1. v. West Indies, 2nd Test Port-of- Spain, 6-10 Mar. 1971
Having forced the mighty West Indies to follow on for the first time in the first Test at Kingston, India now finally turned the tables on them for the first time in 25 attempts. The landmark win was built round the spin bowlers, who captured 17 wickets and the batting of Dilip Sardesai (112) and Sunil Gavaskar who on Test debut scored two half centuries.
Gavaskar would go on to have a spectacular series while India won a rubber against the West Indies for the first time. It was the start of a momentous but brief era under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar.
Brief scores: West Indies 214 and 261 lost to India 352 and 125 for 3 by 7 wickets.
2. v. England, 3rd Test at the Oval, 19-24 Aug. 1971
Less than six months after Port-of-Spain, the Oval in London was the venue of another notable triumph for Indian cricket. For the first time after 39 years and 22 Tests, India had tasted victory in a Test and a series on English soil.
Leg spinner BS Chandrasekhar, who had been dropped for the West Indies tour, destroyed England's batting in the second innings with 6 for 38 to set up the victory and seal the series against the unofficial world champions of Test cricket. Skipper Wadekar, Sardesai and wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer were India's batting heroes.
Brief scores: England 355 and 101 lost to India 284 and 174 for 6 by 4 wickets.