Cricket in 2004, A Look Back
2004, A Roller coaster Ride for IndiaThe Indian cricket team commenced 2004 by nearly vanquishing world champions Australia in their own backyard, more precisely at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in the first week of the year in the high-profile Test rubber.
But Instead of winning the SCG match and coming away with an epochal Test series victory, they drew the four-match series 1-1.
Later India went on to create history by outsmarting arch-foes Pakistan in both the Test and one-day series, the country's first-ever Test series win in the neighbouring country, before a form slump saw them plunge the depths midway through 2004.
The poor run, especially in one-day cricket which came as a dampener after the previous season's highs in Australia and Pakistan, was arrested just in time with the Test series win over South Africa at the Eden Gardens towards the year-end.
More success, although along expected lines, followed with the Test series clean sweep in Bangladesh, but the 1-2 Test rubber loss to Australia at home and the shock defeat to Bangladesh in the second limited overs international remained like a lump in the team's throat as the year drew to a close.
Cricket News 2004
India wins series as everyone chips in
December 27, 2004Yuvraj Singh hit a whirlwind 69 off 32 balls as India beat Bangladesh by 91 runs in Dhaka to win the one-day series 2-1. Four batsmen struck half-centuries as India made amends for their shock loss to Bangladesh on Sunday by piling up 348 for five in the third and final one-day international on Monday. Opener Virender Sehwag slammed an explosive 70, Rahul Dravid hit a breezy 60, captain Saurav Ganguly added 55 and Yuvraj Singh blasted a flawless 32-ball 69 as the visitors racked up the runs on a good batting surface.
India, who won the series opener by 11 runs in Chittagong, lost to Bangladesh by 15 runs on Sunday after being dismissed for a paltry 214. In the series decider, however, they launched their assault in the second over when Sehwag cut Hasibul Hossain to the cover boundary. Tendulkar followed suit, punishing Hossain and medium-pacer Mushfiqur Rahman for three fours apiece in successive overs before Sehwag reached his 50 from just 36 balls with consecutive boundaries. The opening stand was worth 106 when Tendulkar fell for 47, caught behind while trying to cut seamer Khaled Mahmud. The same bowler struck again soon after when Sehwag was caught at long-on. The scoring rate slowed after the openers departed, but Ganguly and Dravid hit some lusty blows after settling down and went on to share in a stand of 98 for the third wicket. Dravid became the year's highest run-scorer in one-day internationals, eclipsing Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, before he was caught at mid-off after giving the charge to left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique. It then seemed India would struggle to reach 300 but Yuvraj had other ideas. He played an array of audacious shots, including a flicked six over mid-wicket from outside off-stump, as the visitors plundered 99 in the last eight overs. Yuvraj reached his 17th half-century in just 22 balls, hitting eight fours and three sixes in all. Kaif was the perfect foil in a 93-run stand for the fifth wicket, scoring 29 off 24 deliveries.
Third one-day international, Dhaka: India 348-5 in 50 overs (Virender Sehwag 70, Yuvraj Singh 69, Rahul Dravid 60, Saurav Ganguly 55) beat Bangladesh 257-9 in 50 overs (Rajin Saleh 82; Sachin Tendulkar 4-54) by 91 runs
Bangladesh's maiden win at home and also against India
December 26, 2004Bangladesh stunned India by 15 runs in Dhaka to record a sixth victory in their 100th one-day match and also tie the 3 match series 1-1
Propelled to 229-9 by teenager Aftab Ahmed's first international half-century, Bangladesh then dismissed India in the 48th over. India lost both openers inside four overs, and despite 57 to Sridharan Sriram and 49 to Mohammad Kaif could not avoid a first loss to Bangladesh.
Second one-day international, Dhaka: Bangladesh 229-9 beat India 214 by 15 runs.
