The 15th of August is a day of great significance for every Indian as we celebrate the Independence Day and there is certainly a feeling of heightened nationalism. For sportspersons, there could be nothing greater than representing your country on this very day. While it is imperative to say that the players give their all for the cause of the country, there is a heightened adrenalin associated with playing on such significant days. Taking the example of cricket, the Indian team has played only three international matches on the Independence Day. Let us have a quick recap of those games. Independence Day 2018 Special: Here's a Look at Some of India’s Achievements in Cricket in Last 72 Years.
England vs India, August 15-18, 1936, Oval: Wally Hammond’s brilliant double century propelled England to 471-8 as the home team dominated a hapless bowling lineup. Hammond was assisted in the demolition by Lauri Fishlock who came up with a century. In reply, India were bundled out for 222 despite valiant efforts by the two Indian openers. England enforced follow-on upon the visiting Indians and enormous task to save the test was not helped by news of bickering in the Indian camp. CK Nayudu's valiant 81 helped India reach 313 but as the last wicket fell, it only had a lead of 64 which England chased down with ease. This Test, however, was played before India's Independence. India made its Test debut in 1932.
England vs India, August 14-19, 1952, Oval: The 1952 tour of England was something of a nightmare for the visiting Indian team who were down 0-3 going into the final Test. Batting first England batted for 154 overs to put up 326 on the board thanks largely due to centurion David Sheppard and skipper Len Hutton’s 86. In reply, India was struggling at 49-5 when rain played spoilsport and major part of the Test match was lost as a result of it. On the final day when play resumed, India were bowled out for 98 but the match ended in a draw. Independence Day 2018: Why do we Celebrate Independence Day?
Sri Lanka vs India, August 14-17, 2001, Galle: The first Test in Galle ended in defeat for India as they were no match to a strong Sri Lankan team who were a tough customer to deal with in their own backyard. Dilhara Fernando was the chief destructor for the home side as his 5 wickets helped restrict India to 187 in the first innings. Sri Lanka in response managed to score 362 as Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya scored centuries each. In the second innings, the Indian batting collapsed yet again and could only manage 180 runs and in the process setting up a target of 6 runs for the hosts which they completed on day four and went 1-0 up in the series.
England vs India, August, 15-17, 2014, Oval: The Indian team saved its worst performance for the last Test on the 2014 tour of England as they were beaten by an innings and 244 runs by the home team. Having been bundled out for 148 in the first innings, the Indian team could only watch and admire the masterclass of Joe Root who scored an unbeaten 149 as his side finished with a mammoth 486. The 300+ lead meant England was in control of the game and set up attacking fields for the Indian team who folded for 94 in the second innings. Independence Day Special: 8 Indians Who Made India Proud Globally
The results may not be pleasing for the fans but the efforts put in by the players were lauded by each and everyone which is all this game is about.