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India and England have played quite a few memorable One-Day Internationals (ODIs). While the NatWest Series final 2002 may rank as one of the best, there are others that aren’t spoken off in the same breath. Nishad Pai Vaidya revisits ten great contests between theses two sides.
India and England have played quite a few thrilling One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in recent times. From the NatWest series final of 2002 to the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2013, there have been matches that have kept the fans on the edge of their seats and provided some great entertainment. Let us revisit 10 great contests between the two sides.
Perhaps one of the greatest ODIs in history and one that heralded a new era for India. It brought about a time when India looked beyond the famed superstars and started believing in the young. Nasser Hussain and Marcus Trescothick’s tons had set India a steep target of 326 and they started off with Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly smashing the ball to all parts. However, once Ganguly fell with the score on 106 in the 15th over, wickets kept falling and India lost hope when Sachin Tendulkar was bowled at 146 for five. In came Mohammad Kaif to join Yuvraj Singh and they then calmly took on the bowlers to construct a 121-run stand that gave India enormous belief. The last ten overs were dramatic as Kaif held on and managed to accomplish the task of winning the match for India in the last over with only two wickets in hand. Ganguly celebrated on the Lord’s balcony by taking his shirt off.
It was a game that saw Tendulkar smash his 98th international ton and India were waiting to get the cup for the master. In their second game against England at Bangalore, they managed 338, which could have been a lot more had they not lost wickets in a heap towards the death. In reply, Andrew Strauss hit the ball with his trademark silken touch and nonchalantly ate away at India’s total. Ian Bell, who survived a controversial DRS call, also continued to support his skipper. At 281 for two in the 43rd over, the game looked gone for India when England opted for the batting powerplay. However, Zaheer Khan got Bell and then dismissed Strauss with a lovely yorker. India kept hitting England back and it boiled down to the last over when they needed 14 with only two wickets in hand. Ajmal Shahzad’s six got England closer and with two to get off the last ball, they managed to hit a single to record a tie.
3. England vs India, Akai-Singer Champions Trophy 1997: Sharjah
The first time Adam Hollioake was leading England in one-day cricket. After Tendulkar put them in to bat, England hit 250 with Alec Stewart smashing 116. In reply, India lost four quick wickets after an opening stand of sixty, leaving Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja in the centre. They put up 108 runs on the board before Jadeja was dismissed. Tendulkar soldiered on and kept helping his side even when they lost wickets. However, 19 runs away from the total, he was eighth man out for 91 and India lost the next two wickets soon to hand England a victory by seven runs.
4. India vs England, 6th ODI 2002: Mumbai
The last game of the six match series was played at Mumbai with India leading 3-2. England batted first and put up 255 with Trescothick’s 95 leading the way. India lost Tendulkar early but Ganguly kept them in the hunt and India seemed to be on course to victory. At 191 for three in the 37th over, the game was India’s when Ganguly was dismissed by Ashley Giles for 80. India then kept losing wickets and Hemang Badani cut a sorry figure at one end. In the last over they needed 11 with two wickets in hand. But then, Andrew Flintoff inflicted a run-out and then bowled Javagal Srinath off the penultimate delivery to win the game for England. He then went around Wankhede with his shirt off to celebrate.
The only time in the summer when India looked like getting close to a victory, but rain denied them that chance at the Home of Cricket. Batting first, India put up 280 on the board with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni taking on the challenge head on. England were kept in check by an inspired Indian bowling attack, but Ravi Bopara continued to weather the storm and was trying to take England closer. In partnership with Graeme Swann, he put up 50 for the seventh wicket, before the rains started to threaten during the penultimate over. To add to the drama, Munaf Patel dismissed Swann and then had Bopara run-out for 96 off the next as the rain came down hard. The match couldn’t resume again and England had tied with India with 270 in 48.5 overs.
This was a game full of drama. England’s innings seemed like losing its momentum time and again until Owais Shah’s ton and Luke Wright’s fifty on debut helped them recover, before Dimitri Mascarenhas’ five sixes in the last over took England to 316. India began in fine style with the old firm, Ganguly and Tendulkar putting up a sound 150-run stand in quick time. India kept scoring at a good rate even though Tendulkar limped off after being dismissed for 94. However, at 234 for five in the 41st, MS Dhoni and a young Robin Uthappa were in the centre. They batted sensibly, smashing the boundaries when the opportunity came by and rotating strike. Uthappa was lucky on a few occasions when a few edges went past the stumps and went for four. Things only got tighter as India kept losing wickets at the end. In the last over, with eight to get off five, Zaheer ran himself out. But Uthappa walked across his stumps off the next ball and scooped it behind fine leg for a four and then smashed the next one down the ground to seal the deal for India with two wickets in hand.
7. India vs England, 6th ODI 1993: Gwalior
Robin Smith’s 129 took England to 256 on a decent track at Gwalior. India’s reply was a two-man show with the others unable to make a mark. At four for two, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin came together and hit a 175-run stand before the latter was dismissed. India then lost wickets in a heap to be reduced to 205 for seven. But Sidhu held on with Anil Kumble to take India home. He remained unbeaten on 134 and carried his bat through the innings to ensure victory.
8. England vs India, 4th ODI 2007: Manchester
It was a day when two youngsters assured England of their future. In tricky condition at Manchester, India could only muster 212 with Stuart Broad taking four for 55. England’s start was mixed as they kept losing wickets and were pegged back though they scored runs at a good rate. Ajit Agarkar bowled a fiery spell to keep India in the hunt. And, at 114 for seven in 24 overs, it was a matter of time before India finished the game. Bopara and Broad had other ideas and calmly constructed a partnership to take England home quite comfortably. Both scored in the 40s and helped England take a big lead in the series.
Technically, it is a one-day match, though each side played only 20 overs. Birmingham was lashed by rain and the covers kept coming on and off. Ultimately, a 20-over game was announced when the rains stayed away at last. India collapsed until Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja put in a mini assault to take them to a competitive 129. India started off in style with Umesh Yadav dismissing Alastair Cook early. They then kept picking wickets to reduce England to 46 for four in the ninth over. Eoin Morgan and Bopara then started to take it sensibly and then charged for the assault. In the 18th over, Morgan smashed Ishant Sharma for a six to tilt the balance in England’s favour before guiding a slower ball to mid-wicket. Bopara pulled the next ball down square-leg’s throat and England never recovered from there on. India went on to win by five runs to clinch the tournament.
10. India vs England, 1st ODI Delhi: 2006
An inspired England side limited India to only 203. Though they were reduced to two for four in the first over, they were kept in the hunt by Kevin Pietersen. At 117 for three, England were on course with Pietersen and Flintoff in command. That is when things changed as Yuvraj Singh dismissed Pietersen and then Harbhajan ran through the side to record remarkable figures of five for 32. India won by a comfortable margin of 39 runs.
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