The cricket buffs generally rattle off statistics and milestone of their favorite cricketers but for a change the attention of the cricketing fraternity turned to a nation reaching a path breaking landmark.
The first test against the Kiwis being played at Green Park, marks India's 500 test in its glorious history. For a nation which stepped into the test arena in 1932, Indian cricket has come a long way since its inception.
After playing the Kanpur test, India would enter the exclusive club of test nations that have played more than 500 test matches. Before India gets to the landmark, only three test nations played 500 or more test matches. The troika comprises of the 'Inventors of the game' England and two former powerhouses of world cricket, Australia and the West Indies.
The seven decades in top flight cricket have seen India make giant strides from minnows to world beaters both on home friendly and hostile overseas conditions.
Indian cricket has created a distant mark for itself by producing some batting maestros of world class pedigree and spin wizards who could cast a web around the best. In early part of their test journey, the likes of CK Nayadu, Vijay Merchant and Vijay Hazare put Indian cricket onto the world map.
The spin quartet of the 70's and early 80's comprising of the legendary Bishen Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrashekar and S Venkataraghavan was perhaps the most formidable spin attack, the game ever witnessed.
All through the 70's, Sunny Gavaskar showed the world how to combat the deadly Windies pace attack with flawless technique and dodged defence.
In the 80s, inspirational test captain Kapil Dev was perhaps the greatest all-rounder to ever graced the game. The 90's was all about Sachin Tendulkar and his batting heroics that boosted the happiness index of the nation. Anil Kumble would also go down as the one of modern era spin greats. With the turn of the century, Indian cricket saw its golden generation with the 'Fab Five' reaching the zenith of their careers.
Each era was marked by a change of guard and leadership style. Nawab Pataudi with his regal style and persona taught us how to win in overseas conditions. Mohammad Azharuddin turned the Indians into a fortress at home. With the turn of the century, Sourav Ganguly made the Indians into a combative side in overseas conditions. Meanwhile captain cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni put the icing on the cake by leading India to being the number one side in the world.
A new era has ushered under the leadership of the aggressive and dynamic Virat Kohli. Kohli and his men have inherited a great legacy from their illustrious predecessors and have their task cut out to take Indian cricket to loftier heights.
We can conclude by saying that Indian cricket has stood the test of time and created a place for itself in the annals of test cricket history.