When India Trounced England As a Visiting Team in a Test Series

Indian cricket team had a good record in England till 2007 but it changed drastically since then. From 2011 onwards, the fortunes have nosedived for the team as they lost three back-to-back series in the same year, 2014 and 2018 as well. This time around India are in a dominant position with a 1-0 lead going into the third Test at the Headingley. Many former players have predicted a series win for India on English soil after more than a decade. However, there are three matches to go and the England team has fought back well before as well, including against India, after some poor starts. So, let us not indulge in any kind of speculation as of now and relive the years when India beat England as a visiting team. 

Famous Test Series Win for India In England 

1971 Under Ajit Wadekar’s Captaincy 

Ajit Wadekar acknowledges the crowd after India’s 4-run win over England at the Oval in August 1971
Image Credits: Getty Images

In the summer of 1971-72, Wadekar’s boys scripted history for the first time on the English soil when they beat the host 1-0 in a three-Test match series. The first and second tests ended in a draw but India emerged triumphant in the third one, their first win in England. The credit for the victory can be attributed to the captain, who was the highest run-scorer for India with 204 runs, and the legendary spin trio of Bishan Singh Bedi, S Chandrasekhar and S Venkataraghavan, who captured 38 wickets between themselves in the landmark series. 

1986 Under Kapil Dev’s Captaincy 

India captain Kapil Dev (left) and wicket keeper Kiran More congratulate Chetan Sharma after he dismissed Allan Lamb during the first Test at Lord’s in 1986.
Image Credits: Popperfoto

Thirty-five years ago, Kapil’s Devils, buoyed by the World Cup victory, made another mission impossible, possible. It was a three-match Test series, which India grabbed by crushing England 2-0. Had it not been for a fighting century by Mike Gatting in the final Test, an Indian whitewash was almost inevitable. This is one of the rare series where Kapil as a bowler got eclipsed by another lad from his home state Chetan Sharma, who was the highest wicket-taker in the series with 16 wickets. Apart from the bowling, the batting efforts were also incredible. Dilip Vengsarkar was the top run-getter for India with 360 runs that included two centuries as well. This victory happened to be India’s most comprehensive in Queen’s territory to date as India’s batting led by Vengsarkar proved to be decisive in the series. 

2007 Under Rahul Dravid’s Captaincy 

Image Credits: AFP

This was the last time India put up a commendable performance in England for a Test series. The series was in news for reasons such as the Jelly Beans incident, Anil Kumble’s century, Sreesanth’s deadly beamer to Kevin Pietersen apart from India winning the same 1-0. Despite featuring the likes of Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman in the team, it was Dinesh Karthik with 263 runs to score maximum runs for the team in the series. Also, the sole century for India came from the blade of Anil Kumble. As for bowling, Zaheer Khan with 18 wickets and Kumble with 14 wickets shouldered the responsibility quite ably in the three-match series. In the end, India won their third Test series on English soil after defeating England in the second Test with the first and third Test matches ending in riveting draws. For those curious about the Jelly Beans episode that is a story for another day. 

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