India have become the biggest draw in the cricketing world over the past decade and a half. They began 2007 with the low of exiting the 50-over World Cup at the group stage, but the victory in the inaugural World T20 that year and the launch of the Indian Premier League in 2008 have helped India take centre stage.

Mission: Domination

They were the worst years for Indian cricket. They were the best years for Indian cricket. To nominate 2007 as the year of the most seminal turning point for the sport in the country will be no exaggeration. It was the year of the World Cups – the traditional 50-over version in the Caribbean in the summer, and an untested but potentially exciting 20-over variant in South Africa a

few months later. India were expected to do well in one and not at all in the other. So it transpired, though few would have foreseen the turn of events that ushered Rahul Dravid’s men out of the 50-over competition at the very first stage, and catapulted first-time captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s young, unheralded bunch to the status of inaugural champions of the T20 World Cup.

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Kohli played a stellar role in building on Dhoni’s legacy as captain.

If Indian cricket is vibrant on and off the park in 2022, it’s got much to do with the germination of the seeds sowed wittingly or otherwise a decade-and-a-half back.

MS: The man who gave India everything

That Mahendra Singh Dhoni chose Independence Day, “1929 hrs” to be exact, to call time on his international career would probably be never lost on anyone who equated him with a world beyond cricket. Dhoni won India two World Cups, a Champions Trophy, and chaperoned the team to the pinnacle of Test cricket. But he also embodies the great Indian dream of the small-town boy who went on to become the world’s best finisher and richest cricketer. Ranchi’s boy, Chennai’s thala, India’s most successful captain, Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Army — there has really been no one like Dhoni. And there probably will never be. Read more

Dhoni’s fan following needs to be seen to be believed.

Women’s cricket finally hitting its stride

The first ever cricket World Cup was hosted for women, not men, in 1973. The first men’s World Cup in India was hosted in 1987 -- nine years after a four-team women’s World Cup in Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Patna and Hyderabad got eroded from public memory because Netherlands and West Indies withdrew due to financial constraints, there was no final, and India did not win any of their three matches. When Eden Gardens hosted the final of a full-fledged women’s World Cup—comprising 11 teams this time—in 1997, India’s collective cricket imagination was only about the men’s game. Read more

Jhulan Goswami carried the mantle of leading the Indian attack for many years.

The game that sparked the T20 revolution

Pant was unstoppable during his match-winning knock at the Gabba in Brisbane. Getty Images

India’s T20 World Cup win in 2007 was a game-changer for the shortest version, triggering massive interest among Indian audiences for the T20 format. a position of safety entirely unexpected when they were made to follow on with a 274-run first-innings deficit. And to celebrate the superlative, unbroken stand between Laxman and Dravid, a small get-together was organised ahead of a gripping fifth and final day. Read more

The numbers game

India are on the top teams in the world across all three formats. We take a look at India’s record and the top batters and bowlers. Read more and view graphics

Wicket tales: When Dhoni batted ahead of Yuvi

Indian cricket has had a rich collection of interesting and controversial stories to narrate over the years. We take a look at some of the famous anecdotes from the fifth phase… Read more

MS Dhoni in the 2011 World Cup.

Must watch Videos that capture the era

From the field A series of HT podcasts about some of the greatest players to shape Indian cricket.

A look at how Jhulan Goswami became the pace spearhead of the Indian women's team.