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Following humiliating collapses in the fourth Test at Manchester, the story continued quite similarly in the first innings of the fifth Test at The Oval. Bharath Seervi explains why this run of collapses are one of the worst sequences in their cricket history.
After England won the toss and put India in at The Oval, the Indians displayed almost an encore of their batting in the previous Test at Manchester. At The Oval, Indian team lost its first six wickets for a mere 44 runs. In the previous Test as well, the sixth wicket fell at score of 63 and 66 in two innings respectively. Well, first six wickets mean the complete batting order of the batsmen of a team!
At The Oval, India in their very first over lost Gautam Gambhir to James Anderson. Gambhir was out for a golden duck — the first in his Test career – on the fourth ball of the match. The second wicket was Chesteshwar Pujara on the final delivery of the sixth over, bowled by Stuart Broad. The score was two wickets for ten runs. Next to fall were Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane – both to Chris Jordan – on team’s score of 26 and 28 respectively. The worries were not moving aside of the Indian dug-out as they lost Murali Vijay on score of 36 to Chris Woaked followed by Stuart Binny to James Anderson. At Binny’s wicket the scorecard read six for 44.
The score of 44 runs for 6 wickets is the eighth-lowest score for India at the fall of the sixth wicket in a Test innings. The last time India lost six wickets at score of 44 or less in a Test innings was in 1999 against New Zealand at Mohali when the six wickets fell at 38.
Lowest score for India at the fall of sixth wicket in a Test innings
|25||66||South Africa||Durban||December 28, 1996||Lost|
|27||89||New Zealand||Hyderabad||October 18, 1969||Drawn|
|28||42||England||Lord’s||June 24, 1974||Lost|
|31||215||South Africa||Port Elizabeth||December 28, 1992||Lost|
|38||103||West Indies||Ahmedabad||October 10, 1999||Lost|
|38||83||New Zealand||Mohali||November 16, 1983||Drawn|
|40||178||West Indies||Kingston||April 14, 1962||Lost|
|44||148||England||The Oval||August 15, 2014||-|
India, as mentioned earlier, were six down for 63 and 66 respectively in the previous two innings as well. It is the first time in the history of Indian cricket that the team lost its first six wickets below 75 runs in three consecutive Test innings.
There are, however, quite a few occasions in the past when India lost its first six wickets for less than a total of 100 in three or more consecutive Test innings. The table below provides the necessary details on it.
India losing its first 6 wickets for less than 100 runs in three or more consecutive Test innings
|No. of innings||Score at 6th wicket||Final Total||Against||Venue||Date||Result|
|53||58||Australia||Brisbane||December 1, 1947||Lost|
|80||98||Australia||Brisbane||December 4, 1947||Lost|
|95||188||Australia||Sydney||December 13, 1947||Drawn|
|53||61/7||Australia||Sydney||December 17, 1947||Drawn|
|3||79||109||New Zealand||Nagpur||October 7, 1969||Lost|
|27||89||New Zealand||Hyderabad||October 18, 1969||Drawn|
|50||76/7||New Zealand||Hyderabad||October 20, 1969||Drawn|
|3||63||251||West Indies||Bridgetown||April 9, 1989||Lost|
|88||150||West Indies||Port of Spain||April 16, 1989||Lost|
|92||213||West Indies||Port of Spain||April 19, 1989||Lost|
|3||92||161||New Zealand||Wellington||December 12, 2002||Lost|
|76||121||New Zealand||Wellington||December 14, 2002||Lost|
|70||99||New Zealand||Hamilton||December 19, 2002||Lost|
|66||161||England||Manchester||August 9, 2014||Lost|
India lost its fifth wicket at score of 36 in this match and it well on 62 and 61 in their previous two innings respectively. It is only the second time in the history the Indian team lost its first three wickets for less than 65 in three consecutive Test innings. The first time was in 1969 when they lost their third wicket for 59, 21 and 44 in three consecutive innings against Australia and New Zealand.
Let us see the other teams who lost their first six wickets for score of 75 or less in consecutive Test innings. Australia has “achieved” this in five consecutive innings, the most by any team. In fact, they had lost first six wickets for less than 75 nine times in 11 innings in 1888. The only other team to do it in more than three consecutive innings is South Africa, in 4 innings in 1889-1892. England, New Zealand and Pakistan are the other teams before India to have made it in three consecutive innings.
Teams losing their first 6 wickets for score 75 or less in 3 or more consecutive Test innings
|No. of Innings||Score||Final Total||Team||Against||Venue||Date||Result|
|18||60||Australia||England||Lord’s||July 17, 1888||Won|
|49||80||Australia||England||The Oval||August 13, 1888||Lost|
|62||100||Australia||England||The Oval||August 14, 1888||Lost|
|43||81||Australia||England||Manchester||August 30, 1888||Lost|
|7||70||Australia||England||Manchester||August 30, 1888||Lost|
|32||47||South Africa||England||Cape Town||March 26, 1889||Lost|
|20||43||South Africa||England||Cape Town||March 26, 1889||Lost|
|47||97||South Africa||England||Cape Town||March 19, 1892||Lost|
|59||83||South Africa||England||Cape Town||March 22, 1892||Lost|
|57||68||England||Australia||Brisbane||December 4, 1950||Lost|
|30||122||England||Australia||Brisbane||December 5, 1950||Lost|
|61||197||England||Australia||Melbourne||December 23, 1950||Lost|
|31||47||New Zealand||England||Lord’s||June 20, 1958||Lost|
|44||74||New Zealand||England||Lord’s||June 21, 1958||Lost|
|46||67||New Zealand||England||Leeds||July 5, 1958||Lost|
|3||47||182||Pakistan||England||Nottingham||July 30, 2010||Lost|
|41||80||Pakistan||England||Nottingham||August 1, 2010||Lost|
|36||72||Pakistan||England||Birmingham||August 7, 2010||Lost|
|66||161||India||England||Manchester||August 9, 2010||Lost|
|44||148||India||England||The Oval||August 14, 2010||-|
It has been a terrible performance for the Indian batsmen in the last three Test innings in the England. With one more innings to play for, will they continue this sequence or, for a change, fight back to save the Test?
(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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