Even though the first Test between India and England was played in 1932, the cricket rivalry between the two dates much back. Cricket was introduced to India by England during their colonial rule but it soon became one of those things from England which Indians accepted with much ease and graciousness. As we know the first Test of the series at Lord's will be the 100th Test between India and England, we take a quick look at the journey travelled by the two together.
The first ever Test between India and England was played on June 25, 1932 at the Lord's. India at that time was under the British rule. Legendary CK Nayudu was India's captain in their first ever Test. Electing to bat, England made 259 runs in the first innings. India's Mohammad Nissar picked five wickets. In reply, India were all out for 189 runs. In their second innings, England made 275 runs, Douglas Jardine, who had scored 79 in the first innings, made an unbeaten 85 runs in the second. India needed 346 runs to win but that was a tall task. They were shot out for 187 runs by Day 3.
A year before India became independent, the tenth Test between India and England was played at Kennington Oval. Electing to bat, India scored 331 runs. Vijay Merchant slammed 128 runs, while Mushtaq Ali made 59 runs. English spinner Will Edrich picked 4 wickets. In reply, England were 95/3when rain interrupted the play and the match was drawn within three days of play. Of the three English wickets that fell, Vinoo Mankad took two and CS Nayudu picked one.
The twentieth Test between India and England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham saw the visitors struggling against the pace and bounce. Choosing to bat first, England posted a mammoth 422 runs with the help of Skipper Peter May's century. Ken Barrington, Martin Horton and Godfrey Evans contributed with half-centuries. In reply India were all out for just 206. Consequently, follow-on was enforced, but India's story in the second innings was worse than their first innings and they were bundled out for 157 runs. Pankaj Roy was the only batsman who stood up to the challenge and scored 54 & 49. England won the match by an innings and 59 runs.
The first Test of England's tour to India in 1964 was their 30th Test match against each other. Played at Chennai, it was a perfect example of how cautious and defensive the Indians were. They were extremely reluctant to go for the kill even when half of the England side was struggling with fitness. Electing to bat, debutant Budhi Kunderan made 192 runs and Vijay Manjrekar made 108 runs to take India to 457 runs. The Indian bowlers shot out England for 317 runs. Brian Bolus and Ken Barrington made 88 and 80 respectively. Some defensive and negative bowling allowed the visitors to pull off a draw.
This was India's first ever Test against England that they won in England. The third Test of the series was played at Kennington Oval in London. Electing to bat, England posted a total of 355 runs. In reply, India could make just 284 runs. Spinner B Chandrashekhar picked six wickets to wreak havoc in the second innings and dismissed the hosts for 101 runs. He was aptly supported by Bishen Singh Bedi and S Venkataraghvan. The target of 173 runs was successfully achieved for the loss of 6 wickets. Since the first two Tests were drawn, the victory in the last Test also gave India their first ever series win in England.
India played their fiftieth Test against England under the captaincy of Bishen Singh Bedi. They started the year 1977 with the match but it was not a very auspicious beginning. Except the toss, nothing went their way. Electing to bat, India could manage just 155 runs in their first innings. Opener Sunil Gavaskar was out for a duck. Anshuman Gaekwad and G Vishwanath chipped in with 32 and 35 runs, but it was England bowler Bob Willis who overshadowed everyone with his five-wicket haul. In reply, England scored 321 runs with the help of Tony Greig's hundred and half-centuries by Roger Tolchard and Chris Old. India did not do any better in their second innings. They were all out for 181 runs. England successfully chased down the final target of 16 runs and won the Test by 10 wickets.
The 60th Test between India and England will always be remembered for Sunil Gavaskar's knock of 172 runs. He batted for 11 hours and 48 minutes to play the longest innings for India, a record that was broken by Rahul Dravid in 2004 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi. Electing to bat, England posted a total of 400 runs in their first innings. In reply, India posted 428 runs. Other than Gavaskar, K Srikkanth and Kapil Dev contributed with the bat and scored half-centuries. England 174/3 when the match finished as a draw.
It was Mohammad Azharuddin's Test debut and he made the most of it. Azharuddin, who got into the side in place of Sandip Patil, made 110 runs. Ravi Shastri also slammed a century. This match, however, was not a great one for skipper Sunil Gavaskar, whose defensive and uninspiring captaincy incensed the fans present at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Gavaskar's reluctance to declare the innings created fears of riots in the stadium. Electing to bat, India made 437 runs. In reply, England were all out for 276 runs. India in their second innings made 29 runs when the match ended in a draw.
Guess what would England not do before a match against India in Chennai? Perhaps they would not have prawns and chickens from a Chinese restaurant a night before a match. England's Graham Gooch withdrew before the match citing illness. Mike Gatting and Robin Smith struggled too. However, a man called Sachin Tendulkar had come to the scene by then. This match will was a special one for him since he scored his first ever Test hundred in India. Electing to bat, India made 560 runs with the help of centuries from Navjot Singh Sidhu (106) and Tendulkar (165). In reply, England were all out for 286 runs. India enforced follow on and bowled them out for 252 runs to record a win by an innings and 22 runs.
The 90th Test between India and England was played at Leeds in 2002. The third Test of the series was full of runs. Opting to bat, Indians posted a mammoth total of 628 runs. Big hundreds by Sachin Tendulkar (193), Rahul Dravid (148) and Sourav Ganguly (128) were the highlights of the match. Indian bowlers led by Anil Kumble fired in unison to bowl out England twice. Kumble picked seven wickets and helped India win the match by an innings and 46 runs.
Aug 18 2011,15:30 (IST)
Aug 10 2011,15:30 (IST)
Jul 29 2011,15:30 (IST)
Jul 21 2011,15:30 (IST)