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England vs India: History of the rivalry

The upcoming series will also be the 31st between the two sides, who have played 117 Tests in the last 85 years.

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Indian team
Indian Test team. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

India will take on England in a five-match Test series starting at Edgbaston in Birmingham on August 1. The first Test will be special for it will be the 1000th for the Englishmen, the inventors of the game and against whom India had made their Test debut in 1932. The upcoming series will also be the 31st between the two sides, who have played 117 Tests in the last 85 years, with England winning 43 of them; India winning 25 while 49 ending in a draw.

India vs England: 30 series so far

India-VS-England-Test-head-to-head

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India and England have played in 30 Test series featuring more than one matches and while England have won 16 of them, India have won in 10. Four series have been drawn while England won on two occasions when one-off matches were played.

As India get ready to play England in their third consecutive five-Test series since 2014 and the second consecutive under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, here we take a look at the brief results of all the Test series the two sides have played:

England won in Lord’s 1932: This was India’s first-ever Test against their former colonial masters and they lost it by 158 runs. They were set a target of 346 to win the game but were bowled out for 187, thanks to a half century from No. 9 batsman Amar Singh, one of the best fast bowlers India have produced.

England beat India 2-0 (3) in India,1933-34:

This was the first-ever Test series between the two sides and the visitors won it 2-0 with one match getting drawn. England were led by Douglas Jardine while his Indian counterpart was CK Nayudu. England won the first and third Tests in Mumbai (the then Bombay) by 9 wickets and 202 runs, respectively, while the second match in Kolkata (then Calcutta) was drawn despite India following on.

England beat India 2-0 (3) in England,1936: This was the first-ever India-England series in England and was won convincingly by the hosts 2-0. Led by Gubby Allen, England thrashed India by 9 wickets both at the Lord’s and the Oval in the first and third Tests, respectively, while the second game at Manchester was drawn after India’s opening duo of Vijay Merchant and Mushtaq Ali slammed tons. India were led in this series of Maharajakumar of Vizianagaram.

England beat India 1-0 (3) in England, 1946:

England-vs-India-in-England,-1946

This series took place a decade after the last because of the effect of World War II. India were led by Iftikar Ali Khan Pataudi while England’s captain was Wally Hammond. India were walloped in the first match by 10 wickets at the Lord’s but drew the remaining two matches to lose by the smallest margin since the first three-game series played against England since 1933-34.

India drew England 1-1 (5) in India, 1951-52:

India-vs-England--in-India,-1951-52

This series saw India defeating England in Tests for the first time. After the first three matches in Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta were drawn, Nigel Howard’s England defeated India by 8 wickets in Kanpur to take a 1-0 lead. The hosts, led by Vijay Hazare, then put up a quality batting display in the final Test in Chennai (then Madras) to thump the visitors by an innings and 8 runs, thanks to a couple of tons from Polly Umrigar (130 not out) and Pankaj Roy (111). In the final Test, England were led by Donald Carr.

England beat India 3-0 (4) in England, 1952:

England-vs-India--in-England,-1952

Len Hutton’s England hammered Vijay Hazare’s India 3-0 in a one-sided series. England won the first three Tests at Leeds, Lord’s and Manchester by 7 wickets, 8 wickets and innings and 207 runs before the final game at the Oval got drawn despite India getting shot out for 98 in their first innings. This was England’s series win over India in a Test series by the biggest margin.

England beat India 5-0 (5) in England, 1959:

England-vs-India--in-England,-1959

Played seven years after the last series, this series saw the Englishmen registering their biggest win over India till date, winning all five matches. Led by Datta Gaekwad, India lost the games at Nottingham, Lord’s, Leeds, Manchester and the Oval by an innings and 59 runs, 8 wickets, innings and 73 runs, 171 runs and innings and 27 runs, respectively. India had failed to cross 200-run mark seven times in 10 innings in this tour, proving how much their batsmen had struggled against the likes of Fred Trueman who took 22 wickets in that series. Peter May was the captain of the record-creating English side.

India beat England 2-0 (5) in India, 1961-62:

India-vs-England-in-India,-1961-62

India’s first-ever series win over the Englishmen in Tests came in 1961-62. Captained by Nari Contractor, the hosts drew the first three of the five-match series in Mumbai, Kanpur and Delhi before winning the final two Tests in Calcutta and Chennai by 187 and 128 runs, respectively. Salim Durani’s bowling was the chief architect in the final two matches to register India’s memorable victories. Ted Dexter became the first English skipper to lose a Test series against India.

India-England series drawn 0-0 (5) in India, 1963-64:

India-vs--England-series-drawn-0-0-(5)-in-India,-1963-64

This is only time that the two teams settled for an indecisive Test series in their 85 years of five-day rivalry. India were captained by MAK Pataudi while his English counterpart was MJK Smith. The five matches were played in Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Kanpur. England’s Fred Titmus had a great series with 27 scalps.

