Sourav Ganguly was appointed India’s captain in 2000. He had the unenvious task of restoring faith in Indian cricket after the mess of the match-fixing saga. Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who came to be known as the Fab Four, went about helping the Indian team regain its credibility with the aid of others like Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag.

Indian cricket finding its wings

As far as sliding door moments go, LKYPO would come a close second to Kapil Dev getting under that Viv Richards skier in 1983. This is March 13, 2001. VVS Laxman and Venkatesh Prasad have just entered the Eden Gardens dressing room, after 42 for the tenth wicket.

Stirring as it was, Prasad’s gallant 7 (23b) over 45 minutes couldn’t save India from the follow-on. Openers Sadagopan Ramesh and Shiv Sunder Das are getting ready to head out again. In response to Australia’s 445, Laxman has batted for two hours and pushed India along with the tail from 88-6 to 171.

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John Wright was India’s first full-time foreign coach.

He finally sits down, bending to unbuckle his pads when he hears a voice over his shoulder, “Lax, keep your pads on.”

The point of Rahul Dravid

Few might remember this, for brains are wired to somehow block out the bad memories, but watching Rahul Dravid bat in his early years could sometimes be a frustrating experience. The sharp cuts and fluent drives would somehow find the fielders. The balls that would have been easily put away by Sachin Tendulkar would be nonchalantly batted back to the bowler. Rotating the strike didn’t come naturally either. He would defend. He would create a shell around himself. Dravid would survive but he wouldn’t always score. Read more

Dravid was effective in one-day cricket too.

Sourav’s boys

Yuvraj Singh thrived under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy in one-day cricket.

The epoch-defining India-Australia series of 2001 has an abundance of engrossing stories and anecdotes. Among them is an instructive snippet, narrated by commentator Harsha Bhogle, about Sourav Ganguly’s leadership that is worth recounting. Hark back to the evening of March 14, 2001 – the miraculous fourth day of that miraculous Eden Gardens Test. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid had just batted the entire day without being dismissed in that energy-sapping Kolkata humidity to help India reach 589-4 in their second innings.

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 magical Eden turnaround

India’s miraculous comeback in the 2001 Eden Gardens Test against Australia is one of those moments that will be passed onto generations of Indian cricket followers. Read more

A snap from Tendulkar’s iconic knock against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup.

The numbers game

Eden 2001, Headingley 2002, Adelaide 2003, Multan 2004….there were many high points for India during this phase. We take a look at India’s record and the top batters and bowlers. Read more and view graphics

Wicket tales: When Kaif’s parents missed Natwest final

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 fourth phase… Read more

Tendulkar celebrates reaching a milestone during his 241* in Sydney. Getty Images

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.

On Virat Kohli's hard work and discipline.