India will take on England in a 5-Test series starting with the first Test on August 1 at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.
England and India have a storied history that goes back to 1932 when India played their first ever Test match at Lord’s. Since then India has won two series in England in 1971, their first series win in England and in 2007. Many players from India have made their name against England. Lala Amarnath was the first Indian to score a Test century, which came against England at the Bombay Gymkhana ground. Vinod Kambli scored his first Test century against England and converted it into a double century (224) in Mumbai in 1993.
Mohammad Azharuddin had a wonderful Test debut against England in India, scoring three centuries in his first three Test matches, a record that is yet to be broken. Sunil Gavaskar was a huge nemesis of England bowlers. When it comes to bowling, Indian spinners always had the upper hand against the England batsmen both at home and overseas.
Therefore, Team Circle of Cricket presents to you the All-Time Indian Test XI with a brilliant record against England.
Check out the COC's All-Time India Test XI against England
Mat: 38 | Runs: 2483| HS: 221|Avg: 38.20| 100s: 4
The original little master and one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, Sunil Gavaskar had an exemplary record against the England team, especially in their own backyard. The only batsman in Tests to score double hundreds in all the four innings of Tests; Sunil Gavaskar slammed 2483 runs against England in 38 Tests. He was part of the Indian Test team that won its first series against England in England in 1971 under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar.
A batsman with copybook technique, Gavaskar was prolific against the England fast bowlers and spinners of his time. The first man to reach the 10,000 Test run mark, Gavaskar retired in 1987 with a then-record of 34 Test centuries.
RAHUL DRAVID (C)
Mat: 21| Runs: 1950| HS: 217|Avg: 60.93 | 100s: 7
Rahul Dravid was the last Indian captain to win a Test series in England in 2007. Dravid was also wonderful against England when it came to scoring runs prolifically. Dravid scored 1950 runs in 21 Tests against England with a highest of 217 and a total of 7 Test centuries to his name.
Technically perfect and a gentleman cricketer of the highest order, Rahul Dravid made his Test debut against England at Lord’s in 1996 and scored 95 runs in his first innings. Since then Dravid made a name for himself as one of the best batsmen of his generation. He was also the last Indian batsman to score a double hundred in England. Dravid was also a very good slips catcher and was the first fielder to take 200 catches as a non-wicketkeeper.
Mat: 26| Runs: 1589| HS: 157|Avg: 42.94| 100s: 5
Dilip Vengsarkar epitomized the art of attractive batting that came from the maidan of Mumbai. One of the best players during the late 70s and the whole of 80s for India, Vengsarkar is the only batsman to score a hat-trick of centuries at the Lord’s ground in England. He scored centuries at Lord’s on the tours of 1982, 1986 and 1990.
Overall, Vengsarkar scored 1589 runs in 26 Tests against England with the best of 157 at Lord’s in 1982. Vengsarkar was a quality player of swinging and seaming fast bowling which was Achilles’ heel for India in England and murderous against spinners at home. Nicknamed the ‘Colonel’, Vengsarkar scored 6868 runs in 116 Tests for India in a career that spanned from 1976-1992.
Mat: 32| Runs: 2535| HS: 193|Avg: 51.73 | 100s: 7
One of the greatest batsmen of all time Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for most runs by an Indian batsman between India-England Tests. He scored 2535 runs in 32 Tests with 7 centuries and a best of 193 at Headingley.
Tendulkar’s prodigious talent came into limelight when he scored a brilliant 119* at Manchester in 1990 in order to save the Test against England. Since then, he was wonderful every time he went to England, scoring centuries in every series he went there. However, his best innings was that of 103*, his only century in fourth innings that came in an Indian win. He scored it at Chennai against England, chasing 380 odd.
Mat: 15| Runs: 1278| HS: 182|Avg: 58.09| 100s: 6
Mohammad Azharuddin started his career with a blitz scoring three centuries in his first three Tests against England at home in 1985. Since then, Azharuddin played many memorable centuries against England, including a dazzling 121 at Lord’s in 1990. It came after England piled up a mountain of runs (653/4d) thanks to 333 by captain Graham Gooch.
