Eighty-four years after C.K. Nayudu led an "All-India" team against the mighty England side in the nation's first ever Test match, India will play their 500th Test match. When Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson walk out for the toss at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, India will become the fourth country to reach the milestone -- after England, Australia and the West Indies.
India's current record in Tests stands at 129 wins, 157 draws, 212 defeats and one famous tie.
One thing's for certain: from losing to that all-powerful England side by 158 runs in a three-day match, the Indian Test team has come a long, long way.
There have been a lot of memorable Tests that India have been involved in over these years and choosing the best among them is not an easy task. But here's a look at our list of the 10 most memorable Test matches featuring India:
1st ever Test win, Chennai vs England 1951-52
On Sunday, February 10, 1952, Vijay Hazare's men created history. 20 years after the country's first match, after 24 Test matches without a single win to show for, a Vinoo Mankad-inspired Indian team put in an emphatic performance to defeat England in the fifth match of a five-match series and drew the series 1-1. Mankad, one of the greatest all-rounders India has ever produced, was unplayable on the Chepauk track. His 8 for 55 in the first innings was India's best bowling figures in Tests then. Thanks to his 12-wicket haul and Polly Umrigar's 130, India registered a win by an innings and 8 runs.
1st ever win abroad, Dunedin vs New Zealand, 1967-68
While the first Test win took 25 matches, the wait for a win abroad was even longer. 35 years, 104 Test matches -- that's how long it took for India to taste victory overseas. It came in New Zealand and in style! It was not just the first win abroad for India, that series was also the first time India won a series abroad as Nawab of Pataudi lead India to a 3-1 win.
The match in Dunedin also saw India's spin great Erapalli Prasanna stamp his position as a world class spinner even outside the subcontinent. The classy Ajit Wadekar made twin fifties.
While history will see this as a landmark win in India's history, the celebrations that day in Dunedin were muted -- presumably because that Indian team, despite playing well in Australia in the preceding series, had been whitewashed 0-4.
"There were no grand celebrations. For me the biggest moment of cheer was that till then we were looked down upon for our inability to get runs overseas. I was proud of my twin fifties," Wadekar later told ESPN Cricinfo.
"I didn't even collect the ball as a souvenir. It was a very simple celebration with handshakes and congratulatory messages and drinks in the evening," said Prasanna.
But, history was indeed made that day in Dunedin.
1st win in West Indies, Port of Spain, 1970-71
India defeating West Indies -- something that had not happened in 25 previous meetings, home or away -- finally became a reality in Port of Spain in 1970-71.
And more importantly, the world was introduced to the genius that was Sunil Gavaskar. A debut that saw the Little Master make two classy half-centuries marked the beginning of a batting career like few other in Test cricket.
V Ramnarayan, veteran cricket writer and former Ranji player, writes this about Gavaskar's stunning entrance:
Gavaskar, the young prodigy from Bombay University, made his debut in the second Test, in Port-of-Spain, and straight away played a winning hand in India's first Test victory in the Caribbean. While the rest is history in terms of West Indies' subsequent domination of world cricket, Sunil Manohar Gavaskar had more than arrived as arguably the greatest post-war opening batsman in the world.
Later that year, Ajit Wadekar-led India to a series win in England.
Which brings us nicely to..
3rd Test, vs England in Oval, 1971
India had never won a Test in England before 1971. They had not won any of the 19 Tests in the British shores -- 15 of them were defeats. That all changed in 1971 at The Oval.
"India was a colony of England, and to beat your masters at their own game was a bit of a feather in the cap," Farokh Engineer told after the win. "Any victory in a Test series was joyous, but to beat England in England was a phenomenal feat at the time for us Indians."
That Indian team was, in many experts' views, are still the benchmark for subcontinent teams touring abroad.
From 1968-78, India's record abroad was quite extraordinary: Played 32, Won 9, Drawn 9, Lost 14. They won matches in England, New Zealand, West Indies and Australia. Staggering, even by today's standards for subcontinent teams.
"We went from the airport to Brabourne stadium," the hero of that Oval Test match, BS Chandrasekhar recalled, "and some of those cheers still echo inside my head even today."
Just look at the reception India received when they returned, you'd know what he meant.
