England vs India: India’s Greatest XI Versus England
Overall, this will be the 33rd Test series between India and England. India won 10 series, and the Three Lions have won 18, while four ended in draws. Moreover, India started their international cricket chronicles on June 25, 1932, at Lord’s in London. Before shedding light on India’s Greatest XI against England we’ve got a lot talk about.
The CK Nayudu-led India took on Douglas Jardine’s England. Mohammad Nissar was the first Indian to make a mark at Test level, dismissing the openers and claiming a five-wicket haul.Click Hare For Know
( READ MORE – Most 400 runs in odi by a team )
(Trivia: Exactly 51 years after India played their first Test, on June 25, 1983, they won the World Cup at the same venue, at Lord’s. India’s last Test win against England also came at the very venue.)
India’s first Test win came in 1952, at Chennai and the opposition was England. It was Ajit Wadekar’s team who won in England 1-0 in 1971, and marked India’s first ever series win against them.
England, who will be playing their 1,000th Test on August 1 (Wednesday) in Birmingham, clearly have an upper hand in head-to-head standings.
At home, they start favourites against the injury-plagued No.1 Test side India.
Virat Kohli-led India have won 25 of their 117 Tests against England over the last 86 years, lost 43 and drawn 49 times. If Virat Kohli’s side manages to beat the odds, they will be the fourth Indian team to emerge victorious from England. India have previously won in 1971, 1986 and 2007.
Heading into the series, things stand even stevens with India winning the T20I series 2-1, and England returning the favour in ODIs with the same margin.
In Part 1st of this-this series, we presented the Greatest English XI to play India. In this edition, we speak of India’s greatest XI to face England.
England Vs India:
Openers / All-rounder:
Vijay Merchant (1933-52)
Against England: M 10 | R 859 | HS 154 | Ave 47.72 | 100s 3 | 50s 3
Merchant was one of the finest batters India produced. The Second World War and poor health took away a chunk of international cricket from him. He played 10 Tests in his career, and all against England.
Often compared with Sir Don Bradman for his superlative First-class record (a batting average of over 71), Merchant batted with ease in both the countries. He averages almost 48 in England, where he has scored two centuries; and in India, he scored his runs at 47.42.
Vinoo Mankad (1946-59)
Against England: M 11 | R 618 | HS 184 | Ave 36.35 | 100s 1 | 50s 4 | W 54 | BBI 8-55 | Ave 23.12 | Econ R 1.82 | SR 75.9 | 5wI 3 | 10wM 1
Vinoo Mankad played three series against England and made significant contributions in all of them. In 1946, he scored 124 runs and picked 11 wickets in England.
Five and half years later, Mankad spun India to their first ever Test win. He picked 12 wickets against the relatively weak visiting English side at Chennai.
Later in 1952, during India’s tour of England, Mankad wasn’t very effective with the ball but shone with the bat in the Lord’s Test.
Opening the batting, he slammed 72 and 184 in the match. In the second innings, he scored almost half of the team runs. He also picked up a five-for the Test.
Notable misses: Sunil Gavaskar and Murali Vijay (openers); Kapil Dev (all-rounder)
Rahul Dravid (1996-2012)
Against England: M 21 | R 1,950 | HS 217 | Ave 60.93 | SR 41.4 | 100s 7 | 50s 8
Rahul Dravid averaged 69 in England. He is regarded as India’s best batsman in English conditions. Fondly known as ‘The Wall’ Dravid ensured all his tours to England remained memorable.
Dravid started his Test career with a gritty 95 at Lord’s, in 1996. He owned the 2002 tour. His skilful 148 at Headingley outshone the brilliance of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and the Indian spinners at that venue, helping India script a famous win. He grinded for 10 and half hours to craft his 217 at The Oval.
Dravid, the batsman took a backseat in 2007 but he led India to a series win in England. The win at England came after 21 long years. In 2011, Dravid, at 38, was India’s saving grace in the 0-4 humiliation.
Not only he registered three hundreds but also fulfilled the opener’s role with great success in absence of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Against England, he averaged 48 in India. Often, he dropped the shutters with his defensive style. He will play the anchor’s role in this side.
