of the most gifted batters, like Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards.
But India’s maiden World Cup victory came thanks to a strong captaincy from Kapil Dev and outstanding bowling from Mohinder Amarnath (3/12) and Madan Lal (3/31).
The victory had significant effects on the cricket community. Not only had it made India the hub of the cricket world, but also the whole Indian subcontinent. In the years that followed, other Asian nations like Sri Lanka and Pakistan would go on to capture the joyful trophy.
In India, cricket gained enormous popularity. It was the first time anyone had thought about holding the competition outside of England, where it was first created.
Indian Cricket Team & The Sachin Tendulkar Era – India Legends
Somewhere in the Mumbai suburbs, a child was inspired when Kapil Dev raised the Prudential Cup in 1983. That 10-year-old would go on to become not only the greatest cricketer to ever represent India, but also the sport’s global standard-bearer. Sachin Tendulkar was in this.
On November 14, 1987, Tendulkar began his Ranji Trophy career. Sadly, he was only a stand-in at the time. The following season, in December 1988, he made his formal debut. In his very first game, he made 100 runs without being out. Everyone could have a peek of his tremendously promising future as he concluded the season leading Bombay in runs scored with 583 runs at an average of 67.77. In each of Tendulkar’s three domestic competition debuts—the Ranji, Irani, and Duleep Trophies—he has recorded a century.
Tendulkar made his Test and ODI debuts against Pakistan in 1989. He did this to make his debut for India in both forms at a young age. He steadily advanced through the ranks and established himself as a solid member of the group. At the 1996 World Cup, Tendulkar led the Indian International Cricket squad in runs scored. He also won the 2003 World Cup’s Man of the Tournament award.
Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest cricket players in history, never had much success as a captain. He therefore made the decision to abstain from captaincy. Throughout his lengthy career, he experienced some ups and downs in his performances. He did, however, always come back stronger.
Men In Blue: Sourav Ganguly & Greg Chappell Episode
After the high of the 2004 World Cup, the Indian Cricket Team was regarded as a firm favorite in the 2007 edition of the cricket extravaganza. India boasted of what is considered as their golden generation of batsman- Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, and VVS Laxman among others. However, what followed was one of the most disappointing cricketing displays by the Men in Blue. They failed to even make it to the knockout stages of the competition.
One man held responsible for the mega upset was Greg Chappell, the former Indian coach. That span also witnessed some ugly spas between him and the then-captain Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
Indian Cricket Team & The MS Dhoni Era
Indian international cricket team ushered into a new light when the selectors took a bold step of giving reigns to a relatively inexperienced Jharkhand wicketkeeper- MS Dhoni.
The results were instant. Under his stewardship and Gary Kristen experienced coaching, the Indian international cricket team would go on to win the inaugural, the 2011 T20 World Cup under his leadership apart from the No 1 spot in Test cricket.