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On this day in 1974, India played its first-ever ODI match

By Jasleen Kaur -- July 13, 2022 4:52 pm

Leeds (United Kingdom), July 13: On this day in 1974, the Indian cricket team played its first-ever one-day-international (ODI), playing against England at Leeds. The occasion was a historic one for India. After the ODIs started in 1971, India finally got its chance in this format three years later. England won the toss and elected to field first.

India got off a steady start with openers Sunil Gavaskar and Sudhir Naik putting on 44-runs for the first wicket. Naik was the first wicket gone for 18, dismissed by medium-pacer Robin Jackman, followed soon by Gavaskar, who was bowled for 28 by medium-pacer Geoff Arnold.

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Then Gundappa Vishwanath fell for cheap to Bob Woolmer, reducing India to 60/3. A 70-run stand followed between Ajit Wadekar, the skipper and wicketkeeper-batter Farookh Engineer, which ended with the latter being bowled by Chris Old for 32. Wadekar went on to score India's first-ever ODI fifty, falling for 67 to Jackman at the score of 181, he was the fifth batter gone.

On this day in 1974, India played its first-ever ODI match

After Eknath Solkar's wicket, Brijesh Patel and Syed Abid Ali stitched a 52-run stand, taking India to 246 before Ali fell to Woolmer for 17. Patel's 82 off 78 took India to 265 before the side ran out of batters.

Chris Old was the pick of the bowlers with 3/43. Arnold, Woolmer and Jackman took two wickets each while Tony Greig took one. In chase of challenging 266, spinner Eknath Solkar sent back opener Dennis Amiss for 20, with England down at 37/1.

David Llyod and John Edrich pulled England out of any trouble that could have followed after that wicket, putting together 47 runs. Solkar provided the breakthrough, dismissing Llyod for 34. Skipper Mike Denness walked back for 8 after Madan Lal dismissed him with assistance from the hands of Srinivas Venkataraghavan. England was at 3/96.

On this day in 1974, India played its first-ever ODI match

From this point on Edrich and Keith Fletcher started taking the game away from India, putting a 83-run stand, which could be broken after spinner Bishan Singh Bedi dismissed Fletcher for 39. Edrich went on, falling 10 runs short of his hundred as the fifth wicket at the score of 212 to Venkataraghavan's spin.

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The rest of the chase was a cakewalk for England. Except the fact that Tony Greig was dismissed for 40 by Bedi, Alan Knott (15*) and Chris Old (5*) guided their team to a four-wicket win. Eknath Solkar was the pick of the bowlers with 2/31.

Though India lost the first game, they showed improvement year by year, decade by decade to transform into a world-class, formidable unit of the 2020s. In 1,003 matches, it has won 522 of them, losing 431. Nine games have ended in a tie and 41 produced no result. India has a win percentage of 54.72.

On this day in 1974, India played its first-ever ODI match

India is two-time 50-over World Cup winner, winning the 1983 and 2011 editions. They have also won the 2013 Champions Trophy. India has produced some of the greatest batters in the ODI format. Sachin Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer with 18,426 runs. Virat Kohli (12,311), Saurav Ganguly (11,363) and Rahul Dravid (10,889) are also in top ten. Other than that, MS Dhoni (10,773), Rohit Sharma (9,359), Yuvraj Singh (8,701) and Virender Sehwag (8,273) have also made an impact.

Spinner Anil Kumble (337 wickets) is considered as India's greatest ODI bowler and is in top 10 leading wicket-takers in the format. Javagal Srinath (315 wickets), Ajit Agarkar (288 wickets), Zaheer Khan (282 wickets) and Harbhajan Singh (269) are also quite impactful.

-PTC News

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