The India-England rivalry in cricket dates to more than 80 years when India toured England way back in 1932. There have been some great battles over the years and we take a look at the seven matches that India won and inspired us to fall in love with the game, all over again.
England fall to masterly Sachin, blazing Viru at Chennai, 2008
The match was played in trying circumstances, just two weeks after the horrific terror attacks in Mumbai. There was a huge security cover understandably and credit should go to England for turning up. England won a crucial toss and had no hesitation in taking first strike on a Chennai pitch known to be a minefield for the team batting last. Andrew Strauss became the first Englishman to score a century in each innings of a Test in the sub-continent. His 118-run opening stand with Alastair Cook set the platform but were unable to capitalise much as they were all out for 316. They bowled brilliantly with Flintoff, Swann and Panesar combining to restrict the Indians to just 241.
A lead of 75 runs was vital on that pitch as Strauss and Collingwood scored superb centuries to set India a daunting 387 to win in around 120-odd overs. Virender Sehwag blazed away to an astonishing 83 off just 68 balls as India ended day 4 at 131/1 with more than just a glimmer of hope. The great Sachin Tendulkar then hit an unbeaten 103 and shepherded Yuvraj Singh, who remained unbeaten on 85, to power India to a memorable six-wicket victory.
England swept away by the ‘holy trinity’ in Headingley, 2002
Sourav Ganguly bravely opted to bat first in overcast conditions and on a ground where England have had a lot of success. Sehwag fell early before Rahul Dravid joined Sanjay Bangar in completely nullifying the hosts’ attack. Dravid hit a magnificent 148 as Sachin Tendulkar and Ganguly heaped further misery on England by hammering 193 and 128 respectively. It was the first and only time the much-vaunted trio had all scored hundreds in the same game. India amassed 628 as the English looked shocked and never recovered from that as they could manage only 273 and 309 to lose by an innings and 46 runs. Anil Kumble was the most successful bowler in the match with 7 wickets as Dravid deservedly walked with the Man-of-the-Match award.
Mankad magic in Madras, 1952
It was a special win for India as they registered their first victory in Test cricket. The legendary Vinoo Mankad was the star with a terrific haul of 12/108. It was a good toss to win for England as they opted to bat first, but it backfired completely as Mankad grabbed 8/55 with his left-arm spin. There were no demons in the pitch as the visitors could muster only 266 with half-centuries from Jack Robertson and Tom Graveney. A fired-up Indian side declared their innings at 457/9 with Polly Umrigar remaining unbeaten on 130 and opener Pankaj Roy smashing 111. Mankad spun a web around the English again in their second innings as he and Ghulam Ahmed snared 4 wickets apiece to send the English crashing to an innings and eight-run defeat.
Chandra spins India to win at the Oval, 1971
Leg-spinner BS Chandrasekhar proved to be the difference as his sensational bowling in England’s second innings completely turned the match around. England scored 355 in the first innings batting first with fine half-centuries from Alan Knott, John Jameson and Richard Hutton. Eknath Solkar was the best bowler for India with 3/28. In reply, the Indians were shot out for 284 with the batsmen failing to convert their starts as only Farokh Engineer and Dilip Sardesai managed to cross 50. England had the advantage but ran into an inspired Chandra. He grabbed 6/38 to send the hosts crashing for 101 and the likes of Engineer, Sardesai, Ajit Wadekar and Gundappa Vishwanath chased down the 173-run target to clinch India’s first Test victory on English soil.
Kapil, Vengsarkar plot India’s first win at Lord’s, 1986
It was Kapil Dev’s first Test win as captain and was adjudged Man-of-the-Match. Graham Gooch slammed 114 and Derek Pringle scored 63 as England could manage only 294 in the first innings. Chetan Sharma was the wrecker-in-chief to help himself to a 5-wicket haul. Dilip Vengsarkar became the first touring batsman to hit three hundreds at Lord’s by scoring an elegant, unbeaten 126 to give India a slender 47-run lead. Kapil Dev bowled a brilliant spell to get rid of the English top order and returned to get Pringle out to finish with figures of 4/52. He set the tone and young Maninder Singh showed great maturity to come up with miserly figures of 3/9 in 20.4 overs as England fell for 180, leaving the tourists 134 for victory. Kapil capped the win by blasting 18 runs in one over to avoid any more hiccups in a 5-wicket win.
When jellybeans weren’t so sweet for England at Trent Bridge, 2007
India won the toss and sent England in to bat as Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble vindicated the decision to skittle out England for just 198. In reply, five Indian batsmen hit half-centuries as the tourists racked up a healthy 481. The match is famous for the incident with jellybeans as close-in English fielders threw it on the field when Zaheer walked out to bat. Zaheer was irate at these tactics and they felt his wrath in the second innings, losing five of their batsmen to him. Michael Vaughan hit a fluent 124, but could only manage setting a target of 73 which the Indians duly chased down to win by 7 wickets. Zaheer walked away with the Man-of-the-Match award for a match haul of 9-134.
Ishant bounces India to second win at Lord’s, 2014
It was India’s first trip to England in a long time which didn’t feature either of the Big 5 - Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and Sehwag. India were put into bat and all eyes were on Virat Kohli. It was Ajinkya Rahane though, who got a hundred at the hallowed turf of cricket’s mecca as India folded for 295. Gary Ballance’s 110 managed to give the hosts a slender lead of 24 runs as Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung his way to 6/82 to keep India in the game. Opener Murali Vijay exhibited tremendous patience and determination to score a fighting 95 as Ravindra Jadeja and Kumar threw their bats around to score vital fifties as India reached 342, leaving England needing 319 to win. It was a challenging target as MS Dhoni’s ploy to pepper England with bouncers worked wonders. Ishant Sharma followed the plan to the hilt as England were softened up by the tactic. The tall, lanky Sharma captured a career-best 7/74 to bowl India to a rare victory at Lord’s.