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Wisden Awards

The Indian Team of The Century

The Winners: India at the World Championship of Cricket, 1985

The Indian Team of The Century
The Indian Team of The Century
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-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Winners: India at the World Championship of Cricket, 1985
Kapil Dev once reportedly said that this was the best one-day team he had ever played in. With good reason. India was at its peak in every department of the game in this tournament: Kris Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri were at their best as an opening pair, the middle order - with Mohammad Azharuddin, Gavaskar himself, Dilip Vengsarkar and Mohinder Amarnath - was formidable, and the bowling had a deadly sting to it, with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Shastri forming perhaps India’s finest one-day spin duo until then. India won every game they played comfortably, and Gavaskar ended his last stint as Indian captain on a glorious note. In 1983, India had hustled their way to victory; in 1985, they dominated. 


Full chronological list of all the nominees:

India in New Zealand, 1967-68
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was the best captain India ever had, and this series exemplified why. He brought Indian cricket out of an era of negativity, and they went to New Zealand actually believing they could win, imbued with a confidence few teams before them had. Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack described the Indian team as "a particularly attractive one, with batsmen aggressive of intent and of stroke-making ability far down the list." But it was the bowling which won India the series. Erapalli Prasanna took 24 wickets in the four Tests, and was ably supported by Bapu Nadkarni and Bishan Singh Bedi as India prevailed 3-1. It was the first time India had won abroad, and it set the tone for things to come.

India in West Indies and England, 1971
1971 was a seminal year for Indian Cricket, as in that year, India beat both West Indies and England away from home, and since those teams had just beaten Australia and Pakistan, could justly claim to be on the summit of world cricket. Led by Ajit Wadekar, the Indians first surprised West Indies 1-0 in a five-Test series, with some spectacular batting by Dilip Sardesai and the young Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar made 774 runs in the four Tests he played, still a record for a debut series. Later, they capped it with a 1-0 win against England, with Bhagwat Chandrasekhar turning in a magical matchwinning spell of 6 for 38 at the Oval. Despite their one-day exploits in the 80s, India never came close to repeating this kind of a streak at the Test level. more 

India at the Prudential World Cup, 1983

If Senegal had won the football World Cup of 2002, it would have been as big an upset as India's victory in the 1983 Prudential World Cup. Rank outsiders, India went into the competition with immense self-belief and confidence, led by the ebullient Kapil Dev, for whom no task was too outrageous to contemplate. The Indian team had many bits-and-pieces players who embodied the quintessence of the perfect one-day team: everybody played above their potential and contributed in every department of the game. Kapil may have stolen some thunder with his incredible 175 not out against Zimbabwe, but men like Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Kris Srikkanth and Roger Binny all chipped in with invaluable contributions. It was a champagne moment, and just the memory of it is enough to make an India supporter heady. 

India at the World Championship of Cricket, 1985
Kapil Dev once reportedly said that this was the best one-day team he had ever played in. With good reason. India was at its peak in every department of the game in this tournament: Kris Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri were at their best as an opening pair, the middle order - with Mohammad Azharuddin, Gavaskar himself, Dilip Vengsarkar and Mohinder Amarnath - was formidable, and the bowling had a deadly sting to it, with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Shastri forming perhaps India’s finest one-day spin duo until then. India won every game they played comfortably, and Gavaskar ended his last stint as Indian captain on a glorious note. In 1983, India had hustled their way to victory; in 1985, they dominated.

Source: wisden.com

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