NatWest 2002 Final
. Evolution of the rookies to overnight heroes like Mohammed Kaif and Yuvraj Singh.
. This match was just a glimpse of the world cricket that Young Team India has arrived. So stay tuned!
. Many matches were played before this game-like world cup 1983 Final or Classic Test Series of India vs Australia 2001. But the Intensity and emotions of this match were just Unmatchable.
Marcus Trescothick, Nick Knight, Nasser Hussain, Andrew Flintoff, Michael Vaughan, Paul Collingwood, Ronnie Irani, Alec Stewart, Alex Tudor, Darren Gough, Ashley Giles
Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Dinesh Mongia, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra
Exactly, 18 years ago one of the greatest matches in the Indian Cricket History was played at Lord’s ground. Before we dive into this famous encounter as a cricket enthusiast I would say cricket has been changed so much in the past 2 decades and if there is one of those reasons for this change in cricket then I would say it would be this “Epic Encounters ” on July 13, 2002. New rules and regulations favoring the batsman more over bowlers in this modern-day cricket with smaller boundary lines and new Innovations like “DRS” or “Switch hits”, “Reverse Sweeps” giving more advantages to the batsman.
In the past 2 decades there were matches which have given us Goosebumps but If I have to pick the Top 4 “Encounters” which have written “Script” for the coming generation to live on and then it would be:
. India vs England NatWest Final 13th July, 2002
. Australia vs South Africa 5th and Final ODI 2006
. India vs Pakistan World Cup T-20 Final 2007
. India vs England oval Final 2007
I know there were more matches that are required to add in this Elite list of the greatest matches ever played in cricket. But the emotions, drama, and intensity in these encounters are “unmatchable”. Without any further delay let us dive into that famous encounter and refresh our childhood memories one more time.
The unscripted story turns out to be the sensation
Back On July 13th, 2002 the day was Saturday and cricket enthusiasts like me around the world were expecting the NatWest Final will be one-sided as the home team has more advantages over the visitor team. England won the toss and decided to bat on in his famous Cricket ground “Lord’s”. The decision goes in favor of England as their key players Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain Smashed the Centuries and setting the Target of 325 to chase it down against their deadly pacers. The first time we saw the strong gesture from the England stylish player Nasser Hussain after scoring his maiden century and showing perfect reply to critics that I am here to stay who were questioning his ability.
During the innings break, the Skipper Sourav Ganguly was saying to his ally that “We can” Chase down this target. I think that makes him the ruthless captain with the attitude of “yes we can”. The seeds of the aggression were started by this player.
The wounds were fresh and the new Team India was on the Mission to take revenge. I still can forget the opening overs of this memorable chase and it is still so vivid in my mind. There were few incidents when I have seen for the first time the aggressive side of Sourav Ganguly when he moves down the pitch and smashed the balls into the stands against their fast bowlers who were bowling at the serious pace of 145km/h. But the best six ways to Flintoff over the covers. I think here the message was clear “the war was on” and when the player like Sehwag was on the other side you can expect anything as the Indian openers Sehwag and Ganguly gave the India flying start 106/0 in 14.3 overs. Those days Indian batting order relies on the shoulders on Sachin and Dravid only but as the story goes the same the shocking collapsed. For a moment, I have thought it was over when the Indian batting order collapsed from 106 to 1 to 146/5. I don’t know how many cricket fans around the world had switched off the TV sets but I didn’t because it was Sunday next morning as I switched onto another sports event which was going on and at last, I thought after a while let us watch the final wicket and close the drama. But I was shocked to see the two Indian rookies were playing like Australian players. I think the stage was set to write the script for one of the greatest ODI games in an Indian Cricket and that’s what they have done.
Rookies like Kaif and Yuvraj Singh turns out to be overnight heroes. The way these rising stars have thrashed that England Dangerous pace attack was top-notch. Especially, Yuvraj Singh for the first time took the aerial route and smashing the balls everywhere around the ground was scintillating. 121 run partnership from lower-order for the sixth wicket in a final against England in England was showing the message to world cricket that the New Team India has arrived. The script was written but the climax of this script stole away hearts from the English fans in the last over and what has happened after that in lord’s balcony was historic after Skipper pulled off his shirt and wave off in the air the intentions were clear from the skipper we are here to change the dynamics of cricket and to play some serious cricket and it also meant this young ally will treat you the way you treat them. Mohammed Kaif was awarded Man of the Match for his unbeaten knock 87*. Believe it or not, chasing targets like those in the early years of the 2000s was not the Ingredient of that Team India Arsenal especially from the place that India was in 146/5, creating it few of the greatest things of Indian cricket history.