England beat India 3-0 (3) in England, 1967:

England-vs-India-3-0-(3)-in-England,-1967

MAK Pataudi’s side had played 18 first-class fixtures on this tour but yet were bulldozed by Brian Close’s England in all the three matches played in Leeds, Lord’s and Birmingham, respectively. The margins of the victories were by 6 wickets, innings and 124 runs and 132 runs, respectively. Poor batting performance by the Indians had let them down in the series and they suffered yet another whitewash.

India beat England 1-0 (3) in England, 1971:

India-vs-England--in-England,-1971

This series was historic for India for this is the first time that they won an away series against England. India were led by Ajit Wadekar while the hosts were captained by Ray Illingworth.

The first two matches at the Lord’s and Old Trafford were drawn but it was Bhagwat Chandrasekhar’s six-for in the second innings of the final Test at Kennington Oval that turned the series in India’s favour. Despite having a decent lead, England’s collapse for 101 gave India a great opportunity to win the game and they grabbed it both their hands.

India beat England 2-1 (5) in India, 1972-73:

India-vs-England-2-1-(5)-in-India,-1972-73

Wadekar did it again as India’s captain as they won their second successive Test series versus England for the first time ever.  Tony Lewis’s England won the first match in Delhi by 6 wickets but India’s golden-age spinners came back strongly in the next two Tests in Calcutta and Madras to win them by 28 runs and 4 wickets, respectively. The final two games in Kanpur and Bombay were drawn, giving India their second series win against India at home.

England beat India 3-0 (3) in England, 1974:

England-vs-India-3-0-(3)-in-England,-1974

The Englishmen were back in business in the 1974 series, blowing away India in all the three games. While they won in Manchester by 113 runs; they won at Lord’s by an innings and 285 runs and in Birmingham by an innings and 78 runs. It was in the second Test at Lord’s that India had collapsed for their infamous 42 all out. England were led in this series by Mike Denness.

England beat India 3-1 (5) in India, 1976-77:

England-vs-India-3-1-(5)-in-India,-1976-77

England won their first Test series in India since 1933-34 when the charismatic Tony Greig’s side defeated Bishan Singh Bedi’s men 3-1 with the emphatic victories registered in Delhi (innings and 25 runs), Calcutta (10 wickets) and Madras (200 runs).

India pulled one back in Bangalore where they won by 140 runs while the fifth and the final Test in Bombay was drawn despite India being in an advantageous position. This series is known for the infamous Vaseline incident involving English seamer John Lever. India’s spinning trio of Bedi-Chandrasekhar-Erapalli Prasanna had put up great performances in this series but the batsmen let India down in home conditions.

England beat India 1-0 (4) in England, 1979:

England-vs-India-1-0-(4)-in-England,-1979

Srinivasa Venkataraghavan led the Indian side which lost the first match of the series at Edgbaston by an innings and 83 runs while all the remaining three Tests played at Lord’s, Headingley and Kennington Oval were drawn. India came very close to making history in the final Test of the series when they stopped just nine runs short of a mammoth target of 438. Sunil Gavaskar had scored an epic 221 in this chase. Mike Brearley was the captain of the English side.

England won Golden Jubilee Test in Mumbai, 1980:

England-won-Golden-Jubilee-Test-in-Mumbai,-1980

Ian Botham scored 114 and took 13 wickets in this game to floor Gundappa Viswanath’s home team by 10 wickets in the one-off Test played in Bombay to mark the golden jubilee of the BCCI. India let England off the hook after reducing them to 58 for 5 in the first innings and then faced a collapse in their second innings to give the visitors an easy win.

India beat England 1-0 (6) in India, 1981-82:

India-vs-England-1-0-(6)-in-India,-1981-82

Sunil Gavaskar led India in what makes the biggest Test series between the two sides featuring six matches. However, in terms of the result, it was not as entertaining as only the first game Bombay was decided in favour of India (138 runs).

The five matches played in Bangalore, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras and Kanpur were all dull draws even though there were performances of individual brilliance. Gavaskar scored 500 runs for India while Graham Gooch scored 487 for England. Kapil Dev was adjudged the man of the series. Keith Fletcher was the captain of the England side.

England beat India 1-0 (3) in England, 1982:

England-vs-India-1-0-(3)-in-England,-1982

Kapil Dev won his second successive man of the series award against England in Tests although India were defeated 1-0 by Bob Willis’s side in the three-game series. England won the first Test at Lord’s by 7 wickets while the remaining two games at Manchester and the Oval were drawn. Spinner Dilip Doshi took 13 wickets for India in this series while Willis took 15 for England.