Bangladesh getting ready for their 100th ODI
December 25, 2004Fresh from an impressive performance in Chittagong, Bangladesh will play their hundredth one-day international today when they face India in the second game of the three-match series. The day-night match starts at 1:00pm with Bangladesh Television and ESPN beaming live coverage from Bangabandhu National Stadium. The match has generated enormous enthusiasm among the local cricket lovers after the Tigers fought gallantly before going down by 11 runs in the port city last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Confident of clinching the limited-overs cricket series against Bangladesh, India may rest some key players in Sunday's second match. "We are in good mood to win the series," Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh told reporters during practice Saturday. Singh, meanwhile, said he was "not worried" after being reported for a suspected illegal bowling action in the second Test in Chittagong last week.
With a bouncy Dhaka pitch likely to favour pacers, Bangladeshi selectors hinted that fast bowler Mashrafee Bin Murtaza, rested in the first match, may be brought back to replace Mushfiqur Rahman. And regular opener Javed Omar may make a return in place of Rajin Saleh to boost the top order when the final lineup is announced. In Picture: Indian pacers Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan return to the Sonargaon Hotel, where the team is staying during their tour of Bangladesh, after doing some Christmas-eve shopping.
India beat Bangladesh by 11 runs
December 23, 2004India beat Bangladesh by 11 runs in the opening game of their three-match one-day series, with Mohammad Kaif top scoring with 80 for the tourists. Kaif's effort, which included a 128-run stand with Rahul Dravid , helped India reach 245 for eight from their 50 overs in Chittagong. Bangladesh reached 234 for eight from their 50 overs, although only a late flurry of boundaries brought the hosts within sight of India's total.Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar worked hard to keep his side in the hunt, scoring 65 from 96 balls but their chances faded with his dismissal in the 41st over. But Khaled Mashud's quickfire 50, from just 39 balls, ensured a nervous finish for India. Left-arm spinner Sridharan Sriram was the pick of the Indian bowlers, collecting three wickets for 43. In Picture: Kaif collected 52 runs between the wickets. He top scored with 80 and won the Man of the Match award.
Bangladesh looking for a win in One Dayers
December 22, 2004The first ODI at Chittagong is Bangladesh's 99th match while it is 576th game for the experienced Indian side. Bangladesh has played 98 ODIs so far. Bangladesh tasted 91 defeats, won five matches and two matches were abandoned.
India played 575 one-dayers so far. Of them, India lost to their opponents in 280 matches, won in 268 matches, drew three matches and rest of the 24 matches were abandoned. Before today's match, the Bengal Tigers and the experienced Indian team played 11 ODIs against each other and the Indian team winning all the matches against their opponents.
Bangladesh loses by an innings and 83 runs despite blazing ton from Ashraful, India wins series 2-0
December 20, 2004Harbhajan Singh took only 4 balls to capture the last wicket in the morning of the 4th day at Chittagong. India won the series 2-0. Earlier, Bangladesh failed to avoid a follow-on despite Ashraful's second hundred in 23 Tests as they were all out for 333 in their first innings in reply to India's mammoth total of 540. India restored their bowling pride when they reduced Bangladesh to a paltry 118-9 in the second innings at stumps.
Irfan Pathan (5-32) overcame his mediocre first-innings performance with his third five-wicket haul to virtually ensure an Indian sweep of the two-match series.
On the first day, Rahul Dravid became the first player to score hundreds in all Test-playing countries while Gautam Gambhir got his maiden Test century as the Indian batsmen toyed with the mediocre Bangladesh bowling attack to pile up 334/2 on the first day of the second Test at Chittagong on Friday. In Picture: After a shaky start, Rahul Dravid joined the fun and in the process got some much needed batting practice. As his innings progressed, The Wall gained in confidence and started finding the gaps.
India wins the first test against Bangladesh
December 13, 2004India thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 140 runs to gain a 1-0 lead in the two Test match series. In a match that was one sided, several records fell in the four days. Tendulkar equaled Sunil Gavaskar's record for most number of Test centuries (34) in the match and also equaled his tally of four double hundreds. Irfan Pathan claimed his first ten wicket haul in a match with 11-96. Zaheer Khan got his name written into record books with his innings of 75. His innings was the highest ever by any number 11 batsman in Tests putting into shade New Zealander Richard Collinge's unbeaten 68 way back in 1972-73. Zaheer was also only the second Indian batsman to score a fifty at number 11 after Ghulam Ahmed.
