The day Indian cricket fans all over the world have been waiting for with bated breath is here and the anticipation is brimming. The nation’s performance in the 2023 World Cup has been outstanding and the team has remained undefeated this season. If things go the same way that they’ve been going so far, India will be victorious for the third time in history, 12 years after defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets to win the 2011 World Cup.
The last time around, in 2019, India crashed out of the championship in the semi-final round against New Zealand. Four years before that, the country faced the same fate against Australia in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup.
Now, while we wait to cheer the Men In Blue as they take on Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad today, here are some lesser-known facts about Indian cricket that you can inspire your friends and family with, in between those commercials and drinks breaks. Check it out:
Did you know these 11 lesser known facts about Indian Cricket?
1. India’s first ever cricket team predates our Independence. Back in 1848, an all-Parsi cricket team named ‘Oriental Cricket Club’ was formed in Mumbai.
2. India played their first ever match in the test format against England at Lord’s in 1932. Their first ever ODI the country played was also against England in 1974. The first ever T20 match India played was in 2006, against South Africa in Johannesburg.
3. India has lifted the World Cup twice in the past. The first was in 1983 under Kapil Dev’s captaincy after defeating West Indies. 28 years later, under captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, we won again in 2011 against Sri Lanka.
4. In 1992, the TV Umpire was introduced for the first time during a tournament between India and Sri Lanka. Sachin Tendulkar was the first ever cricketer to be declared out by the third empire.
5. The first ever ODI to ever be held in India took place in 1981 at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad between India and England.
6. India is the only country in the world to have lifted the World Cup in the 60, 50 and 20 over formats.
7. England’s Dennis Amiss scored the first every century in the World Cup championship by scoring 137 runs against India in the 1975 World Cup. On the same day, New Zealand’s Glen Turned earned 171 while still holding his wicket runs against East Africa, thus creating a record for the highest individual total in the World Cup, until Kapil Dev broke it, by hitting 175 runs not out against Zimbabwe in 1983. 40 years later, during the semi-final match against New Zealand, Virat Kohli completed 50 centuries in 279 innings, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s world #1 record of 49 centuries in the ODI format. The third highest number of centuries is also held by another Indian batsman—the current skipper, Rohit Sharma.
8. India’s bout at the 2023 World Cup has acted as sort of a redemption arc for coach Rahul Dravid. Back in 2007, while he wore the Captain’s cap, India crashed out of the championship in the very first round. This loss caused a lot of uproar in the country, which included players facing death threats, physical assault, effigies being burnt and heavy criticism. With the outstanding performance the team is delivering this year under Dravid’s guidance, we can’t wait to see The Wall have his own “Chak De” moment.
9. Mohammed Shami’s performance on the field has the country chanting his name. In fact, with the semi final, the bowler has taken 23 wickets in just six matches. Currently, the record for highest number of wickets taken in any World Cup is 27 (in 10 matches), held by Mitchell Starc of Australia. Shami’s performance has been made all the more special, given that he was benched for the first four matches of the 2023 Cup and was only brought on field after Hardik Pandya suffered an injury. And now, in only his 17th World Cup innings, Shami became the first Indian bowler to claim 50 World Cup wickets and by the time he took his third wicket against New Zealand, he had overtaken the previous Indian record of 44 wickets taken by Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath. Mohammad Shami is also the only Indian bowler to have a 7-wicket haul in an ODI and World Cup match.
10. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for the most runs scored across all formats with an impressive 34,357 total. Meanwhile, Anil Kumble is the fourth highest wicket-taking bowler across all forms of cricket with a total of 956.
11. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma holds the record for the highest ODI score of all time, scoring 264 runs against Sri Lanka in 2014. He is also the only cricketer ever to hit three double centuries in the same format.