As we are all aware of the fact that cricket is a team game which needs efforts, no matter how minimal, from every one to win a game. While bowling partnerships create pressure on the opposition, forcing them to score, batting partnerships also play an extremely crucial role in helping the team to either overcome a major stumble or initial hiccups or even stitch a firm stand, based on which the team can post mammoth totals.
Team India had remarkable cricketers who had brilliant understanding amongst them and contributed significantly to comprehensive partnerships. We however, will focus on the limited overs version of the game and look at the five highest partnerships crafted by Indian batsmen in ODI cricket.
1. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, 1999, 2nd ODI versus New Zealand:
India was startled early in the game as Saurav Ganguly ran himself out for just 4 runs and India lost their 1st wicket for 10. Rahul Dravid walked in to the middle and started with the initial repairs.
With some fine stroke play and relentless hammering of every Kiwi bowler, the partnership shortly showed signs of a bigger storm which was about to brew.
Dravid played an anchoring stance while Tendulkar carried on with the onslaught.
They both racked up their centuries in stunning fashion and pressed the gear harder for India to accelerate.
The partnership finally came to an end for 331 runs as Dravid was dismissed by Chris Cairns for 153 from 153 deliveries. Sachin stayed unbeaten until the end for 186 runs from 150 deliveries.
India totted up 376 on the board. The Black Caps were simply no match to the Indian side as they were dismantled for 202, thanks to some fine bowling and brilliant fielding from the Indians.
2. Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, 1999, ICC World Cup versus Sri Lanka:
Rahul Dravid once again found himself in this remarkable list as he and Saurav Ganguly partnered in an epic stand which witnessed the highest ODI score in an individual innings by Ganguly.
It was a second wicket partnership as Sadgopan Ramesh fell victim to lethal inswing from Chaminda Vaas.
Ganguly and Dravid, after holding on to their fire for some time as both steadied themselves up, started calling the shots. Ganguly was the dominant of the two, while Dravid was the technical genius.
The duo stitched a stand of 318 runs before Rahul Dravid finally got dismissed as he was ran out by Muralidaran for 145 runs off only 129 deliveries.
Ganguly hung in there and carried on with imperious dominance as he scored 183 off only 158 deliveries that comprised 17 boundaries and 7 sixes. He was finally scalped by Wickramasinghe as India posted a staggering total of 373 for 6.
The Indian bowlers made quick work of their opponents as Robin Singh tore through the opposition’s batting, racking up 5 wickets. Sri Lanka was bundled out for 216.
3. Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja, 1998, 5th match versus Zimbabwe:
India was jolted to a rude awakening as they lost the top three of their batting in quick succession. Heath Streak and Pommie Mbangwa removed Ganguly, Tendulkar and Laxman, and India was wobbling at 26 for 3.
This is when Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja started drafting an initial response. After weathering the new ball storm handsomely, these two went for the kill.
Azhar elegantly hammered the Zimbabwean bowlers while Jadeja occasionally clobbered the bad deliveries.
The partnership stayed unbeaten at 275 as India managed to pose a total of 301 for the loss of 3. Azharuddin stayed not out on 153 from 150 deliveries while Jadeja scored 116 from 121 deliveries.
Indian bowlers put up a brilliant effort in restricting Zimbabwe to 269, thereby clinching the match by 32 runs.
4. Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, 2001, 9th match versus Kenya:
Ganguly and Tendulkar went for the kill from the very beginning as the Kenyan bowlers were clueless about what was unfolding around them.
Tendulkar seemed to be the more dominant of the two while Ganguly was punishing anything and everything that was marginally off the right line.
The duo plundered an astounding total of 258 runs before Ganguly was finally dismissed for 111 from 124 balls. Sachin shortly followed suit, scoring 146 off 132 deliveries.
Sehwag took over the reins and unleashed an unprecented carnage as he fired 55 off 23 deliveries. India posted 351 for 3.
The Indian bowlers couldn’t bundle up Kenya because of their dogged resistance but restricted them to a modest 165 for 5 from 50 overs.
5. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, 2017, 2nd match versus England:
India didn’t realize what exactly was unspooling in the initial overs as England removed India’s cream for a meager 25 runs. Struggling at 25 for 3, Yuvraj and Dhoni started fighting tooth and nail against the English bowling. The initial sting was taken care of by Yuvi while Dhoni stuck to his defensive stance. However, shortly both the batsmen started firing on all cylinders as the two racked up a partnership of 256 runs.
Yuvraj fired a blistering 150 from 127 deliveries while Dhoni scored 134 from 122 deliveries. England’s response was extremely aggressive but they fell short by 25 runs, thereby helping India to clinch the thriller.