The tenth wicket partnership of 133 runs between Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan was India's best for this wicket against all countries. The Tendulkar-Zaheer partnership was the joint second highest partnership for tenth wicket in Test cricket. In Picture: Pathan shows his Man of the Match trophy in Dhaka. It was first such honour for the 20-year-old left arm bowler.
Sachin on summit with Sunny, slams 34th Test ton.
December 11, 2004India batsman Sachin Tendulkar equalled Sunil Gavaskar's world record of 34 centuries in Test cricket by reaching three figures against Bangladesh in Dhaka. The feat ends a long period of frustration for Tendulkar, who has hit just 136 runs in his last 10 Test innings. The landmark came up when he played a Tapash Baisya delivery wide of the fielder at mid-on for a single after a nervy wait on 99.
Tendulkar hit his 34th Test ton in his 119th match and means he becomes just the third player to have made a century against every Test-playing nation - following South Africa's Gary Kirsten and Australia's Steve Waugh. Gavaskar made 34 centuries in 125 matches.
Go for 50 Test tons, Sunil Gavaskar Saturday advised Sachin Tendulkar while congratulating the batting maestro for equalling his world record of 34 Test centuries, a feat that made the Mumbai player more precious than the Kohinoor diamond. "Hearty congratulations to Sachin for scoring his 34th Test century," said Gavaskar, who played 125 Tests and was at the Bangabandhu National Stadium as a television commentator. "When he came off the field at tea I said to him that my expectations of him are now higher and I want not 40 but 50 Test hundreds from him," he disclosed.
Tendulkar is already the leading scorer in one-dayers, having compiled 13,431 runs in 340 matches, including a world record 37 centuries. While Gavaskar was the first batsman to complete 10,000 Test runs, Tendulkar was the first to do so in the shorter version of the game. In Pictures:
Top Sachin from age 15 onwards!
Middle Sunil Gavaskar congratulating Sachin Tendulkar during tea break.
Below A comparison between the two masters' 34 test tons.
Now Anil Kumble is the highest wicket taker for India!
December 10, 2004Anil Kumble took the 435th wicket of his Test match career to set a new Indian record on the first day of the first Test against Bangladesh. Kumble overtook the mark set by Kapil Dev when he had Mohammad Rafique lbw. And he followed up with a wicket next ball before Bangladesh were bowled out for 184 in 58 overs in Dhaka.
The veteran spinner, who had started his Test career against England in Manchester in 1990, also has the distinction of being only the second bowler in Test history after Jim Laker of England to take all 10 wickets in an innings. He had achieved this remarkable feat against Pakistan in Delhi in 1998-99.
In Picture: Click on image to see the stats of Anil Kumble and the other top 4 wicket takers. Hindustan Times
Tendulkar, Kumble chase records in B'desh
December 9, 2004Indian stars Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble are eagerly waiting for the focus to shift from security to cricket as they eye personal landmarks in the Test series against Bangladesh.
Tendulkar is just one three-figure knock short of equalling compatriot Sunil Gavaskar's world record of 34 Test centuries, while leg-spinner Kumble needs one victim to overtake Kapil Dev's Indian mark of 434 Test wickets.
"It's an honour to play in a Test series where Kumble and Tendulkar will achieve their milestones," said India captain Sourav Ganguly. "It's been a great experience playing with them and I'm keen to see them reach the records at the earliest."
Kumble and Tendulkar must be licking their lips in anticipation of playing Bangladesh, who have been struggling to compete with international sides on an equal footing since gaining Test status in 2000.
In Picture: Sachin in Islamabad during the Pakistan cricket tour / Anil Kumble spins the microphone
Indian cricket teams Bangla tour cleared
December 7, 2004The government today gave a partial go-ahead for the Indian cricket teams tour of Bangladesh for the first Test match beginning on Thursday but its security delegation will go to Chittagong, the other venue, to make an assessment of the threat perception there before clearing that segment. The 15-member cricket team led by Sourav Ganguly will leave tomorrow from Kolkata by an Indian Airlines flight.