3rd Test, vs Australia in Melbourne, 1981
The Test that India almost forfeited went on to become one of their most famous wins Down Under. In a series that was marred by controversial umpiring, the boiling point came in the second innings of the final Test -- in a series that India were trailing 1-0 -- when skipper Gavaskar was adjudged leg-before-wicket to Dennis Lillee. Gavaskar was adamant he had edged it, stood his ground after being given out, and when taunted by Lilee, lost his temper and convinced Chetan Chauhan, the non-striker, to stage a walkout. The managers intervened, a walk-out was avoided and India went on to win the Test, led by Kapil Dev's five-wicket haul.
The win was even more incredible considering Kapil needed a runner in the second innings, as he was bothered by a hamstring injury. But on the fifth day, he soldiered on despite his injury and bowled a spell for the ages.
That win also marked the first time that India returned from Australia with a drawn series, something even the great team of the 70s could not manage.
1st Test vs Australia in Chennai 1986 -- Tied Test match
"This wasn't the beautiful Test; in fact it was ugly. Dean Jones puked, pissed and nearly killed himself on his way to a double-hundred."
That's how cricket writer Sambit Bal described the famous tied Test in Chennai. It was not just Dean Jones' struggles. The two sides got involved in scuffles. The umpires were berated by both sides through out. But when Maninder Singh was given out LBW with India needing one run to win, history was made. Only the second tied Test ever, this match is retrospectively hailed by many in the game as the match that brought Test cricket back to life. The match that marked the rise of Australia as a force in world cricket.
Dean Jones, who called that marathon innings the "Mt. Everest of his career" told this in an interview:
There were two scoreboards in the stadium, so when Greg Matthews got Maninder Singh lbw, I was at mid-on or midwicket, and looked up at the first of them, which had us in front by one. So we'd won! I started running away in elation, but then someone told me to look at the other one, and I said: "Oh, is that a draw then?" Simmo [Bob Simpson] replied: "No, you idiot, it's a tie!"
Suresh Menon, veteran journalist, wrote about Kris Srikkanth's reaction to India's monumental 4th innings score of 348:
The whole episode was put in perspective by Kris Srikkanth the following day when we were flying to Hyderabad for a one-day international. While many of the players felt India had been deprived of a win, the opening batsman said, "Hey guys, forget the win; we have become a part of history."
1st Test, vs Pakistan in Chennai, 1999
Who said only a win can be memorable? Well, don't tell Tendulkar that -- who reportedly broke down crying in the dressing room after his 137 in the fourth innings was not enough to give India a win against Pakistan. The Chepauk Test, where Tendulkar braved immense pain to take India to the brink of a victory before Pakistan snatched it, is still remembered for the lap of honour the visitors took to the warm applause of the Chennai crowd.
Every once in a while, there are moments in sport that transcend the action on the field and yet help establish the very essence of sport by carrying it beyond the confines of nationalism, and indeed victory and defeat.
2nd Test, vs Australia in Eden Gardens, 2001
Australia's world record 16 consecutive wins. Eden Gardens. Follow-on. VVS Laxman. Rahul Dravid.
A score of 281 that changed the perception of India as a Test team.
Well, you know the drill.
The greatest Test match in India's history.
2nd Test, vs Australia in Adelaide, 2003-04
Until Sourav Ganguly took his charges Down Under in 2003-04, the expectation from any Indian fan waking up early to watch India play in Australia was: don't get beat too bad, lose with some dignity. And if a Sachin special came along, it was an added bonus.
That all changed in 2003-04. After a captain's hundred in the first Test at Brisbane, where touring teams hardly ever win, Ganguly led India to a famous win at the Adelaide Oval. The protagonists were both familiar and unfamiliar. Rahul Dravid was the undoubted hero with his double hundred and half century in the two innings, but Ajit Agarkar produced the spell of his lifetime in the second innings to pick up six wickets and derail Australia.
And as always, Ravi Shastri was on air to commentate as Dravid hit the winning runs.
1st Test, vs England in Chennai, 2008
The terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008 are still fresh in memory. It was one of the toughest times India has gone through as a nation. The England team which was touring India then, pulled out of the limited over series and flew back home.
Three weeks later, they agreed to come back for playing Tests. They did not have to. They did.
And in Chennai, the venue for so many of the famous Test wins in Indian history, witnessed perhaps Sachin Tendulkar's finest hour in Tests.
Chasing a mammoth 387 in the fourth innings, Tendulkar -- with hefty contributions from Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh -- swept India to victory, reaching his 41st Test hundred when he scored the winning runs. He leapt for joy. Yuvraj lifted him on his shoulders. Chennai erupted in delight.
"Who can write Sachin Tendulkar's scripts any better?"
Agree with the list? Which other match do you think should feature here? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us.