India have not lost at Lord's since '75
It looks like another contest of batsmanship and India will look to the big three - Sachin, Sourav and Rahul - to show the way.india Updated: Sep 07, 2007 12:21 IST
When Rahul Dravid and Paul Collingwood step on to the hallowed turf of Lord's for the seventh and final one-day international on Saturday, they would do well to remember that India have not lost to England at the home of cricket since 1975.
In fact, India has never lost an ODI at the venue since then, chalking up their only World Cup triumph in 1983 along the way.
Before Saturday, India have played only five ODIs at Lord's and won four of them. The success story, of course, begins on June 25, 1983, when the Indians beat the West Indies by 43 runs in the World Cup final.
Against England, the story has been the same. The touring side won twice in 2002, including the dramatic NatWest Trophy final remembered for the heroic batting by Mohammad Kaif and the shirtless celebration of then India captain Sourav Ganguly.
And it is this pair of men that has the best individual ODI scores by an Indian.
Ganguly's 90 in 2004 remains the highest ODI score by an Indian at Lord's followed by Kaif's unbeaten knock of 87 in the 2002 final in second place.
The Englishmen have posted their highest-ever ODI total at Lord's against India when they smashed 334 for four in 1975, and the visitors, still learning the nuances of the limited overs game, replied with 132 for three. That indeed marks the high and low for the two countries at Lord's but since then England have failed to put it across to the Indians in three encounters.
Memories of the 2002 NatWest final will be especially painful for the home side as India recovered from a disastrous start to successfully overhaul England's mammoth total of 325.
And in 2004, the Indians were bundled out for a paltry 204 despite Ganguly's 90 but managed to bowl the Englishmen out for 181 to win the NatWest Challenge game by 23 runs.
Former England opener Marcus Trescothick is the only batsman to hit a century against the Indians at Lord's but it was in a losing cause, again in the 2002 final.
The venue is hardly among the bowlers' favourites. In the games between the two sides the most successful man at Lord's is England's Darren Gough but his 27 victims came in 16 matches. Next on the list is another home all-rounder, Andrew Flintoff whose 12 wickets have come in nine ODIs.
Despite the string of successes at the venue, no Indian bowler has even reached a total of five wickets.
So, it looks like another contest of batsmanship and Team India will be looking to the big three - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and skipper Rahul Dravid - to show the way.