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Sunday, February 6, 2022

Men in Blue plays 1000th ODI (and wins)

Today India played West Indies in a D/N One dayer at Ahmedabad - ODI no. 4353 is of statistical significance – it is the 1000th ODI featuring Team India.


More enthralling was yesterday’s finals at Northsound.  Team India U19 won the tournament quite handsomely.  A four-wicket win against England handed India their fifth Under-19 World Cup title. Previously, WE  won in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018. In all, Indians have made it to finals in eight of the 14 editions of the tournament, including each of the last four occasions. Four of India's five titles came while staying unbeaten through the tournament - 2000, 2008, 2018 and 2022.   

Raj Bawa started the tournament with a four-wicket haul against South Africa but was wicketless in the next four matches. In between, he recorded the highest individual score of this edition, when he scored 162 not out against Uganda. But against England in the final, his 5 for 31 turned out to be the best bowling figures for any player in an U-19 World Cup final. The Nation is celebrating its youth winning the U19 WC 2022.  

Today provided opportunity for more youngsters.  Nicknamed "Hurricane" for his ability to change games in no time, the big-hitting Deepak Hooda, an IPL star made his debut and did reasonably well.   During  IPL season for Rajasthan Royals, in 2015,  Hooda's powerful striking abilities were more widely taken note of - he scored 151 runs in 14 matches at a strike-rate of 158.94. In the 2016 IPL auction, Hooda was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for an astounding Rs 4.2 crores, 42 times his base price of Rs 10 lakh.  

Today the score card reads :  India 178 for 4 (Rohit 60, Suryakumar 34, Joseph 2-45) beat West Indies 176 (Holder 57, Chahal 4-49, Washington 3-30) by six wickets – it was actually an easier win made somewhat complicated by some wickets falling and Surya and Hooda stabilizing.  Led by the spinners' seven wickets between them, India cruised to a six-wicket in the series opener that lasted just 71.5 overs on a pitch offering turn and variable pace. This was the first time since January 2019 that India's spinners took more than five wickets in an ODI, but India will be equally impressed that their fast bowlers too created an impact to help restrict West Indies to 176. The returning Washington Sundar started the damage, Yuzvendra Chahal broke the back of the batting with four wickets, but either side were hostile spells from Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna. The 46 dot balls that India bowled in the powerplay were the highest by them since the 2019 World Cup, thanks largely to Siraj's opening spell of 5-2-13-1. Krishna took a wicket apiece in his later spells.   

Of greater statistical significance is – Team India  scripted history by becoming the first team to play the 1000th ODI when they took the field against the West Indies in the series opener at the picturesque Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. Before this game, India had played 999 ODIs and recorded 518 victories. They had suffered 431 defeats, while nine matches had ended in ties and 41 matches had no result. India skipper Rohit Sharma said that it will be a privilege for him to lead the Men in Blue as they take the field to play their 1000th ODI.  

Lot many players have led the Team – starting from mercurial Ajit Wadekar, intelligent Srinivasan Venkatraghavan, Bishan Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, ebullient Kapil Dev,  SMH Kirmani, Mohinder Amarnath, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, Krishnamachari Srikkanth,  M Azharuddin, legend Sachin Tendulkar, Ajay Jadeja, Dada Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag, legend MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan & KL Rahul.   

Team India debuted in an ODI at Leeds on 13th July 1974 againt England and played another two days later at the Oval – lost both the matches.  The inaugural match of Prudential World Cup 1975 featured India, which everyone would like to forget as India lost by 202 runs, Sunil Gavaskar crawled to 36* in 60 overs.  Then at Leeds India won against East Africa – then lost their WC match to Glenn Turner’s New Zealand on 14.6.1975.  

India’s first ever win was against East Africa, 2nd win came at Quetta against Pak in 1978; 3rd against Australia Melbourne on 6.12.1980; 4th against NZ at Perth and 5th again against New Zealand on 23.12.1980 at Adelaide.  

India has come a longway since, holding many records in One dayers and winning the World Cup in 1983 and in 2011.  In the first decade ie., 1974 till 1980 – India played just 17 one day matches.  Now on 6th Feb 2022, they have played 1000 matches !  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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