India vs West Indies has taken place 90 times,with India winning 16 and losing 30. These matches have produced several classics and it was difficult to narrow down to just 5 test matches.
Till the end of the 60s, India West Indies encounters tended to be dominated by the Windies. It all changed in 1971, when India managed their maiden victory over the islanders.
However, in 1948-49, India had come very close to beating a strong West Indies. They were only halted due to a horrendous call by the umpire, who stopped play 7 balls in advance. At that stage India needed just 6 to win.
The 70s produced 4 tightly contested series, both teams winning 2 each. The early 80s saw West Indies dominate home and away. But, with changing times, India became increasingly competitive.
Since, 2002, India have not lost a single match to West Indies. They are the only team with this record.
Read about 5 thrilling India West Indies contests from different generations.
5) Hirwani rattles the Windies
West Indies toured India in 1987-88. This match was the last of a 4 match series. The visitors were leading 1-0. Incidentally, this was India’s first series after the retirement of Sunil Gavaskar.
Ravi Shastri was the stand in captain for Dilip Vengsarkar. Kapil Dev scored a quickfire century as India put up 382. In reply, West Indies lost their openers to Shastri and Kapil Dev.
They were then bamboozled by the bowling on a 19 year bespectacled leg spinner. Narendra Hirwani, on debut, picked up the remaining 8 wickets for 61 runs. The visitors were skittled out for 184.
The Windies were then set a 4th innings target of 416. Once again, Hirwani weaved his magic, getting another 8 wickets. India won by 255 runs, thereby squaring the series.
Hirwani finished with with match figures of 16 for 136. To date, it remains the best world wide bowling figures on debut.