India and West Indies have witnessed a series of iconic test matches, along with producing legendary cricketers; cricketers who have their names written in gold in the history of Cricket. A spirit of healthy competition prevails between the two nations. And this sportsmanship and utmost respect for the cricketers of the two nations has given rise to some of the note – worthy test matches between the two cricketing giants. This competitive spirit on the cricket ground ends up with their strong bond of friendship outside the stadium. Such a warm welcome to the West Indies culture in India is a proof of this.
Out of all the test matches played between the two, 5 of the best test matches are as follows :
- VICTORY OF 1971:
The series where Sunil Gavaskar made his debut, was indeed a remarkable one. It was also India’s maiden test victory over the Windies. After having managed to cease West Indies to 214 on the first day, India took a lead of 138 in the first innings. West Indies were then stopped at 261 runs in total. India chased down the target with an unbeaten 67 from Gavaskar, winning the 5 match series with 1-0.
- 1997 DISASTER FOR INDIAN CRICKET TEAM:
After restricting the West Indies team to 298 in their first innings, India took a lead of 21 runs, scoring 319 in total. Windies scored 140 runs in their second innings. India had to chase 120 runs to take the trophy home. As luck would have it, Indian batting line-up crashed at a total of mere 81 runs.
The defeat was so disappointing that the then captain of the team, Sachin Tendulkar also mentioned this incident in his autobiography, PLAYING IT MY WAY. In his own words,
“Monday, 31 March 1997, was a dark day in the history of Indian cricket and definitely the worst of my captaincy career” .
- ANIL KUMBLE’S STRUGGLE:
Although this match ended up in a draw, the endurance and grit of Anil Kumble is what makes this match one among the most iconic test matches. Having been hit by a Mervyn Dillon delivery, his jaw was broken, as blood oozed out everywhere. However, this did not let him leave the match in between and he continued playing with the broken jaw. Not only did he bowl 14 overs, but also took the wicket of Brian Lara.
As Viv Richards quoted later,
“It was one of the bravest things I’ve seen on the field of play”.
- THE THRILLING TEST OF MUMBAI:
Only in cricket can a drawn test match be so much thrilling. India needed 2 runs from the last 2 deliveries with only 1 wicket in hand. R Ashwin was at the crease. He had already scored a century for India in the first innings.
The penultimate delivery was blocked by him to prevent the Indian batting line-up from getting all out. However, he hit the last ball quite hard and ran to take one run on that. But he was run out while running back, trying to take the second run.
So, ultimately the test match was drawn with the scores getting levelled.
5. FAREWELL MATCH OF THE ‘GOD OF CRICKET’:
The last test match of the ‘God of Cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar ended with a win for India and was played against West Indies. India defeated the Windies by an innings and 126 runs, registering a 2-0 victory in the series.
The emotional, yet motivational speech of the legendary batsman left everyone with moist eyes.
All in all, Indian cricket and West Indies cricket have definitely shared a unique cricketing legacy. And what’s more, these two nations have also been a witness to the end of Sachin era in test cricket.