Manchester Test: Confident Team India Looks To Breach English Fortress
Team India’s brilliant win in the fourth Test at The Oval has given Virat Kohli’s men a 2-1 series lead with one match to play. India can’t lose this series, and the onus will be on England to come up trumps to share honours.
India have never beaten England at Manchester’s Old Trafford, which will stage the final Test from September 10. Though they have lost four matches and drawn the other five at this iconic venue, it can be said with certainty that Kohli’s never-say-die team will continue to play hard cricket and do everything they can to overturn history.
The Jasprit Bumrah-led pace attack has been firing on all cylinders, openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been providing good starts and the others, like Shardul Thakur, have been contributing at crucial junctures. Ajinkya Rahane’s poor form is the main concern for India, and either Hanuma Vihari or Surya Kumar Yadav may get the nod at the expense of India’s Test vice-captain.
Here’s a look at the 9 India versus England Tests played at Old Trafford so far:
ENGLAND WINS AT MANCHESTER
* 1952 series, July 17-19
India were roundly humiliated, being bowled out twice in a day. After skipper Len Hutton’s 104 and half-centuries by Tim May and Godfrey Evans took England to 347/9 declared, Freddie Trueman’s fiery spell of 8/31 skittled out India for 58. Following on, India collapsed again for 82, this time Alec Bedser bagging 5 wickets and Tony Lock 4.
Brief Scores: England 347/9 decl. India 58 and 82.
Result: England won by an innings and 207 runs. Series Result: England won the 4-Test series 3-0.
* 1959 Series, July 23-28
Geoff Pullar (131) and Mike Smith (100) hit centuries while Ken Barrington and Colin Cowdrey scored 87 and 67, respectively, to help England pile up 490. Surendra Nath took five wickets. England replied with 208, with only Chandu Borde showing resistance (75). England didn’t enforce the follow-on and scored 265/8 declared to set India an improbable target of 558. India put up a fight in second innings as 20-year-old debutant Abbas Ali Baig — who was playing for Oxford University and got an SoS call as Vijay Manjrekar was injured — and Polly Umrigar hit a ton each. However, India still lost by 171 runs.
Brief Scores: England 490 and 265/8 decl. India 208 and 376.
Result: England won by 171 runs. Series Result: England won five-Test series 4-0.
* 1974 Series, June 6-11
After Keith Fletcher’s 123 took England to 328/9 declared, India managed 246 thanks to Sunny Gavaskar’s masterly 101 in seamer-friendly conditions and No. 9 Syed Abid Ali’s gutsy 71. John Edrich scored a century as England declared at 213/3, setting India a target of 296. Gavaskar (58) once again showed his class and Gundappa Viswanath made a fifty too, but couldn’t prevent England pacers from setting up a 113-run victory.
Brief Scores: England 328/9 declared and 213/3 declared. India 246 and 182.
Result: England won by 113 runs. Series Result: England won three-Test series 3-0.
* 2014 Series, August 7-9
India opted to bat first, but were quickly reduced to 24/4. Only a fighting 71 by skipper MS Dhoni and 40 by Ravichandran Ashwin took India to 152. James Anderson and Stuart Broad combined well, bagging 3 and 6 scalps, respectively. England responded with 367, thanks to decent contributions from Joe Root (77), Jos Buttler (70) and Ian Bell (58). India collapsed again to 161 all out to lose by an innings. Part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali was chief tormentor this time, taking 4 wickets, while Ashwin top-scored with 46.
Broad won’t forget this match in a hurry. He hit pacer Varun Aaron for successive sixes before being hit on the nose and rushed to hospital. He was in the hospital bed when he was informed that England had won easily and he had been adjudged Man of the Match for his 6/25 in the 1st innings, even though he did not bowl a single ball in the second innings.
Brief Scores: India 152 and 161. England 367.
Result: England won by an innings and 54 runs. Series Result: England won five-Test series 3-1.
* 1936 series, July 25-28
A fine second-innings batting performance, spearheaded by a 203-run partnership between openers Vijay Merchant (112) and Mushtaq Ali (112), helped India force a draw in this four-day Test. It was a creditable show after India were bowled out for 203 in the first innings and conceded a 368-run lead. Wally Hammond smashed 167, Stan Worthington 87 and Joe Hardstaff 94, while tailenders Walter Robins (76) and Hedley Verity (66) made merry.
Brief Scores: India 203 and 390/5. England 571.
Result: Draw. Series Result: England won three-test series 2-0.
* 1946 series: July 20-23
India avoided defeat by the skin of their teeth in this 4-day Test. Some fine bowling by Lala Amarnath (5/96) and Vinoo Mankad (5/101) restricted England to 294. India responded in style, courtesy an excellent opening stand between Vijay Merchant (78) and Mushtaq Ali (46), before collapsing to 170 all out as Dick Pollard took 5/24 in 27 overs and Alec Bedser bagged 4 wickets. England rode a classy unbeaten 71 by Denis Compton – who played football for England too — to declare at 153/5, setting India 278 in 61 overs. Alec Bedser captured 7/52 to reduce India to 152/9 before England ran out of time. It was Bedser’s debut series, in which he took 22 wickets in two Test matches.
Brief Scores: England 294 and 153/5 decl. India 170 and 152/9.
Result: Draw. Series Result: England won three-Test series 1-0.
* 1971 series: August 5-10
England struggled against spin trio of Bishan Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkatraghavan before recovering through wicketkeeper Alan Knott and pacer John Snow to put up 304. India went 9 runs ahead, thanks to Ajit Wadekar (85), Viswanath (68) and Eknath Solkar (67). England were shot out for 191 with Venkat, Bedi and Chandra again tormenting the Englishmen. India, chasing 183 in 50 overs, looked to go for the win as Sunil Gavaskar scored 54 and Farokh Engineer 35. But once Gavaskar was out at 113, India shut shot and held on for a draw to finish at 145/8.
Brief Scores: England 304 and 191. India 313 and 145/8.
Result: Draw. Series Result: India won three-Test series 1-0.
* 1982 series: June 24-28
Weather played spoilsport in this Test. England posted 425 thanks to Ian Botham’s 128, besides notable contributions from Geoff Cook (66), Chris Tavare (57) and Geoff Miller (98). Left-arm spinner toiled hard to finish with 6/192. Sandeep Patil smashed a fine 129 as India replied with 379/8.
Brief Scores: England 425. India 379/8.
Result: Draw. Series Result: England won three-Test series 1-0.
* 1990 series: Aug 9-14
Nine months after making his Test debut at the age of 16 years and 205 days, Sachin Tendulkar announced his arrival on the international stage with his maiden Test century, which turned out to be a match-saving knock. England amassed 519 with centuries by openers Graham Gooch (116) and Michael Atherton (131), and Robin Smith (121). India did well to score, 432 with skipper Mohammed Azharudding scoring a magnificent 179, Sanjay Manjrekar 93 and Tendulkar 68. Allan Lamb then made 131 as England declared at 320/4, setting India a target of 408 in 90 overs. At 183/6, India looked to be headed for a huge defeat, but Tendulkar (119 not out) and Manoj Prabhakar (67 not out) had other ideas. Their unbeaten 160-run partnership for the seventh wicket ensured a highly creditable draw for India.
Brief Scores: England 519 and 320/4 decl. India 432 and 343/6.
Result: Draw. Series Result: England won 3-Test series 1-0.