A look at memorable matches that defined the era…

India vs Australia, Eden Gardens, Kolkata, Mar 11-15, 2001

A turning point in making India believe that they can compete with the best in the world. They were in a hopeless situation at the halfway stage of the game, but scripted a fairytale comeback.

Brief scores: Australia 445 (S Waugh 110; Harbhajan Singh 7/123) and 212 (Harbhajan Singh 6/73). India 171 (VVS Laxman 59; G McGrath 4/18) and (f/o) 657/7d (VVS Laxman 281, R Dravid 180). India won by 171 runs.

India vs England, Headingley, Leeds, Aug 22-26, 2002

In conditions that were to England’s liking, India batted first and racked up a mammoth total. England could never bounce back, enabling India to complete a rare overseas win.

Brief scores: India 628/8d (S Tendulkar 193, R Dravid 148). England 273 (A Stewart 78*; Harbhajan Singh 3/40) and (f/o) 309 (N Hussain 110; A Kumble 4/66). India won by an innings and 46 runs.

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

India vs Pakistan, Centurion, Mar 1, 2003

Offered a riveting contest between Tendulkar-Sehwag and the pace trio of Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib. Tendulkar won the duel on that day, taming the Pakistani attack with some exquisite strokeplay.

Brief scores: Pakistan 273/7 (S Anwar 101; Z Khan 2/46). India 276/4 (S Tendulkar 98, Yuvraj Singh 50*). India won by 6 wickets.

India vs Australia, Adelaide, December 12-16, 2003

While India beat the Aussies at home in 2001, a tour of Australia was still as daunting as it comes. After a draw in the first Test in Brisbane, India seemed headed towards a certain defeat when they were 85/4 in their first innings in response to Australia’s mammoth 556.

But just like Eden 2001, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman formed a spectacular alliance once again. Dravid scored 233 while Laxman made 148 as India fell just 33 runs short of Australia’s first-innings total. Ajit Agarkar then worked his magic with the ball while Dravid fittingly finished it off with an unbeaten 72 on the final day.

Brief scores: Australia 556 (R Ponting 242; A Kumble 5/154) and 196 (A Agarkar 6/41). India 523 (R Dravid 233, VVS Laxman 148) and 233/6 (R Dravid 72). India won by 4 wickets.

India vs Pakistan, Multan, March 28-April 1, 2004

Embarking on their first full-fledged tour of Pakistan in 15 years, India had many high points as they won the Test and ODI series. The tone for the Tests was set by Virender Sehwag, who became the first Indian to hit a triple century. He smashed 309 off just 375 balls in the first Test in Multan, paving the way for a thumping win as well as their first-ever series triumph in Pakistan. The Test is also remembered for stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid’s infamous declaration with Sachin Tendulkar stranded on 194 not out.

Brief scores: India 675/5d (V Sehwag 309, S Tendulkar 194 not out). Pakistan 407 (Y Hameed 91; I Pathan 4/100) and 216 (M Yousuf 112; A Kumble 6/72). India won by an innings and 52 runs.