Spectators win three Test series 2-0 in 1933/34, the first official tour of the England cricket team. Until 1952 India won the first Test against their old colonial masters.
With the latest edition of the India-England Test series set to begin in India in a few days, the Times of India.com looks at five memorable Tests between India and England on Indian soil:
1933 – Mumbai, 1st Test: England win by 9 wickets
This is the first Test match played in India. In the four-day affair, England won by 9 wickets, but not before the first Test century was recorded by an Indian batsman. Lala Amarnath (186) and skipper CK Naidu (67) took the third wicket as India scored 118 in the second innings. Amarnath’s achievement is said to have created such a frenzy that England’s victory was almost forgotten.
Lala Amarnath. (Getty Images)
In this match, India batted first and scored 219 runs. Lala Amarnath was the top scorer for India with 38 runs. Three English bowlers took 3 wickets each. In response, England doubled to 438 for India, with Brian Valentine scoring 136, opener Cyril Walters 78 and skipper Douglas Jordin 60.
Though Lala Amarnath scored 118 in India’s second innings, India managed only 258 runs. England then went on to take 40 wickets, 9 wickets in hand.
1952 – Chennai, 5th Test: India win by an innings and 8 runs
It was India’s first Test victory against England, recorded in the last Test of the five-match series. Vinoo Mangat’s 8/55 England controlled 266 in the first innings. Pankaj Roy’s 111 and Polly Umrigar’s unbeaten 130 helped India to 457/9 in the first innings.
Ghulam Ahmed. (Getty Images)
Ghulam Ahmed and Mangat took 4 wickets each as England were bowled out for 183 in the second innings. The win helped India to a 1-1 draw in the five-match series.
1985 – Kolkata, 3rd Test: Match drawn
The seeds of controversy for this match were sown in the Test of the previous series. Led by Sunil Gavaskar, India won the first Test of the series by 8 wickets in Mumbai. Things were fine until India lost the last six wickets for just 28 runs in the second innings of the second Test in Delhi. The rash shots of well-formed Sandeep Patil (41) and Kapil Dev (7) were cited as the main reasons for India’s defeat.
All the hell out of Kolkata was loosened when Kapil was dropped from the playing XI. Patil was also axed, but it was Kapil’s dismissal that drove the Eden Gardens crowd frantic, who shouted at Gavaskar and blamed him for knocking down the best all-rounder.
Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. (Getty Images)
On top of all this, India invented the gem of a batsman named Mohammad Azharuddin, who scored a century in his Test debut and scored two more centuries in his next two Tests – another world record.
The Kolkata Test is the only match Kapil has missed in his glorious career and over the years, Gavaskar has denied the allegation that he dropped Kapil from the XI who has played on more than one occasion, making it clear that this decision was not his. In an article, the late Hanumant Singh, a former Indian cricketer who was the head of the selectors at the time, made it clear that the idea of dropping Kapil was not Gavaskar’s. Gavaskar actually said – “It’s not stupid enough for any captain to suggest removing his best player and tournament winner from the team .It’s not stupid of me to do anything else.”
In the Kolkata Test, India declared first batting 437/7, with Azar (110) and Ravi Shastri (111) scoring centuries. In reply, England were bowled out for 276, with Chetan Sharma and Shivlal Yadav taking 4 wickets each. The match ended in a draw as India batted 29/1 in their second innings.
2008 – Chennai, 1st Test: India win by 6 wickets
In the words of Sachin Tendulkar, they are “gracious enough” to return to the UK after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and resume their Indian tour.
India chased down the target of 387 in the first Test. England were ahead of India most of the match, with Andrew Strauss scoring hundreds in both innings. England were 43/3 in their second innings with 214 between Strauss and Paul Collingwood (108). But when Kevin Pietersen announced England’s second innings at 311/9, they had no vague idea of what was going to hit them.
Virender Sehwag. (TOI photo)
India’s opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag piled up 100 off 108 balls in the chase. Sehwag tore up the England bowling attack with some tough stroke play and hit a fifty off just 32 balls. Sehwag fell after 83 off 68 balls, but Gambhir chased down India with 66 runs.
India were 141/2 when Rahul Dravid (4) was ruled out and Sachin Tendulkar came out to join Gambhir in the fold. A determined Tendulkar run chase looked impeccable and with Gambhir capturing India over 150 runs, VVS. He crossed 200 with Laxman and took fifty.
With Yuvraj Singh (85 *), Tendulkar led India to a remarkable and memorable victory, and when the master batsman reached his century from a successful shot, Yuvraj lifted him off the ground.
After the match, Tendulkar (103 *) dedicated his century to the entire nation and the martyrs of the Mumbai attacks.
2012 – Mumbai, 2nd Test: England win by 10 wickets
The last international team to win a Test series in India was England – in 2012/13. India won the first Test by 9 wickets in Ahmedabad, but Kevin Pietersen’s magnificent 186 beat England by 10 wickets in the second Test in Mumbai.
Peterson along with his captain Alastair Cook (122) scored 206 to make the Indian bowling attack almost useless. In Zaheer Khan, India played as a solo batsman and all three spinners Ravichandran Aswin, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha were completely insulted by Peterson.
Kevin Peterson and Alastair Cook. (TOI photo)
With a series of shots around the wicket, Peterson hit his fifty off 63 balls, 100 off 127 balls and 150 off 201 balls. Peterson’s 186 runs with 20 fours and four sixes are considered to be one of the best innings played by a foreign batsman on Indian soil.
India, batting first, scored 327, while Chetamswar Pujara scored 135. England responded with 413, mostly thanks to KP’s 186 and Cook’s 122. India then went out for just 142 runs. Gambhir (65) and R Aswin (11) were the only two Indian batsmen to reach double points. England openers Cook and Nick Compton took 57 wickets.