With the three-wicket victory against England in the first ODI of the bilateral series in Pune on Sunday, India recorded the fifth-highest run chase in the history of 50-over cricket. It was all the more memorable because of the circumstances under which the team pulled it off after being 63/4 at one point, as Kedhar Jadhav proved to be an unlikely hero on the night.
This chase will go down as one of the greatest by the Men in Blue and joins a list of some unforgettable ones that have been stamped on the memories of all Indian cricket fans.
Australia – Jaipur, 2013
This series was almost always about the fielding team being sent on a leather hunt. In the second ODI in Jaipur, India was set a mammoth target of 360 by the Kangaroos on the back of George Bailey’s explosive knock. But in response, the Indian openers set the tone with a 176-run partnership and Virat Kohli sealed an unbelievable nine-wicket win by smashing the fastest hundred by an Indian (off 52 balls).
In the sixth ODI of the series, India also chased down a target of 351 successfully at Nagpur, which was the second highest successful run chase for the team at that time.
Sri Lanka – Hobart, 2012
It was India’s last ODI in the triangular series (against Australia and Sri Lanka) in February 2012. They were set a target of 321 by the Lankans and in order to stay alive in the tournament, were supposed to chase it down in under 40 overs. Cometh the moment, cometh the man; and it was Virat Kohli once again who played a blinder (133* off 86) to end the game in the 37th over itself.
Pakistan – Mirpur, 2012
The very next month, Virat was in the act once again, and this time it was against archrivals Pakistan during the 2012 edition of the Asia Cup, hosted by Bangladesh. Pakistan had set India a daunting 330-run target after electing to bat first. Driving and hooking his way past the Pak bowlers, Virat broke several records as he notched up a match-winning 183 off 148 deliveries.
England – Lord’s, 2002
This chase can easily be called the turning point in India’s approach to limited-overs cricket. Chasing 326 against England in the final of the Natwest trophy in 2002, the Indian innings was in a state of disarray after being reduced to 146/5. But two youngsters – Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh – rose up to the occasion on the biggest stage of them all. Sourav Ganguly famously took his shirt off in the Lord’s balcony as India successfully chased their highest target, back then.
Australia – Sharjah, 1998
The year was 1998 and India had qualified for the final of the triangular series on the back of Sachin Tendulkar’s spirited 131-ball 143 in the previous match that was (in)famously interrupted by a sandstorm. The Master Blaster repeated his heroics once again in the final as he smashed a second consecutive century (134) to comfortably steer Team India past the finish line.
Image credits: BCCI