In this series, TOI looks at past tours of India to England…
The first time India played a five-Test series in England. India had lost a home series against West Indies and were going through a leadership crisis, with four people assuming charge in five matches. Key players like Vinoo Mankad, Hemu Adhikari and Ghulam Ahmed had retired. India, under Datta Gaekwad, fared worse than the 1952 side, losing all five Tests, three of them by an innings.
Result: England won 5-0
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Another whitewash followed as India lost all three Tests in wet conditions. The team was captained by Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and included the likes of Farokh Engineer, Bishan Singh Bedi, Chandu Borde and BS Chandrasekhar. The series was in the news for England’s decision to drop Geoff Boycott after he crawled to a double century in the first Test in Leeds. Captain Pataudi scored a superb 148 in the second innings of that Test to help India pile up 510 but that was not enough as England won by six wickets. The hosts won the next two Tests at Lord’s and Edgbaston convincingly.
Result: England won 3-0
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The one that changed it all. Fresh from a historic maiden series win in West Indies, Ajit Wadekar’s India reached England high on confidence. The series was level going into the final Test at the Oval after two exciting draws at Lord’s and Old Trafford. India conceded a 71-run first-innings lead but Chandrasekhar’s dream spell of 6/38, along with some sharp catching by Eknath Solkar, meant India were chasing a gettable 173, which they managed, proving to the world they were no longer pushovers abroad.
Result: India won 3-match series 1-0
(To be continued)