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India tour of England 2014: India among teams losing three Tests in a series after being 1-0 ahead

England came back from a 0-1 deficit to win the series against India 3-1 © Getty Images
England came back from a 0-1 deficit to win the series against India 3-1 © Getty Images

India in their recently concluded Test series against England lost 1-3 after being 1-0 up after the second Test at Lord’s. It was India’s first such defeat in their Test history. Bharath Seervi does a statistical review on teams losing three or more Tests in a series after taking the initial lead.

India won the second Test of their recently concluded series against England at Lord’s to take the initial lead. But, the story after this was completely different. The same team lost the next three Test matches; it was the first time in the history of Indian cricket that the team after taking an initial lead in the series went on to lose three tests.

In the past, there have been ten other occasions in which a team after conceding a lead went on to win the series by a margin of 1-3 or better. In the 1936/37 series between Australia and England in Australia, England after being 2-0 ahead in the series lost 2-3. That is the only occasion of a team ending up losing after taking a series lead of 2-0. Below is the table listing the other such Test series.

Losing a test series 3-1 or worse after taking the initial lead

Result Team Opposition Host Country Lead Matches Year
2-3 England Australia Australia 2-0 5 1936/37
2-3 England Australia England 1-0 6 1997
1-4 England Australia Australia 1-0 5 1901/02
1-4 Australia England Australia 1-0 5 1911/12
1-3 England West Indies England 1-0 4 1950
1-3 South Africa England England 1-0 5 1951
1-3 Australia England Australia 1-0 5 1954/55
1-3 West Indies Australia Australia 1-0 5 1968/69
1-3 Australia England England 1-0 6 1981
1-3 West Indies England England 1-0 5 2000
1-3 India England England 1-0 5 2014

There have been two occasions of a team losing the last four matches of a five-match series after winning the first test; England did it against Australia in Australia in 1901/02, and then Australia did the same against England in Australia in 1911/12. The only other time in the 21st century this was seen was in the West Indies vs England series in England in 2000, where West Indies were at the losing end. It is to be noted that this type of series has been seen only twice in the last 30 years or so of Test cricket.

India losing a test series after taking a lead

For the Indian team, this turned out to be one of the worst Test series ever. Still, in the past there were four times India ended up losing the series 1-2 after taking the lead. The table below lists the necessary details of those series.

Series

Opposition

Host Country

Matches

Year

Captain

1-3

England

England

5

2014

MS Dhoni

1-2

England

India

5

1984/85

Sunil Gavaskar

1-2

West Indies

West Indies

5

2002

Sourav Ganguly

1-2

South Africa

South Africa

3

2006/07

Rahul Dravid

1-2

England

India

4

2012/13

MS Dhoni

Among the five such defeats, three of them came against England. India lost to England 1-2 in the 1984/85 series in India under captaincy of Sunil Gavaskar. The other four came in the 21st century — vs West Indies in West Indies under Sourav Ganguly in 2002, vs South Africa in South Africa in 2006/07 under Rahul Dravid and the 2012/13 series vs England in India.

India ended the series with a Draw after taking a lead of 1-0

In the past, there have been six series which India couldn’t win and ended up with a draw after having taken the lead. The first such series was in 1975/76 against New Zealand in the 3-match series in New Zealand. This included a series against Zimbabwe, in which the India team took lead in the first Test and then lost the second Test of the two-match series in Zimbabwe in 2001. The last such series was in 2005/06 against England in India.

Series

Opposition

Host Country

Matches

Year

Captain

1-1

New Zealand

New Zealand

3

1st

1975/76

1-1

West Indies

India

3

1st

1994/95

1-1

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

2

1st

2001

1-1

Australia

Australia

4

2nd

2003/04

1-1

Pakistan

India

3

2nd

2004/05

1-1

England

India

3

2nd

2005/06

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SeerviBharath and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SeerviCricket)

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