England beat India 2-1 (5) in India, 1984-85:

England-vs-India-2-1-(5)-in-India,-1984-85

This was England’s third Test series win in India and it came under the leadership of David Gower. India started well by winning the first match in Bombay by 8 wickets but England were quick to level the series in the very next game in Delhi by winning it by an identical margin.

The third match in Calcutta was drawn while Neil Foster’s bowling brilliance gave England a series-winning victory by 9 wickets in the fourth Test in Madras. England’s batting proved too strong for the hosts in the final Test in Kanpur and the game ended in a draw to give the visitors a 2-1 victory.

This series was both famous for it saw debutant Mohammed Azharuddin scoring three consecutive Test centuries and infamous for skipper Gavaskar was pelted with fruits by the crowd for allegedly dropping Kapil Dev in the third Test in Calcutta.

India beat England 2-0 (3) in England, 1986:

India-vs-England-2-0-(3)-in-England,-1986

India’s third major cricketing feat in the mid-1980s came in the form of a Test series victory in England – after the World Cup win in 1983 and lifting the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985.

Led by Dilip Vengsarkar’s majestic batting and Chetan Sharma’s stunning bowling, Kapil Dev’s India defeated the hosts by 5 wickets at Lord’s and by 279 runs at Headingley. The third match at Edgbaston was drawn after a close run between the two sides. It was India’s second Test series victory in England after 1971. Vengsarkar was the joint player of the series along with England’s Mike Gatting.

England beat India 1-0 (3) in England in 1990:

England-vs-India-1-0-(3)-in-England-in-1990

This was the first time that India’s decade-long captain Mohammed Azharuddin led the side to a tour of England. The Indian side was going through a transition now with the old guards either having retired or nearing the end of their careers and youngsters like Sachin Tendulkar and Sanjay Manjrekar making their marks.

It was, however, a disappointing start for the new skipper as England winning the first Test at Lord’s by 247 runs with Azhar’s English counterpart Graham Gooch scoring 333 and 123 in the two innings of the match. Wicket-keeper Kiran More had dropped Gooch in this game and he went on to capitalise on that big time. Azhar’s own form was good, however, with a number of tons while a 17-year-old Tendulkar scored his first Test century in the second Test of the series in Old Trafford to save the game for India.

India beat England 3-0 (3) in India, 1993:

India-vs-England-3-0-(3)-in-India,-1993

Led by Mohammed Azharuddin for this series was a turning point in career, India thrashed England in all the three Tests played in Calcutta, Chennai and Bombay, whitewashing the Englishmen for the first time ever in their 60-year-old rivalry. The visitors, captained by Graham Gooch, found themselves clueless against Indian spinners and lost the three matches by 8 wickets, an innings and 22 runs and an innings and 15 runs, respectively. Anil Kumble was picked as the man of the series while Vinod Kambli hit the first of his two consecutive Test double-hundreds in the third game at home ground Mumbai.

England beat India 1-0 (3) in England, 1996:

England-vs-India-1-0-(3)-in-England,-1996

Skipper Azharuddin tasted his second consecutive loss in a Test series in England as his young and inexperienced side was defeated 1-0 by Michael Atherton’s side in the three-match series. This series saw the mysterious exit of Navjot Singh Sidhu and the memorable debuts of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. In fact, as many as six Indian players made their Test debuts in this series as against England’s four. England won the first game in Birmingham by 8 wickets while those at Lord’s and Trent Bridge were drawn. Sachin Tendulkar had a good series while debutant Venkatesh Prasad took most wickets for India. Ganguly and England’s Nasser Hussain were joint men of the series.

India beat England 1-0 (3) in India, 2001:

India-vs-England-1-0-(3)-in-India,-2001

Sourav Ganguly’s side avenged the 1996 defeat by winning the three-match series at home by an identical margin. England were led by Nasser Hussain in this series and they clearly lacked the firepower to make a comeback after India thumped them by 10 wickets in the first Test in Mohali. The next two drawn Tests were played in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. This series is known for the ‘battle of patience’ between Tendulkar, who was picked as the man of the series, and England’s left-arm spinner Ashley Jiles who had adopted a negative technique of bowling around the legs to contain the Indian batsmen.

India drew England 1-1 (4) in England, 2002:

India-drew-England-1-1-(4)-in-England,-2002

This is the third time that India and England drew a Test series since 1951-52 and India returned undefeated from an away Test series versus England (after 1971 and 1986). Led by Sourav Ganguly, the Indians lost the first Test at Lord’s by 170 runs despite scoring almost 400 runs in the fourth innings. The second game in Nottingham was drawn but India came back strongly to win the third Test in Headingley by an innings and 46 runs to square the series. All the big three – Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Ganguly had hit centuries in one inning of this Test. The final Test at the Oval saw a dull draw, ending the series inconclusive. Dravid and Michael Vaughan were picked as the players of the series.

