When Indian cricket came of age

Almost 50 years ago, on March 6, 1971, a test match between India and the West Indies began in Port of Spain. It was the second test of the series in which the home side was led by the legendary Gary Sobers. A young Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar made his debut in that match. Over the next five days, India earned a hard fought victory that would seal the series and start one of the most memorable phases in the history of Indian cricket.

In the next series, England hosted India. In unfavourable conditions, India pulled off another series victory to cap a season where a bunch of talented individuals pulled together to beat two formidable sides at home.

Ajit Wadekar, an unassuming cricketer, led India to victory in both West Indies and England. The famous spin quartet, E. Prasanna, B. S Bedi, S. Venkataraghavan and B. S Chandrasekhar played stellar roles. Never have India fielded such a potent combination of spinners as the quartet.

To this day, the 1971 season remains one of the high points of Indian cricket history.



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