India vs England - Team India’s top 5 Test victories on English soil
India has travelled to England 17 times and have tasted three series victories. Here we take a look at India’s five most memorable Test wins on English soil.Updated: Jul 25, 2018 13:01 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Indian cricket team took its baby steps in international cricket 86 years ago, when they travelled to the land of their colonial masters. (IND v ENG 2018 FULL COVERAGE)
The team led by Col. CK Nayudu might have lost that match at Lord’s, but it ignited among Indians a passion for a sport which would go onto become a national obsession in the years to come.
Since that momentous occasion, India has travelled to England 17 times and have tasted three series victories. Here we take a look at India’s five most memorable Test wins on English soil.
1) 1971 Tour - 3rd Test at The Oval, London - Chandrasekhar Spins India to Momentous series win
The Indian team had already created history in 1971, after winning their maiden Test series in West Indies, despite some hostile bowling by the Caribbeans. Captain Ajit Wadekar’s team travelled to England later that year, armed with one of the finest young openers in the world, namely Sunil Gavaskar, and a spin attack that could compete with the best in the world.
After the first two Tests were drawn, both sides met at The Oval for the series decider. The hosts decided to bat first after winning the toss and piled up 355 runs in their first essay. England were in a spot of bother after losing opener John Jameson (82) but a late order flourish from wicket-keeper Alan Knott (90) and medium pacer Richard Hutton (81) allowed the hosts to post a decent total.
The Indians had steady contributions from most of their batsmen but no one went on to play a big knock. Dilip Sardesai (54) and wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer (59) scored half-centuries to propel the Indian total to 284 runs. England’s offie Ray Illingworth was the wrecker-in-chief with a 5-wicket haul.
Armed with a handy lead the hosts looked to bat the Indians out of the match, but a memorable spell from BS Chandrasekhar put paid to England’s hopes. The leggie accounted for six wickets as he ran through the English top and lower order as England were bowled out for a paltry 101.
India had to chase down the target of 173 runs to create history, but England gave them a big scare. The openers departed early, but skipper Wadekar (45) and Sardesai (40) held fort to take the tourists closer to a historic win. Farokh Engineer’s unbeaten 28 eventually guided India to their Test and series win on English soil.
2) 1986 Tour - 1st Test at Lord’s, London - Vengsarkar, Chetan Sharma Stars in India’s maiden Win at ‘Home of Cricket’
India travelled to England in 1986 as overwhelming favourites, under the leadership of Kapil Dev. The Indians had established themselves as one of the leading limited overs sides of the world after their World Cup and World Championship of Cricket victories respectively. The task in hand for Kapil Dev’s men was to maintain their supremacy in the longer format.
The first Test was played at Lord’s where India had failed to win in 10 previous encounters, losing eight and drawing two. A Graham Gooch century (114) gave the hosts a good start after being put into bat but young paceman Chetan Sharma nullified the damages by picking up a five-wicket haul as England were bowled out for 294 in the first innings.
Dilip Vengsarkar continued his love affair with Lord’s as he stroked his way to an unbeaten 126, his third century at the venue, as India took a crucial 47-run lead.
Kapil Dev put up a show of classic swing bowling to wreck the English top order as the hosts stumbled their way to 180 all out in the second innings. The Indian skipper ended with figures of 4/52.
The target of 134 runs was chased down after a few early hiccups as India registered a 5-wicket win to take the lead in a series that they went on to win 2-0.
3) 2007 Tour - 2nd Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham - Zaheer Khan’s 9-Wicket Blast Guides India to Victory
The Indian team went on their tour of England without a coach as Greg Chappell had resigned after the 2007 ICC World Cup debacle. The Indian dressing room wasn’t the happiest place in those days and they managed to survive a loss in the first Test by the skin of their teeth.
Rahul Dravid and his men travelled to Nottingham for the second Test hoping for someone to put up his hand and perform, and that performance came from paceman Zaheer Khan. The left-arm seamer picked up four wickets as England were bowled out for 198.
The star-studded Indian batting line-up responded in style with five of them registering half-centuries. Sachin Tendulkar (91) and Sourav Ganguly (79) turned the clock back with a 96-run stand as India put on a mammoth 481 all out in the first innings.
A 283-run deficit meant England needed their batsman to make a strong comeback and captain Michael Vaughan scored a belligerent 124 to lead a rearguard. But a freak dismissal ended Vaughan’s vigil and with that went England’s chances. Khan completed a deserved five-wicket haul as England were bowled out for 355, giving India a target of 73 runs to win the match.The tourists registered an emphatic 7-wicket win which laid the foundation for a series win in England after a gap of 21 years.
4) 2002 Tour - 2nd Test at Headingley, Leeds - Bangar, Dravid Set Up Series Leveller
The Indian team under Sourav Ganguly was a tenacious unit, always looking to do well outside the sub-continent. But the 2002 tour of England started with a demoralising loss at Lord’s. Batsmen from both teams cancelled each other out in the the second Test at Nottingham and the hosts eyed a series win at Leeds as a green top greeted the Indians. Ganguly though decided to grab the bull by the horn and chose to bat first after winning the toss.
The English seamers threw everything that they had in their arsenal at the Indians but Sanjay Bangar (68) and Rahul Dravid (148) held their own.
The duo showed great temperament and application on a difficult pitch as they stitched together a 170-run second wicket stand to set up the foundation of a huge first innings total for India. Sachin Tendulkar (193) and Sourav Ganguly (128) showcased their class as they decimated a hapless English attack as India declared their first innings on 628.
England were bowled out for 273 in the first innings with the spin twins, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, picking up 3 wickets apiece. The hosts were made to follow on and despite a century by captain Nasser Hussain (110), Kumble’s four-wicket haul sealed their fate. India won the match by an innings and 46 runs to level the series, which was eventually drawn.
5) 2014 Tour - 2nd Test at Lord’s, London - Ishant bounces England out at Lord’s
The 2014 tour started with India aiming to bury the ghosts of the 0-4 whitewash of 2011. The first Test at Nottingham turned out to be a run fest with batsmen from both sides making merry.
India were put into bat at Lord’s by Alastair Cook and James Anderson rattled the Indian top order. But a classy rearguard ton from the blade of Ajinkya Rahane guided the tourists out of the woods as they posted a competitive 295 in their first innings.
Gary Ballance’s painstakingly slow knock of 110 nullified a six-wicket haul by Bhuvneshwar Kumar as England took a slender 24-run first innings lead. India needed strong response to stay afloat in the match and the top order responded. Murali Vijay’s knock of 95 was the cornerstone of the Indian innings but a middle order collapse brought England back in the reckoning. Ravindra Jadeja (68) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (52) put together a 99-run eighth wicket stand to take the Indian total to 343.
England needed 319 runs to win the Test but Ishant Sharma produced a master-class in short pitched bowling to bounce the hosts out of the match. He picked up 7 second innings wickets as India coasted to a 95-run win, their first win at Lord’s in 28 years.
First Published: Jul 25, 2018 09:00 IST