(Last Updated on : 16-01-2009)
The year of 2004 was one of the most memorable years in the history of Indian cricket, as the Indian cricket team showed a lot of wonderful performances in that year. The team became successful in the Test series and ODI tournament in Australia during the first half of the year and India showed its best performances when it toured Pakistan, in the later half of 2004. The Pakistan tour of India in 2004 is best remembered because of the first ever Test series win of India against Pakistan. The series is also well remembered for the record-breaking innings of 309 runs that Virender Sehwag played in the Multan Test during the tour. It was the highest individual score by any Indian batsman for long, until he himself broke that a few years later. India won the Test series by 2-1 and ODI series by 3-2 in Pakistan in the tour.
The Indian cricket team went for a complete tour to Pakistan after a long gap of 15 years in 2004 and hence, the tour was considered as historical even before it started. The Indian cricket team started the tour on a positive note and won the first ODI match that it played against Pakistan during the tour. The match was a closely fought one and Indian became successful to clinch the 5 runs' victory, mainly because of some wonderful bowling by Zaheer Khan. Though India lost the next two ODIs to Pakistan, it came back nicely in the series and won the last two matches by 5 wickets and 40 runs, respectively, thus won the series by 3-2.
The Indian team continued their wonderful performance of the ODIs in the Test series also and started the series well, by winning the first Test comprehensively by an innings and 52 runs. India scored a mammoth total of 675 runs for 5, batting first in the first Test at Multan, thanks to the brilliant innings of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. Sehwag scored a record breaking 309 runs in the innings and the master blaster, Sachin also played an unbeaten innings of 194 runs. Replying to such a huge total, the Pakistan team got all out for 407 runs in the first innings, due to a brilliant bowling spell of 4/100 by Irfan Pathan. Following on, the Pakistan team failed to play well in the second innings also and as Anil Kumble got a wonderful bowling figure of 6/72, they got all out on a score of 216 runs in the second innings. India won the match by an innings and 52 runs.
However, the Pakistan team made a good come back in the second Test and beat the Indian team comprehensively by 9 wickets. Only the players like Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel could play well in the Test for the Indians and as all the other players failed to perform, India had to face the huge 9 wickets' defeat in the Test. The third Test saw the Indian players back into their real form and as the legendary Indian batsmen like Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly played two superb innings; India scored a huge total of 600 runs in the first innings. Dravid played an immortal innings of 270 runs and Ganguly accompanied hi8m well by scoring 77 runs. Replying to the mammoth total of India, the Pakistan team once again faltered in front of the Indian bowling and Laxmipathi Balaji took the main initiative to restrict Pakistan's both the first and second innings for very small scores. Indian eventually won the Test by an innings and 131 runs and thus completed the series win by a margin of 2-1. The tour was no doubt one of the best overseas tours for India and the opponent was India's arch rivals Pakistan, the feeling of the Indian cricket enthusiasts got even sweeter.