England’s tour of India kicks off later this week before India travels to England in August 2021 for a five-match Test series. Over the years, both teams have produced some of the classics in the purest format of the game.
However, bowlers have always had the edge over their counterparts whether it’s the scorching heat in Bangalore or the windy and overcast conditions at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Ahead of the first Test in Chennai, starting from February 5, let us have a look at five of the best bowling spells bowled during an India vs England Test:
5. Zaheer Khan’s 4 for 59 in Nottingham in 2007
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan played a crucial role during India’s series win on English Soil in 2007. After the first Test in Lord’s ended in a stalemate, Zaheer was the go-to-man for India at Trent Bridge, sending the hosts packing for a paltry 198 on the first day.
Zaheer dismissed Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell, and Monty Panesar to return figures of 4/59 before bagging 5 wickets in the second innings. He was adjudged Man of the Match as India won the game by 7 wickets.
4. Ishant Sharma’s 7 for 74 at Lord’s in 2014
Almost 30 years since their first win at the Lord’s, India registered just their second win over England at the “Home of Cricket” in 2014. But the credit largely goes to veteran pacer Ishant Sharma who helped India to make a strong comeback in the second innings.
After dismissing England skipper Alastair Cook for 22, Sharma dismissed Joe Root and Moeen Ali, ending their 101-run partnership in the process. After that, it was bread and butter stuff for India as England’s tail-enders couldn’t hold for much longer.
Notably, Sharma had gone wicketless in the first innings. But, his figures of 7 for 74 had earned him the man of the match award.
3. James Anderson’s 5 for 20 at Lord’s in 2018
It’s virtually impossible to forget England’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket when it comes to an India vs England series. In 2018, James Anderson pulled-off one of the greatest-ever spells bowled during a Test match.
Anderson stamped his and England’s authority after he castled Murali Vijay with a beauty in the first innings on his way to a five-for. After that, Anderson got rid of KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ishant Sharma to complete his century of wickets at the Lord’s.
If that wasn’t satisfactory, Anderson scalped another four in the second innings as England won the game by an innings and 159 runs. However, Anderson’s match figures of 9 for 43 was overshadowed by Chris Woakes brilliant 137 not out.
2. Stuart Broad’s 6/25 at Old Trafford in 2014
With a win each and a draw in the first three Tests of the five-match series, England and India arrived in Manchester on level-peggings. However, Stuart Broad and James Anderson exposed the Indian top order in unbelievable style.
Both picked up two wickets apiece with the new ball to leave MS Dhoni’s side shell-shocked at 8-4. Broad ended with figures of 6/25 as India succumbed for 152. England eventually won the game by an innings and 54 runs.
1. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 6/82 at Lord’s in 2014
We’ve already talked about how Ishant Sharma pulled the strings for India’s second Test win at Lord’s and first in nearly 30 years. However, there was another bowler who had a similar, if not better, impact on the game.
That player is none other than Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The pacer took advantage of the spicy Lord’s pitch to dismiss England’s top-four, including centurion Gary Ballance. He then dismissed Ben Stokes and Broad to end with figures of 6-wicket haul.