Top 10 Individual Performances in India vs England Tests

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India and England, then known as MCC, first played a Test match back in 1932 and over the next 82 years of their cricketing existence there have been plenty of stellar performances from the players on both sides that swung the course of different Test matches. This article looks at some of those individual performances from players of both sides that stand out.

10. John Lever 7-46 , 5th Test, Delhi, 1976

India had already fluffed a 1-0 lead in the series by losing the 3rd and 4th Tests but when the teams went to Delhi for the 5th game, the visiting England team had to draw the Test to claim the series. However, fast bowler John Lever had other ideas as he bowled a spell of such outstanding swing bowling that the Indians could only muster 122 runs in reply to England’s total of 381 in the first innings. He followed it up with 3 wickets after India were asked to follow on. England won the Test and took the series 3-1 to claim an emphatic win.

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9. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, 12-181 in the match, 5th Test, Mumbai 1984

The Test series in 1984 was a disaster for India as they lost the series within 4 tests by losing two games and in the 5th Test at Mumbai they were merely playing for honours. However, teenaged leg spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan did the star turn for them by bamboozling the English batsmen in both the innings of the Test match to set up a consolation victory for India. He took 6 wickets in each innings to finish with a 12 wicket haul in the Test match.

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8. Alastair Cook 294, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge, 2011

England won the 3rd Test of the 4 Test series by a whopping margin of 219 runs but their victory was dependant on the outstanding innings of 294 played by their opener Alastair Cook. After India had been dismissed for a paltry 224 in their first innings, Cook proceeded towards building a mammoth score for his side by grinding the Indian bowlers to dust with solid defensive technique and timely stroke play. Eventually he fell short of the triple ton by 6 runs but he had already put the game way beyond India’s reach as England declared for 710, right after Cook’s dismissal.

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7. Kevin Pietersen 186, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 2012

After England crashed to defeat in the first Test at Ahmadabad, everyone thought that India would roll over the visitors yet again, however in response to India’s 327 in the first innings England struck back hard. The innings was centred on the outstanding knock played by Kevin Pietersen who took the three Indian spinners (Harbhajan, Ashwin and Ojha) to the cleaners en route to his 186 runs and he was ably supported by his captain Alastair Cook, who scored 122. England won the Test match against all odds and turned around the course of the series.

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6. Sunil Gavaskar, 221, 4th Test, Oval, 1979

The series in 1979 got off to an outstanding start at the Oval as the two teams settled for a tantalising draw as India fell 9 short of a record 4th innings target of 438 and the architect of the innings was India’s legendary opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar. He played an uncharacteristically attacking innings and to be fair to him, he did so only when he thought that the target could be reached on the final day. He hit 21 fours in total and gave the England players a mighty score, however he got out just when it looked like India were running away with the game. It remains one of those innings that can hardly be replicated.

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5. Vinoo Mankad, 12-108 in the match, Chennai, 5th Test, 1952

Great Indian all-rounder Vinoo Mankad was the one who paved the way for India’s first Test victory over their colonial masters and on top of that it was an innings victory that made the win a sweeter one. In the first innings of the Test match he spun a web around the English batsmen to pick up 8 wickets in the innings to dismiss the visitors for 266, while in the second innings he sent down 31 overs of attacking left arm spin to snare 4 wickets to wrap up the Test match. The performance from Mankad will remain one of the most iconic performances in Test matches between the 2 nations.

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4. Sachin Tendulkar, 103 not out, Chennai, 1st Test, 2008

The little master has left his mark on India-England cricket with the epic knock he played in the last innings of the first Test of the series in 2009. The Test was being played right after the 26-11 terrorist attacks in Tendulkar’s hometown in Mumbai and hence the innings was significant in more ways than one. India had been set a target of 387 by England and after Sehwag had softened the English bowling attack with a brisk 83, Tendulkar took charge on the last day and played a patient innings in the company of Yuvraj Singh. It was Tendulkar who hit the winning runs in a chase that will forever be remembered by supporters of both teams.

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3. Graham Gooch, 456 runs in the Test match, Lord’s, 1st Test, 1990

England won the Test match by 247 runs to draw first blood in the 3 match series but it was their captain Graham Gooch who became immortal after this Test match by scoring the highest aggregate runs in a Test match in cricket history. In the first innings he scored an aggressive 333 runs off 485 balls including 33 fours and 3 sixes to take England to a commanding 653, while in the second innings he piled on the pressure with 123 runs off 113 balls. In total, he scored a staggering 456 runs in one Test match alone as the Indian bowlers including the likes of Kapil Dev, Shastri, Chetan Sharma and Hirwani wilted under the pressure.

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2. B S Chandrasekhar 6-38, Oval, 3rd Test, 1971

The word devastating is not often used to describe a spell bowled by a spinner but in case of the spell that former Indian spin great B S Chandrasekhar bowled at Oval it would not be out of place. The game seemed to be heading for a draw when Chandrasekhar turned on the magic to send down near unplayable deliveries during a spell of bewitching spin bowling. He claimed 6 wickets in the 18 overs that he bowled and dismissed England for 103 to set up India’s first series win in England.

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1. Ian Botham’s All Round Masterclass, Jubilee Test, Mumbai, 1980

In a performance that is often regarded as one of the greatest all round efforts in Test match history, English all-rounder made the commemorative Jubilee Test in Mumbai his own. In the first innings he blew the Indian middle order away with a burst of 6 wickets and then scored a whirlwind 114 with 17 boundaries to rescue England from a precarious 58-5. England earned a narrow 54 run lead but that proved to be a lot as Botham came to the party yet again as he picked up 7 wickets in India’s second innings to dismiss them for 149. England won the Test match by 10 wickets.

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CONCLUSION

Hopefully you enjoyed the list comprising of the greatest individual efforts in Test matches involving India and England that will always be tough to emulate. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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