The current series between India and England has become a one-sided affair. Nevertheless, previous clashes between the two sides over the years have produced some thrillers potent enough to leave you breathless.
Till date India and England have faced each other in 81 One Day Internationals with India emerging victorious in 43 while England in 33 ODIs. Two ODIs were tied while three failed to produce any result. The last ODI series the countries played against each other saw England beating India comprehensively in the 5 match ODI series 4-0 and completing their perfect summer on a winning note and a complete whitewash of their opponents both in Test and ODIs.
Here, we take a look at the top 5 ODI encounters between the two countries that had the spectator, viewer and listener hooked and on the edge of their seats till the last run was scored or last wicket taken or last ball was bowled.
Natwest series 2003
Final: England Vs India on 16th July at Lord`s
Arguably, the best ever ODI encounter between the two countries that saw brisk strokeplays, exuberance of youth and on-field histrionics at its best. Team India came into the finals with an embarrassing baggage of losing 9 consecutive ODI finals and the start wasn`t to their liking as well. England captain Nasser Hussain and Marcus Trescothick`s centuries at the top and Flintoff`s quick 40 of 32 deliveries in the middle, propelled England to their then fourth highest first innings score of 325 runs. Set a target of 326 runs to chase, India were off to a flying start with Ganguly and Sehwag producing an opening partnership of 106 runs in 15 overs before an ambitious stroke sent Ganguly packing after Alex Tudor bowled him over. The failure of middle order halted the momentum and reduced them to 146/5 before Yuvraj and Kaif with their valiant knocks of 69 and 87* runs saw them home with three balls remaining and thus ended their streak of losing 9 ODI finals.
Hussain`s three finger gesture towards the press box after reaching three figures was overshadowed by Ganguly taking his shirt off in jubilation from Lord`s balcony which was in response to Flintoff`s similar antics at Mumbai earlier that year.
ICC World Cup 2011
Group B: India Vs England on 27th February at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium
One of the finest matches in the World Cup history, this group stage encounter produced a thriller that went right up to the last ball, leaving the spectators and viewers in awe of battle of wits, skills and comebacks. The ball was set rolling right from the word go from the first over of the match when audacious Virender Sehwag was given a chance to live not once but thrice in the space of five balls. The Indian innings then saw a sumptuous strokeplay from Tendulkar and a tight bowling spell from Tim Bresnan that earned him five wickets when others were taken to task by the Indian batsman. The England bowlers put brakes on the Indian innings in the last 10 overs restricting them for a total of 338 runs. England were cruising to an improbable victory as their captain produced the highest ever individual score in a world cup match by an English batsman and guided them to 281/3 in 43 overs before a late burst of reverse swing from Indian pace spearhead, Zaheer Khan brought the Indians back into the match. Losing 4 wickets while scoring just 8 runs, the capacity crowd at Chinnaswamy stadium roared back to life, just then the English tail wagged vigorously and led the match to an incredible finish with England completing their quota of 50 overs after managing an exact score of 338 runs while losing 7 wickets.
England in India 2002
6th ODI at Wankhede Stadium on 3rd February
England 255, India-250
This match is best remembered for Andrew Flintoff`s victory lap around the Wankhade swirling his England jersey in the air after he clean bowled Javagal Srinath to hand England a thrilling victory in the final ODI match to level the series 3-3. After captain Nasser Hussain had won the toss, England looked set for a high score as they cruised to 153/2 runs in just 22 overs. Just when things were going right for them, in came `Turbanator` and he triggered a collapse that led England to lose 5 wickets by the end of 29th over with the score board reading 174/7. It was Flintoff that along with Darren Gough led them to a respectable total of 255 runs. India looked certain to achieve the target as Sourav Ganguly and Dinesh Mongia took charge of the innings. Ganguly fell off to Giles in a bizarre fashion after scoring 80 runs when other batsmen failed to spend more time on the pitch. Hemang Badani provided some resistance but couldn`t stop Flintoff from cleaning up the tail as India were all out for 250 runs with one ball remaining.
India in England 2007
6th ODI at The Oval on 5th September
With four of their batsman warming up the benches by the end of 18th over after winning the toss, English batsmen were certainly not in the best of their moods. The signs were ominous from the first over itself when Zaheer Khan dismissed Alastair Cook in the first over of the match. After Paul Collingwood was run out, Kevin Pietersen and Owais Shah took the reins in their hands and steadied the England innings with Pietersen scoring 53 before getting run out. Owais Shah reached his maiden ODI ton in the penultimate over of the England innings while debutant Luke Wright and Dimitri Mascarenhas provided the much needed aggression that propelled them to a score of 316/6 in 50 overs. India had a brilliant start to their innings with the formidable pair of Ganguly and Tendulkar driving the visitors to 150 runs in just 22 overs. Stuart Broad ended the threatening partnership by claiming the prized wicket of Ganguly. The team seemed heading for a collapse as a cramping Tendulkar was caught by Collingwood off Monty Panesar and rest of the batsmen failed to live up to the expectations. At a time when India were staring at a run rate that had climbed up to over 10 an over, Dhoni and Uthappa kept their cool and kept the runs flowing in spite of some brilliant and intelligent bowling from the English bowlers. With ten runs needed of the last over, Uthappa rose to the occasion and turned the game in favour of India by hitting consecutive boundaries of Broad`s third and fourth delivery.
India in England 2007
4th ODI at Old Trafford on 30th August
Rarely would you see a team that is chasing over 200 runs manage only 117 runs for the loss of 7 wickets even before half of its allotted quota of 50 overs has been completed to stage a comeback and emerge victorious. England squandered the advantage provided by their disciplined bowling attack that restricted India for a score of 212 runs, but Ravi Bopara along with man of the match Stuart Broad brought the team back from the jaws of defeat and managed to overhaul the target with two overs to spare. A low scoring yet compelling encounter saw the two youngsters displaying maturity as they faced a daunting task of bridging a gap of 99 runs on a pitch not conducive for strokeplaying. In the course of their record eight-wicket partnership, they managed to goad the Indian fielders to commit mistakes and ultimately the bowlers caved in to the pressure handling England an unlikely but deserved win.