In the last 8 months, India suffered another batting fiasco in Test cricket. It is only a coincidence that both the humiliations happened during the summers, Australian and English. However, there have been other teams apart from India to have gone through similar tragedies in the longest format. Let’s check out some of the lowest totals in the history of Test cricket.
England V/S New Zealand (26) 1955, Auckland, 2nd Test
This is the lowest ever total in Test cricket and New Zealand was at the receiving end in the encounter. Batting first Kiwis scored 200, courtesy of a fine 73 by John Reid. England was slightly better as they posted 246 in their first innings, thanks to Leonard Hutton (53) and Peter May (48). However, for the Black Caps second essay proved to be a curse as they crashed to a sorry total of 26. No English bowlers got a fifer when they crushed New Zealand batters but Bob Appleyard and Brian Statham took 4 and 3 wickets respectively to consign the Kiwis to a dark fate. Resultantly, England won the Test by an innings and 20 runs.
England V/S India (42) 1974, the Lord’s, 2nd Test
Many moons ago in the second Test in 1974 at the Lord’s India suffered a big jolt in the second innings. In the horrible summer, where Team India, led by Ajit Wadekar was favoured over the home team to win the series, sunk to their second-lowest score of 42 in Test cricket. Batting first England scored a mammoth 629 aided by the tons of Dennis Amiss, captain Mike Denness and Tony Greig. In reply, India did well as the openers stitched a partnership of 131, Sunil Gavaskar and Farokh Engineer, but were eventually dismissed for 302 in their first innings. With a lead of 327, Denness asked India to follow on and their batters put up an abominable display to lose the match badly at the Mecca of cricket. Geoff Arnold and Chris Old took nine wickets among themselves to destroy a strong Indian batting lineup comprising Gavaskar, Engineer, Vishwanath etc.
Australia V/S Pakistan (59 & 58) 2002, Sharjah, 2nd Test
This Test is being featured for a different reason and there have been several other instances of low scores being recorded by various teams in the history of Test cricket. In the Test, Pakistan earned a dubious record of being dismissed for double digits scores in both innings of Test cricket. The match took place in 2002 in Sharjah, UAE, between Australia and Pakistan. Batting first, Pakistan were skilled out for a meagre 59 as none of the batsmen got into the double figures except for Abdul Razzaq (21) with extras (14) being the second-highest scorer. When Australia came in to bat they scored a competitive 310. However, in the second innings, Pakistan touched another low by getting dismissed for 54 with only Imran Nazir(21) and Misbah ul Haq (14) managing to enter double-digit scores. Consequently, Australia won by an innings and 198 runs, thanks to the 8-wicket match haul by the spin magician Shane Warne.
England V/S Ireland (38), 2019, The Lord’s, Solitary Test
In a sea sawing fortunes, where the pendulum swung from one side to another, England finally snatched victory from the jaws of the defeat against Ireland. England were aided largely by the incisive spells of Stuart Broad (4/19) and Chris Woakes (6/17) in the second innings of Ireland in the endeavour. After getting bowled out for 85, England were feeling the heat of an Irish resurgence but Ireland could only manage 207 in their first essay. But England made the amends for the first innings meltdown by scoring 303 in their second essay and set up a tricky chase of 182 to Ireland on a swinging and seaming paradise. Eventually, a major upset was averted by England as Ireland were totally dismantled for 38 to settle the Test match in favour of the former.
Australia V/S India (36), Adelaide, 2020, 1st Test
This Test is still fresh in the minds of everyone as the “Adelaide horror” was eclipsed by India’s resilience under the captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane and without the talismanic Virat Kohli in the playing XI. Not too long back in the Australian summer of 2020, India suffered a dramatic collapse in the second innings when they were bowled out for 36 by the Oz. The first Pink Test of India outside the subcontinent turned out to be one of the dark chapters in the history of the country’s cricket. Both sides were on an equal footing for three days in the Day and Night Test till the misery happened to the Indian Team on the fourth day. In the end, Australia won by 8 wickets as a result of some testing spells by Josh Hazelwood (5/8) and Pat Cummins (4/21).