These Indian cricketers were the Lord's of the ring in England
India may have registered only a couple of wins at Lord's in 17 Test encounters at the spiritual home of cricket, but there have been some memorable performances through thick and thin. Here they are...
1932: Mohammad Nissar
Medium pacer Mohammad Nissar made an early impact in India’s maiden Test at Lord’s by sending back in-form openers Percy Holmes and Herbert Sutcliffe (the Yorkshiremen shared a 555-run stand against Essex earlier that month) as the hosts were reduced to 11-2. England, however, managed to recover as Nissar finished with 5-93. Despite a loss, his fifer in India’s debut match at England will always be memorable.
1936: L Amar Singh
With India being dismissed for 147 in the first innings, the visitors needed a splendid bowling show and a lot was expected from pacers Nissar and L Amar Singh. With a very short run up, Amar Singh was able to bowl a long spell. He claimed four wickets in his first nine overs to send half the English side back to the pavilion for just 41. He finished the innings with 6-35 as England fell short by 13 runs. India were dismissed for 93 in the second essay as the hosts won by nine wickets.
1952: Vinoo Mankad
72 & 184, 5-196
Despite losing the match by eight wickets, the 1952 Lord’s Test will be remembered for Vinoo Mankad’s all-round show. Opener Mankad scored 72 as India tumbled to 235. The spinner was also responsible for dismissing five Englishmen in the first innings. Mankad decided to open in the second innings too despite bowling 31 overs on that day. He didn’t show any sign of fatigue and went on to score 184, smashing 19 fours and a six.
1959: Nari Contractor
Nari Contractor conquered pain to play one of the finest innings of his life. Contractor, who opened for India in the Lord’s Test, had a rib broken by England pacer Brian Statham. The southpaw continued to bat scoring 81 out of India’s 168 in the first innings. India lost the match but Contractor gained laurels for his bravery as Aussie great Keith Miller, who was reporting on that series, wrote that Contractor should get a Victoria Cross (medal for bravery) for the brave innings he ever witnessed.
1979: Gundappa Viswanath
A lot was expected from the man-in-form, Gundappa Viswanath, during the 1979 Lord’s Test, but the Karnataka man failed in the first innings, scoring only 21 as India collapsed to just 96. England in reply, scored 419-9. India stared at defeat, but Viswanath along with Sunil Gavaskar, played a patient knock scoring 113 off 337 balls at a strike rate of 33.53, to help the visitors frustrate the English bowlers and save the Test.
1982: Kapil Dev
5-125, 3-43 & 89
Kapil Dev showed why he was known as one of the greatest all-rounders in the 1980s during the 1982 Lord’s Test. He was also rewarded with the Player of the Series Award for his fine show in the three-match Test series. The right-arm medium pacer went on to pick up his first fifer on English soil in the first innings. He showed fine temperament with the bat, scoring 41 in the first essay as India collapsed to 128. Following on, he played one of the most memorable Test innings of his life — 89 off just 55 balls at an impressive strike rate of 161.81, smashing 13 fours and three sixes. He claimed all the three English wickets in the second innings, but his effort went in vain as India lost by seven wickets.
1986: Dilip Vengsarkar
Dilip Vengsarkar, known as the ‘Lord of the Lord’s’ has three centuries under his name at the Mecca of cricket — 103 in 1979, 157 in 1982 and 126* in 1986. But a century in a victory is always special. The ‘Colonel’ was finally able to taste victory at Lord’s in 1986 after his unbeaten knock gave India the vital 47-run lead against David Gower’s Englishmen. His effort went in vain in 1982, while India drew in 1979.
1990: Mohammed Azharuddin
India faced a big task of saving the match after Graham Gooch’s mammoth 333 propelled England to 653-4 declared. In reply, Mohammed Azharuddin entertained the capacity crowd at Lord’s with his strokeplay, scoring 121 off just 111 balls — laced with 22 fours. He reached his century off just 88 balls. India however, were all out for 454 in the first essay and went on to lose the match by 247 runs.
1996: Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly marked his Test debut in style by becoming only the third batsman to hit a century (131) at Lord’s in his maiden Test. Ganguly batted for more than seven hours during his 301-ball knock to help India take a 85-run lead against England. The second Test of the series however, ended in a tame draw.
2002: Ajit Agarkar
Ajit Agarkar has only one Test century against his name and what better than scoring it at the Mecca of cricket. The visitors never looked like scoring a mammoth 568 for victory, but Agarkar’s surprising knock (109*) did give Indian spectators something to cherish. He shared a 126-run stand for the seventh wicket with VVS Laxman — the highest at Lord’s by India. The visitors however, failed to win the opening Test of the four-match series.
2011: Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid missed a Lord’s century by five runs in his debut Test, but ‘Mr Dependable’ made sure he didn’t miss the opportunity to see his name on the honours board in 2011. Coming in at No. 3, Dravid stayed unbeaten on 103. No one could match his class as India were dismissed for 286 in the first innings, in reply to England’s 474. India lost by 196 runs.
2014: Ajinkya Rahane
India have managed to win only one Test on the English soil in the last 11 years and that victory came at Lord’s in 2014, thanks to a Ajinkya Rahane-special (103). Rahane’s innings impressed batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who lauded the Mumbai man for his fighting knock on a difficult pitch.
2014: Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma’s career-best 7-74 resulted in India’s 95-run win at Lord’s. The pacer produced a magical bowling performance and troubled the English batsmen with bouncers in the second innings. He went on to claim seven of England’s last eight wickets to help India win.
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