Test

3 best Test Knocks by Indians against England in England over the past 2 decades

The 1st Test between England and India to be played at Edgbaston on August 1st is less than 40 days away. Team India had a miserable Test series last time in England (2014), losing the 5-match series 3-1. However, this time, Team India possess of strong batting line-up aided by potent bowling line-up that can deliver better results.

When it comes to head to head record, England and India have played 17 Test series in England since 1932. Out of which, England has registered 13 series wins to India’s 3. The series in 2002 ended up as a draw with both the sides winning 1 game each.

Over the last 2 decades, we have seen some memorable Test knocks by Indian batsmen in England that have etched a place in the hearts of the cricket fans. Let us look at three of the memorable knocks by Indian batsmen.

#3 Rahul Dravid’s match-saving 115 in the 2nd innings of Nottingham (2002)

This was the 2nd Npower Test match between England and India played at the picturesque Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in 2002. India lost the first Test at Lords and was looking for redemption. Electing to bat first, India put up a decent score of 357/10, thanks to a brilliant 106 by Virender Sehwag, aided by 50’s from Skipper Sourav Ganguly (68) and Harbhajan Singh (54).

In reply, England put up a massive total of 617/10, thanks to a scintillating 197 by Michael Vaughan. Contributions from Alex Stewart (87) and Craig White (94) ensured India had a daunting task of saving the Test match.

With more than 250 runs adrift, India resumed their second innings on the 4th day evening. Things didn’t start well as India lost the 1st innings hero, Virender Sehwag on the very second ball, LBW off the bowling of Matthew Hoggard. Wasim Jaffer was the next to go, as he was trapped LBW off the bowling of Andrew Flintoff.

At this juncture, India was 2-11 and the onus was on the shoulders of Rahul Dravid to save the Test match again. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar began their innings cautiously and ensured Indian reached stumps on Day 4 without any further damage.

On Day, 5 Rahul Dravid showed his class by playing authentic cricketing strokes. He mixed caution with aggression and took on the likes of Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Flintoff, and Steve Harmison and punished anything that was loose.

As always Rahul Dravid held up one end and the England bowlers found it difficult to get past his defence. He brought up his 100 in the 69th over of the bowling of Steve Harmison and it was a knock of grit and determination under trying circumstances.

He was eventually dismissed in the 79th over of the bowling of Dominic Cork for a well made 115 of 244 deliveries. His innings comprised of 16 boundaries.

This knock saved the Test match for India and the match went on to become a draw.

#2 Sachin Tendulkar’s match-winning 193 at Headingley -2002

This was the 3rd Npower Test match between England and India played at the iconic Headingley Cricket Ground in 2002. India won the toss and to everyone’s surprise elected to bat first on a gloomy day at Leeds. On tough batting conditions, India lost Virender Sehwag early and was struggling at 1-15.

Sanjay Bangar and Rahul Dravid showed resilience and weathered the storm of English bowlers. Both the batsmen put up a partnership of 170 runs for the second wicket that put India’s position in the driving seat.

Sanjay Bangar was dismissed late in the day for a well made 68 of 236 balls of the bowling of Andrew Flintoff. However, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar carried the bat till stumps and India were in a great position to call the shots heading into Day 2.

Day 2 began with Rahul Dravid notching up another fighting century. He was eventually dismissed for 148 of the bowling of Ashley Giles. His knock of 148 set the tone for rest of the innings and this knock was appreciated by critics considering the tough match conditions in which he batted.

Sachin Tendulkar started his innings with his usual glorious cover drives and cut shots. He took on the likes of Andrew Caddick, Alex Tudor, and spinner Ashley Giles.

It was vintage little master as he smashed anything that was short and wide of the off stump. He brought up his century by clipping one through the leg side of the bowling of Ashley Giles. Post his century, the little master along with Skipper Sourav Ganguly pressed on the accelerator to drive home the advantage.

In gloomy dark conditions both the batsman threw caution to the wind and started smashing the England bowlers all over Headingley. Sachin Tendulkar danced down the ground and clobbered Andrew Caddick over deep midwicket for a six, still remains a memorable shot after years.

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly plundered the English bowlers all over the park and put on a massive 249 runs partnership for the 4th wicket. Sachin carried his bat till stumps on Day 2.

On Day 3, Tendulkar started his innings with exquisite cover drives and cuts. But it was short-lived before he was trapped LBW off the bowling of Andrew Caddick for a stupendous knock of 193. His knock of 193, comprised of 19 boundaries and 3 Sixes.

Statistics show that he scored 73 runs through cuts and drives. Whereas 82 runs were scored through the leg side by hooks, pulls and leg glance.

India put up a massive score of 628 on board. In reply, England was bundled out for 273 in their 1st innings and 309 in the 2nd innings.

India won the game by innings and 46 runs.

#1 Ajinkya Rahane’s 103 on a green deck helps India win the Test at Lords – 2014

Probably this would be regarded as one of the most underrated Tests knocks ever played by an Indian batsman in overseas conditions. The venue was Lords and it was the second Test between England and India played in 2014.

The 1st Test between both the teams ended up as a draw and there was heavy criticism on the pitch that was laid out. Hence the curators opted for a green surface for the 2nd Test and India were put into bat first by England skipper Alistair Cook.

India struggled to cope up with the green pitch and swinging the red ball and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay was dismissed before Lunch and it was a procession as India slumped to 7-145 in 57.2 overs.

Just as everyone thought that India would be folded under 200, Ajinkya Rahane stepped up on the occasion and played the knock of his career. On a green deck and against potent bowling attack, Rahane showed his mettle by scoring runs as well surviving in the toughest of conditions.

He left the good length deliveries and punished the bad ones. He found an able partner in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who held one end up.

Ajinkya Rahane scored a magnificent century that helped India reach a fighting total of 295. Rahane’s 103 set the tone for the match as Indian went on the win the Test match by 95 runs.

It was a great victory for Team India considering the circumstances and it was a victory at Lords after 28 long years.

The same as been published in Sportskeeda
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