File photo of India first Test captain Col. CK Nayudu (left) and Lala Amarnath (right).(Getty Images)
File photo of India first Test captain Col. CK Nayudu (left) and Lala Amarnath (right).(Getty Images)

India vs England: History of Tests in India - Part 1 - (1933-34 to 1963-64)

  • In the first part of our series we look back at England's tours of India from 1933-34 to 1963-64
By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON FEB 01, 2021 04:45 PM IST

India will take on England in a 4-match Test series starting February 5, which will be the first outing for Virat Kohli and his men on home soil since cricket resumed after the enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

India recently beat Australia in Australia in a series for the ages and will have their tails up. Joe Root's England come into the series on the back of a 2-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka and will be up for the challenge.

India's rivalry with England is its oldest as the team played its inaugural Test against the English and the former colonial rulers were the first ever team to visit India as well.

This will be the 16th visit of the English team to Indian shores to play Test cricket. In 122 Test matches till date between the two teams, India have been victorious on 26 occasions while they have lost 47 times and 49 matches have been drawn.

India vs England 2021 - FULL SCHEDULE

India have won 7 series at home while England have triumphed on Indian soil on 5 occasions while 3 series have ended in a draw. India thrashed Root's England 4-0 in 2016. England's win in 2012-13 is the only time India has lost a Test series at home against any opposition in the last 16 years.

In the first part of our series we look back at England's tours to India from 1933-34 to 1963-64.

1933-34: Lala Amarnath becomes India's first Test centurion as Hedley Verity guides England to 2-0 win

File photo of Lala Amarnath(Twitter/Historyofindianera‏)
File photo of Lala Amarnath(Twitter/Historyofindianera‏)


India played their first ever Test series at home when England came calling in December 1933 under the leadership of Douglas Jardine. The tourists comprehensively won the first Test by 9 wickets at the Gymkhana Ground in Bombay.

Bryan Valentine's century gave England a huge first innings lead even as a young Lala Amarnath scored India's maiden Test ton. Paceman Stan Nichols picked up a 5-wicket haul as England coasted to an easy win.

Also read: Joe Root & co. arrive in Chennai ahead of Test series - WATCH

Hedley Verity picked up 8 wickets in the second Test in Kolkata as India were bowled out twice for 247 & 237 respectively. But England had to settle for a draw as they ran out of time.

The series was sealed at Chennai's Chepauk stadium with England winning by 202 runs. Verity was the destroyer-in-chief again with a 7-wicket haul in the first innings and followed that up with a 4-wicket haul to humble the hosts.

1951-52: Mankad stars in drawn series as India beat England for the first time

Vinoo Mankad batting for India against England.(Getty Images)
Vinoo Mankad batting for India against England.(Getty Images)

A landmark series for independent India with the former colonial rulers visiting and tasting their first reversal at the hands of a spirited Indian team.

India's batting heroes Vijay Hazare and Vijay Merchant scored centuries as the opening Test in Delhi ended in a draw.

Pankaj Roy and Vijay Hazare scored tons in the second Test which too ended in a draw while Dattu Phadkar enthralled cricket followers in Kolkata with a stroke-filled century at the Eden Gardens as the stalemate continued.

England spinners Malcolm Hilton and Roy Tattersall picked up 17 wickets together at Kanpur to help the tourists take the lead in the series.

But Vinoo Mankad's 12-wicket haul gave India its first ever Test victory over England in the final Test in Chennai as the series ended in a draw as a young nation experienced a huge high.

1961-62: Nari Contractor leads India to maiden series win against England at home as Salim Durani steals the show

File photo of Salim Durani(Twitter)
File photo of Salim Durani(Twitter)

This series too started in similar fashion as batsmen from both teams cancelled each other out with centuries as the first three Test matches ended in stale draws.

The hosts tasted success at Kolkata as Salim Durani broke the back of England's batting with an 8-wicket haul. Chandu Borde scored back to back half centuries and also picked up 4 wickets in the first innings as India won by 187 runs.

A young Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi scored a century in the last Test in Chennai to help India post a 400-plus total in the first innings. Durani's slow left-arm spin ensured the English batsmen never put up a fight as India won the series 2-0.

1963-64: Series ends in dull draw as flat tracks aid batsmen

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi(Getty Images)
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi(Getty Images)

The Test series ended in a draw with all five matches being dominated by batsmen on dead and flat tracks but England did come close to winning the first Test in Chennai.

Budhi Kunderan scored 192 to help India post a total in excess of 450 in Chennai and also secured a first innings lead as England were bowled out for 317. Fred Titmus floored the Indians in the second innings with his off-spinners as England chased 293 to win. They eventually ran out of time and finished on 241/5.

Bhagwath Chandrasekhar made his debut in the second Test and picked up 4 wickets in the first innings. India set England but the visitors batted well in the second essay to ensure a draw.

The legendary Colin Cowdrey returned for England in the third Test in Kolkata and his century gave the visitors a slender first innings lead after a John Price fifer had restricted India to 241. An ML Jaisimha century in the second innings helped the hosts secure a draw.

At Delhi Hanumant Singh scored a ton for India in the first innings while Cowdrey got his second of the series for England. Kunderan wrote his name on the honours board with another century while scored his second ton of the series while Indian captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi scored his career-best 203 and remained unbeaten.

At Kanpur, Peter Parfitt and Barry Knight scored centuries for England. India were in a spot after being asked to follow on but Bapu Nadkarni's only Test century put paid to England's hopes of stealing the series.

England's next visit to India was a decade later. That and the following series will be covered in the second part of the series.

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