February 10, 2022 - 6:04 am

 Becomes First Side To Complete The Milestone Of 1,000 ODIs

The Indian cricket team scripted history by becoming the first team to play the 1000th ODI when they took the field against the West Indies in the series opener at the picturesque Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. India had played 999 ODIs and recorded 518 victories. They had suffered 431 defeats, while nine matches had ended in ties and 41 matches had no result. One of the most successful teams in the world, India have been a force to reckon with across formats over the years in international cricket. The team has two ODI World Cups and a T20 World Cup to their name beside other major trophies and achievements at the highest level. Rohit Sharma, who is now India's full-time captain in white-ball cricket, is leading the Indian team in their milestone 1000th ODI appearance.

After India, Australia have the most number of ODI appearances in international cricket. The Aussies have played 958 ODI matches so far while Pakistan have played 936 ODI matches and are third on the list of teams to have played most ODIs so far. A total of nine international cricket teams have played over 500 ODI matches of which just two have a better win percentage than India which are Australia at 63.66 and South Africa at 63.75. Australia has played 958 matches and won 581, lost 334, tied nine and 34 have ended in no result. South Africa on the other hand have 638 ODI matches and won 391, lost 221, tied six and 20 have ended in no result. The other six teams to have played over 500 matches are Pakistan with 936, Sri Lanka with 870, England with 761, New Zealand with 775, West Indies with 834 and Zimbabwe with 541.

Three years after the accidental birth of one-day international cricket, India, the future cradle of this format, made baby steps (1974-1979)( Played: 13,Won:2; Lost:11) into the unknown. India stutters and stumbles as they grapple with the ways of the new format. One of the greatest underdogs stories in world cricket was scripted at the World Cup in 1983, but that was not all. It was the decade both India and the ODIs truly emerged. ODIs as the sport’s glamour spread, and India as its fast-emerging market. For Indian cricket, there was no tumultuous teenage, it was a leap(1980-1989)( Played:155;W:69; L: 80) from childhood to early adulthood. From childhood, India leap straight to youth There wouldn’t be an era(1990-1999)( Played:257;Won:122; Lost:120) where fans were so emotionally or passionately invested in the game. The market had opened up for foreign investment, the board became richer and more powerful, thanks to hefty sums for broadcasting rights, and most especially of all, Indian cricket had its first deity-superstar-multimillionaire cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar. India were expected to fly, but they barely walked despite Sachin, the opium of the masses.

Ten years flew by. The decade(2000-2009)( Played:307;Won:161; Lost: 130) began with Indian cricket, nay world cricket, slumping to the worst match-fixing scandal in its existence. Hordes of disillusioned fans slunk away from the game, some never returned, but for a majority, the sport was an irresistible pull. They returned, they could not but, once India resurged under Sourav Ganguly. There were fresh faces, a confident and daring, at times even abrasive, generation; unabashed to throw their bodies around, stare into the eyes of their mean-eyed combatants, spout expletives if need be. Ready to pour their mind on the ground and put the body on the line, demonstrating steel and athleticism that was often absent from their predecessors. India embrace a bolder, tougher approach to assemble the blocks of a world-beating side. The narrative of the decade(2010-2019)( Played:249;Won:158; Lost:78) could be told through the overlapping careers of three icons of the game. Through Sachin Tendulkar, the ageing superhero who got to kiss the one piece of precious trophy that had eluded him all his life. Through MS Dhoni, the country’s most successful leader in this format and finisher exemplar, wrapping up the World Cup win with arguably the most famous six in Indian cricket’s folklore. Through Virat Kohli, an inheritor of the mantles of both Tendulkar and Dhoni, the premier batsman in the post-Tendulkar era and the captain when Dhoni relinquished his throne. After triumphant start, India flatlined amid an existential crisis for the format itself.

The 50-over has lost some of its old pomp and pride, but it remains a format close to the heart and history of the country’s emergence as a cricketing force, financially and sportingly. In the onslaught of T20s and IPL, are newed attention on Test cricket, it might no longer be the favourite format, but few incarnations of the game have rolled out as many memorable moments in its heyday. A lot of the format’s popularity hinges on how India would perform in this decade. In this context, the next World Cup at home could be as significant as the 1983 and 2011 editions. Lest it would be like a geriatric on the death bed, the days of glory and gaiety long over, and waiting now for the requiem.