The tour came under a security cloud after a letter threatening to kill all the Indian players was mailed to the Indian high commissioner, or ambassador, in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka. In the letter, mailed on Thursday, a group calling itself Harkatul Zihad threatened to kill the Indians to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during communal riots in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002. The letter, handwritten in poor English, said: "We are happy that India is coming to Bangladesh. We are ready to kill them. Hindus killed 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. We will take revenge."
Laxman out of one-day squad
Calcutta, Dec 3, 2004Middle-order batsman Vangipurappu Laxman has been left out of India's 15-player squad named yesterday for a one-day series in Bangladesh this month.
Laxman, who is in the squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, has struggled in the last three one-day tournaments and was replaced by in-form left-hander Dinesh Mongia. Leg-spinner Anil Kumble will also return home after the Tests. India, who leave for Bangladesh on Tuesday, play two Tests in Dhaka (December 9-13) and Chittagong (December 16-20) followed by the one-dayers in Chittagong (December 23) and Dhaka (December 26 and 27).
One-day squad for Bangladesh: Saurav Ganguly (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Mahendra Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Murali Kartik, Dinesh Mongia, Sridharan Sriram, Joginder Sharma.
Dravid, Sehwag snub all-conquering Aussies in ratings
London, Dec 3, 2004India's Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag topped the latest international batting ratings but it was Australia which swept the honours with all its seven top-order batsmen featuring in the top 30. According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers official ratings released today, the Indian duo kept the top two places in the batting rankings after their team completed a 1-0 series win over South Africa. South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis climbed two spots to tie with Brian Lara on third.
Sachin, Dravid, Kapil bag Castrol awards
November 29, 2004Former all-rounder Kapil Dev was today presented the Castrol Lifetime Achievement award while Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were jointly named the 'Indian Cricketer of the year', 2003-4, at a glittering function held at Calcutta. Kapil, who took 434 wickets and scored 5,248 runs in Tests besides capturing 253 wickets and amassing 3,783 runs in one day internationals, received the trophy from David Baldry, Group vice president of BP Lubricants.
Tendulkar and Dravid, who tied for the best cricketer of the year award, received a trophy and a cheque of Rupees five lakh each. The award is based on two criteria. Firstly, top five cricketers are selected through statistical performance during the year under review before the final choice is made through voting by India players - both past and present. The other finalists - Virender Sehwag , VVS Laxman and Irfan Pathan - were given a trophy and Rs 50,000 each. Sehwag was also felicitated and received a trophy from batting legend Sunil Gavaskar for becoming India's first triple centurion in Test cricket while Kumble was feted by Kapil for taking 400 Test wickets.
ICC ban lifted; Ganguly free to play
November 26, 2004The two-Test ban on Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was today lifted by the International Cricket Council. ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed informed the Indian Cricket Board of the decision to lift the ban on Ganguly.
"We have received a communication to this effect from Speed. Ganguly is free to play now," Board Secretary S K Nair said. Ganguly was slapped a two-Test suspension by ICC Match Referee Clive Lloyd for India's slow over rate in the Platinum Jubilee one-dayer against Pakistan in Kolkata on November 13. Ganguly appealed against the decision citing frequent changing of the ball, the heavy due, and injury to Pakistan batsman Salman Butt as the reasons for the delay. The ICC appointed New Zealand lawyer Tim Castle as the Appeals Commissioner to hear the Indian captain's appeal.
Ganguly was allowed to play the first Test against South Africa in Kanpur last week pending the hearing which was done via a teleconference yesterday.
Vijay Samuel Hazare
Independent India's first Captain
Born: Mar 11, 1915 Died: Dec 18, 2004 (age: 89y 282d)
Independent India's first Captain and one of the legendary figures of Indian cricket, Hazare played 30 Tests between 1946 and 1953, scoring 2,192 runs at 47.65 per innings with seven centuries.
He also bagged 20 wickets with his part-time seam bowling.