The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, with the first cricket match played in 1721.[15] It was played and adopted by Kolis of Gujarat because they were sea pirates and outlaws who always loot the British ships so East India Company tried to manage the Kolis in cricket and been successful.[16][17][18] In 1848, the Parsi community in Mumbai formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsis to play a match in 1877.[19] By 1912, the Parsis, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year.[19] In the early 1900s, some Indians went on to play for the England cricket team. Some of these, such as Ranjitsinhji and Duleepsinhji were greatly appreciated by the British and their names went on to be used for the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy – two major first-class tournaments in India. In 1911, an Indian men's cricket team, captained by Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, went on their first official tour of the British Isles, but only played English county teams and not the England cricket team.[20][21] 

India recorded their first Test victory, in their 24th match, against England at Madras in 1952.[28] Later in the same year, they won their first Test series, which was against Pakistan.[29] They continued their improvement throughout the early 1950s with a series win against New Zealand in 1956. However, they did not win again in the remainder of the decade and lost badly to strong Australian and English sides. On 24 August 1959, India lost by an innings in the Test to complete the only 5–0 whitewash ever inflicted by England.[30] The next decade saw India's reputation develop as a team with a strong record at home. They won their first Test series against England at home in 1961–62 and also won a home series against New Zealand. They managed to draw home series against Pakistan and Australia and another series against England. In this same period, India also won its first series outside the subcontinent, against New Zealand in 1967–68.[31]

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