The Indian cricket team has gained a lot of popularity by playing consistently at the international level. The team has not only built a long winning streak at home, but they have also improved their record outside India. However, a few decades ago, India was not on the same level as the teams from the West Indies and Australia.
The Men in Blue had the same situation as the English team of 2019. They had the potential to win the World Cup but would even lose to Sri Lanka when it was not their day. India did not start as favorites to win every series, and often they got off to a bad start. Here’s a look at the five memorable instances when India recorded a massive victory after falling short in the series opener.
India vs. Australia 2001, Series Result – 2-1
This magical series has a special place in the hearts of every Indian fan. The 2001 Australia tour of India where Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman immortalized themselves. However, India did not get off to a dream start in that series. Steve Waugh’s men had a 16-match winning streak. They crushed India by ten wickets in the first game. Next, they took a monumental lead of 274 runs in the second Test.
But, the iconic duo of Dravid and Laxman saved the day for India with their partnership. Harbhajan Singh did the pending job with the ball as India miraculously win the series 2-1.
India vs. Sri Lanka 2015, Series Result – 2-1
Another Test series where India lost the first Test and came back like a champion was against Sri Lanka in 2015. It was Virat Kohli’s first series as full-time captain. Kumar Sangakkara was playing his last games for Sri Lanka. Still, nobody expected the islanders to win a single game. India got off to a horrendous start in the series as Dinesh Chandimal, and Rangana Herath’s heroics powered the Lankans to a 63-run win.
The spin twins, Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra helped India fight back and win the second game. The visitors brought Cheteshwar Pujara in the team for the finale, and the right-handed batsman carried the bat in the first innings with a splendid 145*. India won that fixture and sealed the series 2-1, their first series win in Sri Lanka after 22 years.
India vs. England 1972, Series Result – 2-1
England crushed India in the first Test match at Delhi as it seemed like the English team had mastered the art of tackling the Indian spin bowlers. However, the pair of BS Chandrasekhar and BS Bedi came back in style and combined forces to take 19 wickets in the second game. Their power-packed performance helped India draw level.
Erapalli Prasanna also joined Chandrasekhar and Bedi in the third game at Chepauk as the English batsmen bowed down to the Indian bowlers and conceded the series. This series win changed Indian cricket forever.
India vs. Australia 2017, Series Result – 2-1
The final two entries on this list feature the Australian team. Back in 2017, the Aussies visited India to avenge the whitewash that they suffered on their last tour. Australia started on a positive note as Steve O’ Keefe’s spin bowling helped them crush the home side by 333 runs in the first game. Australia beat India on their own game.
Hence, Virat Kohli and co. had the onus of changing their strength. Australia bowled India out for just 189 in the 1st innings of the second Test. But, Ravichandran Ashwin’s six-wicket haul in the second innings helped India level the series. The third Test ended in a draw, while Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round brilliance in the fourth game blew the Australians away.
India vs. Australia 2020, Series Result – 2-1
The recent entry on this list is India vs. Australia series of 2020. David Warner and Aaron Finch handed India their first 10-wicket ODI loss in many years to shatter the Indian team’s confidence levels. Nevertheless, Virat Kohli motivated his men to stay positive, and they responded in style by keeping their nerve in a close encounter at Rajkot.
The Men in Blue regained their confidence and pulled off a clinical win in Bengaluru to seal the series 2-1. Thus, these are the five most memorable instances when India registered a massive series win after losing the first game.