England drew India 1-1 (3) in India, 2006:

England-drew-India-1-1-(3)-in-India,-2006

Rahul Dravid was in charge of India while England were led by Andrew Flintoff in the series that also ended as a tie. After the first Test in Nagpur was drawn, India came on the top to annihilate the visitors by 9 wickets in Mohali, thanks to some spirited bowling by the veteran Kumble and debutant Munaf Patel. But England came back strongly in the final Test in Mumbai to blow away the hosts by 212 runs. England’s bowlers made it difficult for India in this Test and skittled them out for just 100 in the second innings of the final Test. England hailed this victory as big as winning the Ashes since victory in Indian conditions was considered hard to achieve. Flintoff was picked as the man of the series.

India beat England 1-0 (3) in England, 2007:

India-vs-England-1-0-(3)-in-England,-2007

This was the first-ever series when the two sides competed for the Pataudi Trophy in the honour of the Pataudis who were closely involved with India-England cricketing history. Rahul Dravid was the captain of the Indian side which made history after 21 years by winning a series in England while the hosts were led by Michael Vaughan. India closely saved the first Test at Lord’s and then won the second Test at Trent Bridge by 7 wickets to take an unassailable 1-0 lead.

It was in this Test that the infamous jelly bean incident had happened and the man of the match Zaheer Khan, who was at the ‘insulting’ end of that controversy, destroyed England alone to give his side a much-needed win. India found their exclusive grip on the trophy after the final Test at the Oval got drawn. Zaheer and England’s James Anderson were jointly chosen as the players of the series.

India beat England 1-0 (2) in India, 2008:

India-vs-England-1-0-(2)-in-India,-2008

Zaheer Khan bagged his second consecutive man of the series award in the series which was Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s first as India’s captain in Tests against England. India won the first Test in Chennai by 6 wickets chasing a steep target of 387 (an ageing Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 103 in that winning cause) while the second Test in Mohali was drawn. Kevin Pietersen led England in this series. Gautam Gambhir was the highest scorer in this series with 361 runs. This was only the second time that India won two consecutive Test series against England after 1971 and 1972-73.

England beat India 4-0 (4) in England, 2011:

One of the worst moments in MS Dhoni’s otherwise perfect captaincy track record, the visitors were squarely beaten in all the four matches. They lost by 196 runs at Lord’s; by 319 runs at Trent Bridge; an innings and 242 runs at Edgbaston and an innings and 8 runs at the Oval.

Andrew Strauss’s side became the first English side since 1974 to win all matches in a Test series versus India. India’s highest point in this series was Rahul Dravid’s form. Standing among the ruins, he hit three centuries in this series; was the highest run-getter and won the man of the series award jointly with Stuart Broad.

England beat India 2-1 (4) in India, 2012:

England-beat-India-2-1-(4)-in-in-India,-2012

Alastair Cook’s side made history in this tour by winning a Test series in India after 28 years. Dhoni’s side won the first game in Delhi by 9 wickets after Cheteshwar Pujara slammed an unbeaten 206 and India enforced a follow-on. However, England were quick to make it 1-1 in the next Test in Mumbai where Monty Panesar’s 6 for 81 turned the tables against the hosts and the visitors won the match by 10 wickets. It was then Cook & co.’s magnificent batting display in Kolkata that saw England winning by 7 wickets to take a 2-1 lead and eventually winning the series by that margin after the final Test in Nagpur ended in a draw. Virat Kohli hit a ton in this game.

England beat India 3-1 (5) in England, 2014:

England-beat-India-3-1-(5)-in-England,-2014

Dhoni’s hat-trick of losses in Test series versus England came in this tour as the hosts won the five-match series 3-1. The first Test in Trent Bridge was drawn while India won the second at Lord’s by 95 runs. But thereafter, it was all England as they pummelled the visitors by 266 runs in Southampton; by an innings and 54 runs at Old Trafford and an innings and 244 runs at the Oval. India couldn’t cross the 200 run mark in their last five innings of the series. James Anderson and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were joint men of the series. This tour was a disaster for Kohli.

India beat England 4-0 (5) in India, 2016:

India-beat-England-4-0-(5)-in-India,-2016

Virat Kohli led India to a 4-0 win over England, their best-ever victory margin bettering the 3-0 scoreline of 1993. The first match in Rajkot was drawn but thereafter, India won by 246 runs in Vishakhapatnam; 8 wickets in Mohali; an innings and 36 runs in Mumbai and an innings and 75 runs in Chennai.

In the fifth Test, Karun Nair became the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to hit a triple ton for India in Tests. Kohli slammed 655 runs in the series and was chosen as the man of the match. Ravichandran Ashwin was the most successful bowler in the series, picking up 28 wickets while England’s Adil Rashid got 23 wickets as the second-most successful bowler.

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