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Indian Cricket's top moments of 2010s: MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Sourav Ganguly headline

New Delhi, Dec 30: As we enter the final days of the year 2019, the decade of the 2010s is also coming to a close. The outgoing decade has been dominated by Indian cricket as they were a force to reckon with all through this decade.

Team India and Indian cricketers ruled the cricket pitch in every department and stamped their authority. A decade that started with Sachin Tendulkar's 200* against South Africa, saw the Men In Blue lift ICC World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013, and India becoming the number one ranked Test side.

India cricket team schedule for 2020: From Sri Lanka series to tour of Australia

With a win per cent of 52.34 in Tests (56 Test wins) and with 157 wins from 249 ODIs played in this decade, Team India topped the chart in this decade.

Here are the top moments of Indian Cricket in this decade:

Sachin Tendulkar's 200* against SA in Gwalior

Sachin Tendulkar's 200* against SA in Gwalior

Before the 2010s, no male cricketer had ever touched the magical figure of 200 runs in the ODIs but everything changed on February 24, 2010, in Gwalior when Sachin Tendulkar created history.

The Master Blaster opened the innings for India in the second one-day international against South Africa achieved something that no one had ever imagined. The five feet four inches tall right-handed batsman from Mumbai, who held several incredible batting records to his name, made a lasting impact in the history of the game.

The Superman from India, as Ravi Shastri rightly-mentioned with his mic from the commentary box, became the first male cricketer to breach 200-run mark in the 50-over format.

Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 200* as he faced 147 deliveries as India posted a mammoth 401/3 in stipulated 50 overs.

Post Tendulkar's feat, the 200-run mark has been breached on 7 more occasions in Men's ODI. His opening partner Virender Sehwag was the second to slam a double century in the ODIs while Rohit Sharma was the third cricketer do so. Rohit Sharma (3), Virender Sehwag (1), Martin Guptill (1), Chris Gayle (1) and Fakhar Zaman (1) are the others who slammed ODI double centuries in this decade.

Team India Lift World Cup 2011

Team India Lift World Cup 2011

Under MS Dhoni's captaincy and brilliant team performances from a young side, India had won the 2007 World T20 in South Africa. That and the subsequent brilliant performances in the coming years, the Men In Blue became the top contenders of the 50-over World Cup being the host nation.

On the fateful night of April 2, 2011, and in front of a frantic home crowd at Wankhede Stadium, Dhoni and his boys ended the draught of 28-long years when they emulated the heroics of 'Kapil's Devils' to lift their second World Cup in 50 overs format.

India defeated neighbours Sri Lanka in a what was a fitting finale of an exciting tournament that was jointly hosted by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Captain Dhoni became the hero in the final as he played a match-winning 94* and also smashed the winning six as the entire nation broke into celebration.

Indians were brilliant all through the tournament as they conquered the likes of Australia and Pakistan in high stakes quarter-final and semi-final respectively to enter their third World Cup final.

With that win, Team India broke the jinx and became the first host nation to lift the trophy. That win added another glorious chapter in the history of Indian Cricket and also ushered in another era.

Sachin Tendulkar retires

Sachin Tendulkar retires

With his dream of winning a Cricket World Cup for India being fulfilled, Sachin Tendulkar decided to call it a day in the limited-overs format as the Mumbai stalwart announced his ODI retirement in December 2012.

Tendulkar had by that time played 463 ODIs and amassed 18, 426 runs in the 50-overs format and slammed 49 centuries.

Eleven months later, the prolific top-order batsman retired from Test cricket as well and drew curtains to an international career that spanned 24 years. Tendulkar bade adieu to the game after appearing in his 200th Test and having scored 15,921 runs, including 51 centuries and 116 fifties. The beloved cricketer of India retired in front of his home ground at iconic Wankhede Stadium with his family, friends and his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar in attendance.

The cricketing legend who had achieved almost everything on the 22-yard strip and having carried the expectations of over a billion Indians left the game with tears of satisfaction and passed on the baton to the youngsters.

VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag bid adieu to the game

VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag bid adieu to the game

In the same decade, two of India's backbones in the middle-order VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid announced their international retirements.

Laxman retirement after playing against Australia on January 24, 2012, in Adelaide. The stylish right-handed batsman from Hyderabad represented India in 134 Tests and scored 8781 runs, including 17 centuries. His marathon knock of 281 against Australia in the iconic Kolkata Test in 2000-01 Test series is hailed as one of the best innings played by an Indian in the longest format of the game.

Laxman even played 86 ODIs and slammed 6 centuries in the 50-over format.

Rahul Dravid, the former India captain and legendary batsman, also retired in the same game with Laxman. Colloquially knowns as the 'Wall of Indian Cricket' and 'Mr Dependable' had by that time featured in 164 Tests and 344 ODIs. The classical right-handed batsman from Karnataka scored 13288 runs, including 36 centuries, in Tests and 10889 runs in the ODIs. He also slammed 12 centuries in the ODIs.

Dravid was also one of the big reasons for India's success in Test cricket in the 2000s in both the formats.

Later in 2015, explosive India opener and one of the biggest match-winners in Test cricket, Virender Sehwag hang up his boots. With Sehwag's exit came an end to the era of the fab-five of Indian Cricket.

Sehwag still holds the record of slamming two triple centuries for India and was the first Indian to breach the 300-run mark in the longest format of the game.

Sehwag played 104 Tests, scored 8586 runs and slammed 23 centuries. He also represented India in 251 ODIs and amassed 8273 runs and smashed 15 tons. He also played 19 T20Is for India.

IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal rocks Indian Cricket

IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal rocks Indian Cricket

The homegrown domestic T20 league IPL was rocked by a massive controversy when the police arrested Rajasthan Royals cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandilla and Ankeet Chavan on the grounds of alleged spot-fixing.

Sreesanth was the big name caught in the scandal as he was a regular face of the Indian national side. In a separate case, the police also arrested Chennai Super Kings' team principal Gurunath Meiyappan for alleged betting and having links with bookies.

This certainly was the darkest period in Indian cricket as the credibility of the BCCI as well as IPL was at stake. In July 2015, the Patiala House Courts cleared Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan of all the charges after they were found not guilty.

In January 2016, the BCCI gave Chandila a life ban from all forms of cricket by the BCCI. In March 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the lifetime ban imposed by BCCI on Sreesanth.

The Supreme Court later banned Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years from the IPL. The two franchises missed the tournament in 2016-17 season.

Champions Trophy win in 2013

Champions Trophy win in 2013

The pain of Indian cricket fans startled by the sensational IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal was eased a bit after MS Dhoni-led side won the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England. The Men In Blue dominated the tournament and to set up the summit clash with hosts England in the final.

In a rain-curtailed game, Team India successfully defended the target and Dhoni thus became the first captain to win all three ICC trophies i.e. T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup, and Champions Trophy.

From this tournament, Dhoni asked Rohit Sharma to open the innings for India in the ODIs and the talented batsman never looked back ever since. Along with Shikhar Dhawan, he forged a strong opening pair which went on to dominate the world.

The Men in Blue were undefeated in the Champions Trophy and stamped their authority in the multi-nation tournament.

Rohit Sharma's 264 at Eden Gardens

Rohit Sharma's 264 at Eden Gardens

Rohit Sharma was asked by MS Dhoni to open the innings in the limited-overs format during 2013 Champions Trophy. Till then he had slammed just two centuries which also came in this decade. But the talented right-handed batsman from Mumbai didn't stop from then on as he went on establishing himself as one of the finest ODI batsmen of this decade.

In the same year, the cricketer announced his arrival at the big stage when he slammed 209 off 222 deliveries against Australia in Bengaluru and joined the elite 200-run club.

17 innings later, Rohit played one of the finest knocks in the history of ODI cricket as he smashed record 264 off 225 deliveries against Sri Lanka on November 13, 2014 - just one day before the anniversary of his second Test ton. The marathon knock still happens to be the highest individual total in ODI history.

