Team India started their ODI journey way back on July 13, 1974, against England at Headingley. Ajit Wadekar was the captain of the Indian team in their inaugural ODI and scored 67 on debut while Brijesh Patel smacked 82 off 78 balls. Though India lost this match and the next match of the series; things were going to change in a big way in a decade’s time.
India had managed to win only two ODI series, a 2-1 triumph over the English at home and a 3-0 whitewash of the minnows, Sri Lanka, when India landed in England in 1983 to play the third edition of Prudential World Cup.
A 24-year-old fast bowler-cum- hitter named Kapil Dev was leading the team and also became the country’s first centurion when he smoked a brilliant 175* against Zimbabwe in a must-win match, which was also the world record score at the time.
India won the 1983 World Cup beating two-time champions West Indies in a thrilling final at Lord’s and a tectonic shift happened in the world of limited overs cricket in India. Two years later, Sunil Gavaskar led the team to victory in the World Championship of Cricket in Australia to prove that 1983 was not a flash in the pan.
Then arrived the boy wonder Sachin Tendulkar, who changed the scene of limited overs cricket in India with his scintillating stroke play and Team India continued their stepping up in the ODI scene under Sourav Ganguly, as the team reached the final of the 2003 World Cup and winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2000 and MS Dhoni took it to next level with Indian team winning all the three ICC trophies under his leadership.
Now under Virat Kohli, Team India will achieve an unprecedented feat of becoming the first team to play 950 ODI matches. They remain the second most successful team in the format, behind Australia, in terms of the number of matches won. They have won 490 matches so far out of 949 matches and lost 411 to give them a winning percentage of 54.34. They have two World Cup wins under their belt and two ICC Champions Trophies apart from numerous other bilateral series wins in almost every country.
On Wednesday, the Men in Blue will take on the West Indies in their 950th ODI at Visakhapatnam in the second match of the series.