Revisiting Team India’s Top Five Overseas Wins

For decades, India were labelled as flat pitch bullies whose influence stops the moment they step out of the subcontinent. But over the past decade, Team India built a team that is capable of standing up to, and in some cases, even dominating teams at their own grounds. 

The change in mindset and the team performance was first noticeable under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but reached its prime under Virat Kohli, whose passion to win is unparalleled in the history of Indian cricket.

As Team India gear up for a historic Test series against England that is set to begin on 4th August in Nottingham, we look at the top five overseas Test wins that the Men in Blue have to their credit:


#5: India vs New Zealand at Dunedin, 1968

India’s first win overseas was against the Kiwis in 1968 when an Indian squad under Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi toured New Zealand for the first time. Team India has just received an all too familiar 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Australia prior to the series and fans everywhere expected a similar fate for the Indian squad once again. 

But defying all odds, the Indians registered a spectacular first Test victory, which boosted their morale as they went on to win the 4-match series 3-1 and in the process, register their first-ever overseas series win

What helped Indians at Dunedin was the familiar spin-friendly track, which enabled Erapalli Prasanna and Bapu Nadkarni to create havoc in the Kiwis’ batting lineup. A century-stand from Graham Dowling took Kiwis to 350 in the first innings, to which the Indian batsmen replied well, posting a lead of 9 runs. 

But Prasanna’s magic spells in the second innings with figures of 6/94 turned the match decisively in India’s favour, with Ajit Wadekar’s batting taking India to a comfortable win. 


#4: India vs England at Lord’s, 2014

India’s overseas domination in the current era can be said to begin at Lord’s in 2014 when an experienced Indian squad under the charge of Mahendra Singh Dhoni delivered India’s first overseas Test win in three years at the Home of Cricket. 

Both teams entered the match after a gruelling draw in the first Test at Nottingham and England were especially eager to wrap up the series early. 

Batting first, the Indian top-order struggled against England’s topnotch pace attack, with James Anderson taking four wickets. Ajinkya Rahane’s lone stand took India to 295 and England replied in style, posting a lead of 15 runs. 

India’s second innings was a classic team effort as Murali Vijay’s 95 was bolstered by fifties from Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. England’s target of 319 was too big to chase at a ground like Lord’s and fans were expecting another long-drawn-out fixture. 

But Ishant Sharma, India’s most experienced pacer, turned the match in favour of the Indians with his 7/74 magic spell which gave India a memorable victory at Lord’s after a gap of 28 years. 


#3: India vs West Indies at Sir Viv Richards Stadium, 2019

India’s biggest win away from home in Tests came against the Windies in 2019 when a rampaging Indian squad at the peak of their form brushed aside Windies, securing outright clean sweep victories in Tests, ODIs, and T20s. 

The Test series was the inaugural series of the World Test Championship and India’s 2-0 win in the series made Virat Kohli the most successful captain of Team India in Test Cricket. 

India’s first innings got off to a bad start as Kemar Roach picked through India’s top order, but the ever-dependable Ajinkya Rahane along with India’s lower-order batsmen stabilised the innings to post a respectable total of 297. 

In reply, the Windies could only manage 222 as Ishant Sharma picked five wickets to give India a lead of 55 runs. A century from Rahane in the second innings, along with Hanuma Vihari 95* took India to an insurmountable 398-run target. 

India’s pace trio of Bumrah, Shami and Ishant then ran rampant against Windies batsmen, giving India a historic 318-run victory, the highest for India in overseas conditions. 


#2: Pakistan vs India at Multan, 2004

No rivalry in Test cricket comes close to the Ashes except the rivalry between archrivals India and Pakistan. The memorable India tour of Pakistan in 2004 had wider political implications, but the on-field action itself produced some spectacular moments from the men in blue. 

Despite being the better team for most of the five decades of rivalry, India have never won a Test match on Pakistani soil and this was the best chance Team India had to register a victory.

The charge was led by the duo of Virendra Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, whose 336 run partnership took India to a record 675/5. Sehwag went on to score a record 309 runs, while the Little Master was denied an opportunity to score a double century because of a controversial declaration by the skipper Rahul Dravid. 

In reply, Pakistan could post only 407 runs on batting-friendly conditions, partly due to Irfan Pathan’s dazzling spells. Pakistan were forced to follow on when they crumbled under the spin magic of Anil Kumble, who took six wickets to give India their first Test win on Pakistani soil. 


#1: India vs Australia at Gabba 2021

No Virat Kohli, a 36-run collapse, multiple injuries, and a second-string squad – the India – Australia series earlier this year had it all. 

After a disastrous collapse in the first Test, India managed to hold on in the series that went to the wire – India’s momentous victory in the last session of the last day of the series is one for the history books. 

After having never conquered the Australian grounds until the 2018-19 series, India have managed to breach Australia’s fortress for the first time since 1988 and take home a memorable trophy.

Marnus Labuschagne’s century in the first innings helped Aussies to post 369, to which India replied with 336, courtesy of a 124-run partnership between Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur.

Australia’s 294-run reply was a joint team effort and the 328 run lead looked insurmountable. But Rishabh Pant’s heroic efforts with the tail-end delivered India’s most memorable victory in overseas conditions.




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