Azhar, as Indian captain had opted to bowl first on a flat Lord’s deck and had to show that Indian batting wasn’t subpar. Ravi Shastri scored an even 100, but Azhar did the impossible by upstaging Gooch’s triple hundred, with his century, which was full of frolicky flicks, the bat wafting wand, as he scored 121 in just 111 balls with 22 dazzling fours.
MS DHONI (WK)
Mat: 21| Runs: 1157| HS: 99|Avg: 33.05| 100s: 0| CTs: 63| Sts: 4
Many might associate MS Dhoni with losing 7 Tests out of 9 played in England during the 2011 and 2014 tours. But most of the Indian fans remember him for his amazing captaincy during the 2014 Lord’s Test when he asked Ishant Sharma to bounce out the opposition despite reservations from the bowler himself.
MS Dhoni scored 1157 runs in 21 Tests with a best of 99. He took 63 catches and made 4 stumpings against England. Dhoni always took the game to England and his brilliant 76* at Lord’s during the 2007 series, which defied England from winning the Test, as he held the fort until the rain came down and India managed to draw the Test.
Mat: 27| Runs: 1355| HS: 116|Avg: 41.06| 100s: 2| Wkts: 85| BBI: 6/91
Kapil Dev and England have a romantic history together. It was in England when he won a Test series in 1986 as the Indian captain and three years earlier, had won the 1983 World Cup as captain in England as well. Kapil Dev was very successful against England, both at home and in England.
Kapil is remembered for his unique feat of hitting four sixes in four balls against Eddie Hemmings in the 1990 Lord’s Test. India was staring at the embarrassing situation of following on and with the no.11 Narendra Hirwani with him, Kapil decided to hit his way out and earned laurels for saving the follow-on by hitting those four consecutive sixes. He is still the only batsman to achieve this feat in Tests.
Mat: 11| Runs: 618| HS: 184|Avg: 36.35| 100s: 1| Wkts: 54| BBI: 8/55 | BBM: 12/108
The incomparable Vinoo Mankad was the first Indian batsman to bat at all the position from no.11 to no.1. Mankad, the best all-rounder India has ever produced along with Kapil Dev, scored a brilliant 184 out of India’s second innings total of 378 during the 1952 Lord’s Test. Then he picked 5/196 to get on both of the batting and bowling honors board at Lord’s in the same match.
One of the best all-around batsman and left-arm spinner of the highest quality, Mankad was the mainstay of the Indian team till his retirement in 1959.
Mat: 13| Wkts: 43|BBI: 5/75| BBM: 9/134
Zaheer Khan was perhaps one of the best left-arm fast bowlers in world cricket. 311 wickets in 92 Tests suggest a quality fast bowler who became more dangerous in English conditions. He picked 43 wickets in 13 matches against England and had the best figures of 5/75 against England at Trent Bridge in 2007, as India won the match by 7 wickets.
Mat: 23| Wkts: 95|BBI: 8/79 | BBM: 9/107
Bhagwath Subramanya Chandrasekhar, better known as Chandra, didn’t let a disability come in his way to become one of the greatest leg-spinners the world has ever seen. His bowling arm, the right arm had withered due to an attack of polio in his childhood and this meant that he couldn’t hold the bat properly. But he used the crippled hand to give the ball some tremendous rip and bowled googlies and flippers at high speed to take 242 wickets in 58 Tests for India.
He picked 95 wickets in 23 matches against England with the best bowling of 8/79. He was also instrumental in India’s first win over England in England, as he picked 6/38 at the Oval on the 1971 tour.
BISHAN SINGH BEDI
Mat: 22| Wkts: 85| BBI: 6/71| BBM: 7/100
Bishan Singh Bedi is regarded as one of the best left-arm spinners with a beautiful action and flowed to the bowling crease with grace. 266 wickets in 67 Tests was his record and he even captained India with dignity in 22 Tests during his career. He played 22 Tests against England and his best bowling performance was 6/71.
Bedi is one of the most outspoken cricketers of his time and on the 1976 tour to England, accused England fast bowler John Lever of using Vaseline to shine the ball, as Lever wore Vaseline strips on his forehead to keep sweat from going into his eyes.