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India vs England, 5th Test at The Oval: A statistical overview of India’s wretched batting

Indian batting collapsed again at The Oval © Getty Images
Indian batting collapsed again at the Oval © Getty Images

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

Score Final total Against Venue Date Result
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
 

4

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
3 63 152 England Manchester August 7,2014 Lost
66 161 England Manchester August 9, 2014 Lost
44 148 England The Oval

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
 

5

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
 

4

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
 

3

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
 

3

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
3 63 152 India England Manchester August 7,2014 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?

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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