The Indian cricket team is all set to take on England in a five-match Test series, starting in Nottingham from August 4. The last time these two sides clashed in England, in 2018, the hosts defeated India 4-1. The Indians did defeat England 3-1 at home but facing England in England will be a completely different proposition.
India do not have a great record against England overall as well. The sides have faced each other in 29 Tests out of which India have won 29 and England 48. In English conditions, India have won seven Tests and lost 34. India, in fact, have not won a Test series in England since 2007. During their last three visitors to the country, they were brutally hammered.
At the same time, some of India’s most Test memorable wins have also come in England, when they have won against all odds. In this feature, we look back at India’s five iconic Test wins in England.
- 1971 Oval Test
This win was iconic in every sense since it was India’s first Test win in England, and also marked their maiden series triumph in the country. England elected to bat first after winning the toss and posted an impressive 355 on the board as Alan Knott top-scored with 90 while John Jameson and Richard Hutton scored the 80s. India managed only 284 in response as Ray Illingworth claimed 5 for 70.
It was in England’s second innings that the game turned. Bhagwath Chandrasekhar ran through the hosts with figures of 6 for 38. He dismissed Brian Luckhurst (33), John Edrich (0) and Keith Fletcher (0) before running through the tail as England were rolled over for 101. Skipper Ajit Wadekar’s unbeaten 45, Dilip Sardesai’s 40 and Farokh Engineer’s 28 not out guided India to a four-wicket win.
2. 1986 Lord’s Test
Kapil Dev led India to a famous Test win at the Mecca of cricket, Lord’s, in 1986. India sent England into bat after winning the toss and, despite Graham Gooch’s 114, managed to restrict England to 294. Chetan Sharma claimed five wickets for India. India responded with 341 as Dilip Vengsarkar, who loved batting at Lord’s, remaining unbeaten on an excellent 126.
Kapil Dev (4/52) and Maninder Singh (3/9) then combined to run through England’s second innings as the hosts were all out for 180. Mike Gatting top-scored with 40. India hunted down the 134 runs needed for victory with five wickets in hand. Vengsarkar again top-scored with 33 while Ravi Shastri (20 not out) and Kapil Dev (23 not out in 10 balls) took India past the finish line. Kapil was named man of the match for his all-round efforts after he inspired India to an unforgettable triumph at a hallowed venue.
3. 2002 Leeds Test
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that one of India’s most emphatic away Test wins came at Headingley, Leeds in the year 2002. India decided to bat first after winning the toss on a tough surface. Sanjay Bangar (68 off 236) and Rahul Dravid (148 off 307) wore down the England attack, after which Sachin Tendulkar (193) and Sourav Ganguly (128) took full advantage of the situation. The duo featured in a 249-run stand for the fourth wicket as India posted a mammoth 628 for 8 declared.
England crumbled under the pressure of a huge total and were bowled for 273 as famed Indian spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh picked up three wickets each. Made to follow on, England skipper Nasser Hussain scored a valiant 110 but the hosts were still bowled for 309 as India won the Test by an innings and 46 runs. Kumble (4/66) was the wrecker-in-chief.
4. 2007 Nottingham Test
A strong Indian outfit, led by Rahul Dravid, got the better of England in the 2007 Nottingham Test by seven wickets. India bowled first after winning the toss. Zaheer Khan (4/59) and Anil Kumble (3/32) came up with excellent spells to restrict England to 198. Khan sent back Andrew Strauss (4), Michael Vaughan (9) and Ian Bell (31) while Kumble ran through the tail.
India put up a superior team effort with the bat in response as Dinesh Karthik (77), Wasim Jaffer (62), Sachin Tendulkar (91), Sourav Ganguly (79) and VVS Laxman (54) all made key contributions. India put up 481 on the board. Vaughan made 124 in England’s second innings but Zaheer’s five-for kept England to 355. India chased down 73 with seven wickets in hand and went on to win the series their last in England.
5. 2014 Lord’s Test
India had a forgettable tour of England in 2014 but they had actually taken the 1-0 lead in the five-match series. England won the toss and fielded first in the second Test at Lord’s. Despite Ajinkya Rahane’s hard-fought hundred, India were bowled out for 295 in their first innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 6 for 82, however, kept India in the game. Making the ball talk under helpful conditions, he held England to 319 despite Gary Ballance’s 110.
Murali Vijay scored 95 in India’s second innings while Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar contributed the fifties lower down the order. Set to chase 319, England were bowled out for 223 as India registered one of the most famous wins in England. Pace bowler Ishant Sharma was the architect of India’s triumph with figures of 7 for 74. He kept forcing the England batsmen into playing the pull and the hook despite the fielders being positioned for the strokes. The English batsmen took the bait and came second best for change. Thanks to Ishant’s brilliance India went on to win the Test by 95 runs. England, however, hit back hard to claim the series.