New Delhi, (Asian independent) When England were pulverised 0-4 on their last tour of India in 2016, Virat Kohli piled up 655 runs at an average of 109.16 in the five-match Test series, and Karun Nair became the second Indian to score a triple century after Virender Sehwag. The one-sided series, played in November and December four years ago, featured two innings victories for India.
Since then, India have lost a Test series in England, 4-1, along with series defeats in South Africa and New Zealand, but have managed consecutive series wins in Australia, the most recent of which came this month.
Now, England will be keen to avenge that thrashing when they play a four-Test series, beginning on February 5 in Chennai in bio-bubble. Presently, England are locked in a two-Test series in Sri Lanka, and will fly in straight from there to Chennai and go into quarantine, along with the Indian team.
England have so far played 14 Test series – discounting the Golden Jubilee Test in 1980 that the — in India out of which they have won four. India have won seven while three have been drawn. England’s fourth and fifth series wins in India were separated by 28 years and four series when they stunned the hosts 2-1 in 2012-13.
That was also the last time that the two teams faced each other in a four-Test series, and after that three rubbers have comprised five matches.
The history of Test series between India and England is intertwined with the history of cricket in India. India’s first four international series were against England, consisting of just one match in 1932. India were led by CK Nayudu while Douglas Jardine, who would lead England in the infamous “bodyline” series later in the year, captained the visitors.
Jardine was the highest scorer for England in the match, scoring 79 and an unbeaten 85 in the two innings as the hosts won by 158 runs. England’s Bill Bowes and India’s Mohammad Nisar were tied for most wickets with seven each.
It was only in the eighth series between the two teams that India managed to beat England. The series came in 1961-62, nearly 30 years after India’s first ever series and came at home. Nari Contractor was India’s captain during the series that also featured legendary Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi making his debut. India won the five-match series 2-0.
Their first series win in England came 10 years later in which the Indian team featured a 22-year-old Sunil Gavaskar. Spinners BS Chandrasekhar and S Venkataraghavan were the stars for India with 13 wickets each in the three-match series which India won 1-0.
In 60 matches played between the two sides in India, Gavaskar was the highest run scorer with 1,331 runs at an average of 35.97 while former England captain Alastair Cook comes second with 1,235 runs, scored at 51.45.
Among active players, India captain Virat Kohli is the highest run scorer with 843 runs in nine matches scored at 70.25 while his counterpart Joe Root is England’s highest run scorer in India with 584 runs in six matches at an average of 53.09.
With 64 wickets, Chandrashekhar is the highest wicket taker in India while spinner Derek Underwood is England’s highest Test wicket taker in India with 54 scalps. Ravichandran Ashwin is the highest wicket taker among current players with 42 wickets while fast bowler James Anderson tops the charts for England players with 26.
On their recent tour of Australia, India battled a slew of injuries to their top players and the departure of Kohli after the first Test to record a remarkable 2-1 win over Australia. With their morale and confidence on a high, India will be looking to continue their fine run when their resume battle with England.