Sri Lankans were bundled out for 251 runs as they lost by 13 runs to Rohit's total. Later in 2017, Rohit slammed his third double ton in the ODIs when he scored 208* against Sri Lanka.

In this decade Rohit has slammed 28 centuries.

MS Dhoni retires from Test cricket

MS Dhoni retires from Test cricket

After playing 90 Tests and having led Team India in 60 of them, MS Dhoni retired from the longer format of the game on December 30, 2014. The Ranchi cricketer ended his captaincy career in Tests by salvaging a draw in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne against Australia.

Until Kohli surpassed his predecessor by winning his 28th Test as captain, Dhoni was the most-successful Indian captain with 27 wins. Dhoni's captaincy record overseas was a tad disappointing but he passed on the baton to Kohli when he understood the fact that the latter was capable enough of leading the side in the longer format to concentrate on the ODI World Cup 2015 and defending the title.

The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 4876 runs in 90 Tests, including 6 centuries and 33 fifties. He took 256 catches and effected 38 stumpings. He is the first Indian wicket-keeper to complete 4,000 Test runs and his mammoth knock of 224 against Australia in Chennai is the third-highest score by an Indian captain in Test cricket.

Later in January 2017, Dhoni stepped down as the captain of limited-overs format.

T20I Series Win in Australia

T20I Series Win in Australia

During their tour of Australia for the limited-overs series in 2015-16, Team India lost the 5-match ODI series to Australia 4-1 but came back strongly in the T20Is as they clean swept it.

Under MS Dhoni's captaincy, India became the first team to whitewash the Aussies in their backyard in the T20Is.

With their emphatic win over the Aussies, the India side also became the number-one ranked side in the ICC T20I Rankings.

The series win gave India a major lift just before the T20I World Cup, that was scheduled to be held at home later in 2016. India, however, knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions West Indies.

Domination in Tests at home and reclaiming No.1 spot

Domination in Tests at home and reclaiming No.1 spot

In 2016, under the watch of newly-appointed coach Anil Kumble Team India started a dominating Test season. After winning the Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean, Team India hosted against New Zealand, England and Australia at home and defeated all three of them and climbed at the top of the ICC Test Rankings.

After winning the final Test match against Australia in Dharamsala, Kohli and his band also got hold of the ICC Test Championship mace at the end of the season in 2017 and possess it till date.

Virat Kohli led his team from the front as he went on piling up runs and established himself as one of the finest batsmen of all time. By the end of 2019, he finished as the number one ranked batsman in ODIs and Tests.

Test series win in Australia

Test series win in Australia

At the start of 2019, Virat Kohli-led Indian side kept the disappointments of overseas tours in South Africa and England aside and defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series and became the first Asian team to beat the baggy greens in their backyard.

Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal shined with the bat while the pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah decimated a beleaguered Australian side to script history. The bowlers played a key role in Team India's success down under and achieved which other Asian sides have only dreamt of.

Team India won the Adelaide Test and took 1-0 lead but went on losing the second match in Perth. But Kohli & his band came back strongly in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and won it to take 2-1 lead. The fourth and final Test in Sydney ended in a draw as rain played a spoilsport. The tourists were in a commanding position in Sydney as well.

The Men in Blue then won the ODI series, while the T20I series ended in a draw.

Sourav Ganguly becomes BCCI president

Sourav Ganguly becomes BCCI president

By the end of this decade, the Indian cricket witnessed one of the biggest moments when former India captain and legendary cricketer Sourav Ganguly was elected as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Ganguly, who is also known as Dada, thus became the most powerful man in cricket by taking over as the head of the most powerful cricket board in the world.

The legendary captain immediately introduced Day-Night Test in India as Virat Kohli and his boys hosted Bangladesh in their first-ever Pink-Ball Test at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The move proved to be a massive hit as Ganguly managed to pull the crowd back to Test cricket. The tickets for the first four days were sold out for the match that finished in just three days.

Buoyed with the positive response from the crowd, the BCCI is planning to host D/N Tests in other parts of the country as well for the future home Tests.

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Story first published: Monday, December 30, 2019, 19:04 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 30, 2019
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