India is Number One in Test cricket. Dhoni's men achieved this rarest feat yesterday by beating Sri Lanka by a whooping margin of an innings and 24 runs. Incidentally it is India's successive innings victory over Shri Lanka. It is the most glorious moment of Indian cricket. An odyssey which began in 1932 has finally reached its destination after 77 long years . India first played Test cricket in 1932 under the captaincy of the legendary cricketer C.K.Naidu which India eventually lost. It has taken exactly 101 test matches to scale this peak.

 

Looking back upon these 77 years the Indian cricket has witnessed quite a lot of high and lows. There arrived cricketers like Mustaq Ali, Viay Mrchant, Dattu Phadkar, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Pankaj Roy, Shubahas Gupte, Vijay Manjrekar and many other luminaries who guided the destiny of Indian cricket and served the cause of Indian with distinction and great honour and passed the baton to their worthy successors like Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Gundappa Viswanath and many others.

 

In the earlier decades the consistency in the performance was something missing. Although there were memorable occasion wins but the players failed to gel as a team. There were patches of individual brilliance but that alone could not ensure consistency. Perhaps our first ever World Cup win in 1983 under the legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev's captaincy was an important milestone in the annals of Indian cricket. Emergence of cricketers like Dilip Vengsarkar, Md.Azharuddin, Ravi Shatri too helped the cause of Indian cricket.

 

Perhaps Sachin Tendulkar's bursting upon the scene was the best thing that could happen to Indian cricket .Over the last 20 years his phenomenal performance speaks for itself. He is an inspiration for his team mates and thousands of budding cricketers all over world. Fortunately his arrival was followed by a bunch of talented cricketers like Sourav Gangully, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, V.V.S Laxman whose contributions in the phase of consolidation are truly memorable.

 

There was a time when Indian cricketers were dubbed as “poor travellers” and our overseas record was pathetic. It was under Sourav Gangully's aggressive and brilliant captaincy that helped put up a decent performance in away series.

 

How long India would be able to retain the topmost position remains to be seen and we are likely to see an intense battle going on among India, South Africa and Australia. All cricket lovers would be watching it with great interest and delight.


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