India vs England: Five Memorable Tests From History Between The Giants

India’s tour of England is set to begin tomorrow at Trent Bridge, as both teams look to gain an early lead in the next cycle of the World Test Championship. The Men in Blue under Virat Kohli have been called the greatest touring side India have ever produced, but a victory in England remains elusive since 2007 when they registered their Test series victory under MS Dhoni. This might be India’s best chance of registering another Test series victory in England after over a decade, and Virat Kohli’s men are all geared up for the challenge.

As another two months of exciting Test cricket beckons us, we look back at famous Tests between India and England:



It took 39 years for India to register their first-ever Test victory against England, and it came on Indian soil when Vijay Hazare’s India defeated England by an innings and 8 runs. England’s first innings was torn apart by the heroics of Vinoo Mankad, who took eight scalps to restrict England to 266 runs. Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigar’s centuries then took India to 457/9, giving India a lead of 191 runs. England’s nemesis was Vinoo Mankad once again, who along with Ghulam Ahmed took eight wickets to collapse English batting giving India their first-ever Test victory against England, and levelling the series. 



India’s first-ever Test victory on English soil came in 1971 when Ajit Wadekar’s squad finally defeated the English at The Oval. Both teams entered the fixture after levelling the previous two Tests, and India were eager to win a series in England for the first time.

England’s first innings was a joint team effort, as several half-century efforts combined to give them a big total of 355. In reply, India could only manage 284 runs, courtesy of a five-wicket haul by Ray Illingworth. The match was set to go England’s way, but Bhagwat Chandrasekhar’s brilliant six-wicket haul bowled England out for just 101. The 173-run target was easily chased by the Indians, and it marked the start of India’s dominance in the world of cricket. 



India’s tour of England in 2014 under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni is best remembered for the comprehensive 3-1 drubbing they received at the hands of Joe Root’s men. Amidst the disappointing tour, there was a lone bright star that India will fondly remember – their first Test victory at the mecca of cricket after a gap of 28 years. India entered the game after the first Test at Trent Bridge ended in a draw.

England’s captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bowl first, and India would have posted a much lower total if not for the heroics of Ajinkya Rahane, whose century enabled India to post a respectable total of 295 runs in the first innings. In reply, England managed to take a lead of 24 runs, with Gary Ballance leading the charge. 

India fared a little better in the second innings as opener Murali Vijay along with Cheteshwar Pujara managed to give England a target of 318 runs. But Ishant Sharma, India’s most experienced Test bowler, ploughed through English batting, taking seven wickets and handing India a memorable victory.  



Perhaps the most dominating game of Test cricket India ever played on English soil, the third Test of India’s tour of England in 2002 is memorable for more than one reason. India’s victory in Leeds enabled Sourav Ganguly’s squad to level the four-match series 1-1 and remains the only instance of India levelling a series in England.

India’s first innings commenced with a quick dismissal of Virender Sehwag, but Sanjay Bangar along with India’s wall Rahul Dravid frustrated the English bowlers with a 150-run partnership at the crease. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s 193 runs along with Dravid’s 148 and skipper Sourav Ganguly’s 128 runs made English bowers miserable, as India broke the 600-run barrier and ended the innings with a total of 628/8.

In reply, England could only manage 273 runs in their first innings and were forced to follow on by Ganguly. They couldn’t fare better in the second innings, as the spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh tore through their batting lineup at consistent intervals – giving India a victory by an innings and 46 runs. 



India’s most memorable victory on English soil came in the Summer of 1986 when the Indian squad led by legendary Kapil Dev comprehensively defeated England. The victory at the Home of Cricket was India’s second Test victory in England, and they would go on to win the series 2-0. This would be the second of only three occasions when India won a series against England in England and only the second occasion that they won a fixture at Lord’s.

India won the toss and opted to field first, restricting the English to 294 courtesy of Chetan Sharma’s 5/64. Dilip Vengsarkar’s unbeaten 126 runs helped India to post 341 runs, giving India a vital 47-run lead. England’s second innings started falling apart when the magic of Kapil Dev tore through their top-order, as the captain picked up four wickets to restrict England to 180 runs. India chased the target of 134 runs easily, giving India their most memorable victory against England on English soil.




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