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English tours to India in the past – a statistical overview

 

English tours to India in the past a statistical overview

With 56 wickets from nine Tests, Anil Kumble has been the most productive bowler in matches between the two sides on Indian soil. England’s Derek Underwood follows with 54 wickets, but after playing seven more Tests than Kumble © Getty Images

The India-England Test series commences in a few hours from now. Arunabha Sengupta looks at the stories of the previous English tours of India as told by numbers.

 

 

Events in history have eternally connected the small island nation in the northern corner of Europe to this huge subcontinent in tropical Asia.

 

Once the Jewel in the crown of the British Raj, India has continued to have ties that bind with Britain – a posse of souvenirs of colonial rule, many of which have been transformed into means of thriving prosperity.

 

Indeed, the Indian dominance as the preferred IT vendor of the world is because of the language handed down by the erstwhile occupants. And even if we look at the narrow confines of cricket, the Indians, who diligently picked up the finer points of the sport from their colonial overlords, have now mutated – and perhaps mutilated – the noble game played in whites into its commercial counterpart in colour. The Indian Premier League (IPL) may not be the greatest form of cricket, but it has changed the financial landscape forever.

 

The cricketing ties between the two countries go as far back as 1888-89 when GF Vernon brought over the first English side to play in India. It was followed by Lord Hawke, later a not-very-successful Governor of Bombay and President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), bringing another team in 1892-93.

 

Indian teams toured England as well in the early days of the 20th century, and was awarded Test status in 1932. In their first match at Lord’s, CK Nayudu’s men gave a full strength England side a real scare on the first morning before giving in to inexperience and poor batting.

 

Since then, cricketing tours between the two countries have been regular. What follows is a statistical overview of the previous tours undertaken by England to these shores.

 

Statistical highlights

 

This is England’s 14th visit to play Test cricket in India. Of the 13 previous tours, the 1980 Jubilee Test cannot really be counted as a full series.

 

In the 12 series, the results are 6-3 in India’s favour, with three being drawn. The one-off Test in 1980 was won by England.

 

Tour

Tests

Winner

Scoreline

1933-34

3

Eng

2-0

1951-52

5

Draw

1-1

1961-62

5

India

2-0

1963-64

5

Draw

0-0

1972-73

5

India

2-1

1976-77

5

England

3-1

1979-80

1

(Jubilee Test)

England

1-0

1981-82

6

India

1-0

1984-85

5

England

2-1

1992-93

3

India

3-0

2001-02

3

India

1-0

2005-06

3

Draw

1-1

2008-09

2

India

1-0

 

After a surprisingly strong side led by Douglas Jardine visited India for the inaugural 1933-34 series, England kept sending second string teams for the next three and a half decades. Tours were irregular, few and far between. It was only after Ajit Wadekar’s team defeated England in their backyard for the first time in 1971 that India finally saw full strength English teams play in the country.

 

In all 51 Tests have been played between the sides in India. The home team has had better of the exchanges, 14-11 with 26 draws.

 

In England, the results are distinctly skewed in favour of England. The two sides have met 52 times in England with the result favouring the hosts 27-5.

 

Host

India

England

Draw

India

14

11

26

England

5

27

20

Total

19

38

46

 

However, the last time India lost a series to England at home was 28 years ago, when David Gower’s team had benefitted from some poor shot selection by the Indians and triumphed 2-1.

 

Ken Barrington and Mohammad Azharuddin have by far the best records in Tests played by the two sides in India. Sunil Gavaskar emerges as the highest run-getter in these Tests with 1331 runs in 22 matches, but at a surprisingly poor average of 35.97

 

Top batsmen in England tours to India

 

Top batsmen

Tests

Runs

Avge

100s

50s

KF Barrington (Eng)

6

674

96.28

3

2

M Azharuddin (India)

6

653

93.28

4

1

IT Botham (Eng)

7

554

61.55

2

4

SR Tendulkar (India)

11

848

60.57

3

4

VL Manjrekar (India)

11

885

55.31

2

4

AW Greig (Eng)

10

724

51.71

2

4

MW Gatting (Eng)

13

862

50.70

2

3

 

On the bowling front, as expected spinners lead the tables, but we still find Bob Willis, John Lever and Ian Botham making it into the list with excellent averages, in sharp contrast to Kapil Dev’s poor average of 35.45. What is significant is that the balance has tilted heavily in favour of spin since the 1980s.

 

Top bowlers in England tours to India

 

Bowlers

Tests

Wkts

Avge

5WI

10 WM

A Kumble (India)

9

56

23.64

4

1

DL Underwood (Eng)

16

54

26.51

1

0

BS Bedi (India)

10

50

24.12

3

0

N Kapil Dev (India)

14

42

35.45

2

0

JK Lever (Eng)

8

37

19.75

3

1

SA Durani (India)

13

35

32.91

2

1

MH Mankad (India)

5

34

16.79

1

1

RGD Willis (Eng)

10

32

22.37

2

0

IT Botham (Eng)

7

30

25.53

3

1

 

 

On the personal front, Vinod Kambli notched up the highest individual score during his dream run in the 1992-93 series and Mike Gatting leads for England with his 207 in the 1984-85 series. Vinoo Mankad’s eight for 55 during India’s first Test win is still the best bowling performance, while John Lever picked up the best figures for England with seven for 46 during the series in which he also courted controversy for using Vaseline gauze.
 

Best individual performances

 

Batting

Vinod Kambli

224

1992-93

Mike Gatting

207

1984-85

Bowling

Vinoo Mankad

8-55

1951-52

John Lever

7-46

1976-77

 

As we can see, not too many of the present players manage to make it to the lists – except for Sachin Tendulkar, who has been around for ages. One feels that the current squads will be eager to write their own deeds into the record books.

 

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

 

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