Sachin Tendulkar (1989-2013)
Against England: M 32 | R 2,535 | HS 193 | Ave 51.73 | SR 52.2 | 100s 7 | 50s 13
Tendulkar, only 17, made a massive impression with his hundred in Manchester. The world was treated to a brief glimpse of the brilliance to come. He emerged as arguably the most complete batsman in the game. The knock at Old Trafford was the first of the 100 international hundreds to come. The Little Master never looked back.
Tendulkar scored four hundreds in England from the 17 Tests he played there. His batting average in England reads an impressive 54.30. He also scored three hundreds against England in India, and his runs at home came at 48.
Tendulkar’s unbeaten hundred in the fourth innings of the Chennai Test in 2008 is rated amongst the finest innings under pressure by an Indian.
Sourav Ganguly (1996-2008) — Captain
Against England: M 12 | R 983 | HS 136 | Ave 57.82 | SR 53 | 100s 3 | 50s 5 | W 8 | BBI 3-71 | Ave 38.12 | Econ R 3.25 | SR 70.3
Ganguly announced himself to international cricket with back-to-back centuries against England, at Lord’s and Trent Bridge. In addition, the knocks have attained folklore status for the artistic brilliance. His love affair with the country continued, and for once he was spotted shirtless at the Lord’s balcony.
Ganguly has just lost one out of the 12 Tests he played against England. In the home series of 2001-02, Ganguly failed with the bat but his captaincy drew a lot of praise as India sealed the series 1-0 against Nasser Hussain’s men.
Ganguly’s batting average shoots up to 65.40 in England. He is the only left-handed batsman in this side.
Dravid led India to a 1-0 win in England and therefore, contested for the captaincy spot but he loses points for losing a Test in Mumbai. Ganguly, widely regarded as India’s finest Test captains, will lead this side.
Ganguly will also play the role of a part-time medium-pacer in the Test. He has eight wickets against England. Twice he has got out India’s nemesis Alastair Cook. His other important wickets being Hussain, Graham Thorpe, Graeme Hick and Jack Russell.
Mohammad Azharuddin (1984-2000)
Against England: M 15 | R 1,278 | HS 182 | Ave 58.09 | SR 57.2 | 100s 6 | 50s 3
Azharuddin announced himself to Test cricket with three successive hundreds, in his first three Tests, against England. What missed in him was consistency. He had a passable series in England in 1986, was exceptional in the country in 1990 and later at home in 1992-93, only to flop miserably in the 1996 tour that saw him lose captaincy.
Azhar scored two hundreds in England and averaged 41.66 from nine Tests in the country. However, in India, Azhar was unstoppable against this opposition. He scored at 93.30 against England at home — and that includes four hundreds
Notable misses: Dileep Vengsarkar, Vijay Hazare, Vijay Manjrekar and Vinod Kambli.
Farokh Engineer (1961-75)
Against England: M 18 | R 1,113 | HS 121 | Ave 37.10 | 100s 1 | 50s 8 | Dismissals 29
Farokh Engineer was at his best with the bat against England. He was equally effective in both, England and India. He raised the bar during the 1971 Test series win in England. His 59 and 28* in The Oval win (India’s first in England) came at vital junctures. Before that, in 1967, he scored 87 while opening the innings at Manchester.
Engineer’s finest performance against England came in the Mumbai Test of 1972-73 series. Opening the innings, he slammed 121 and followed it with 66.
Notable misses: MS Dhoni, Kiran More, Parthiv Patel and Syed Kirmani
Zaheer Khan (2000-14)
Against England: M 13 | W 43 | BBI 5-75 | Ave 29.02 | Econ R 2.72 | SR 63.8 | 5wI 1
A young Zaheer bowled his heart out in the 2002 tour drawn series in England. He returned to the country as a seasoned campaigner in 2007, and the county cricket experience had only bettered him. Zaheer bowled India to a win at Trent Bridge, which helped them clinch the series. He claimed 18 wickets in the series and bagged the Player of the Series award. Zaheer was handy in Indian conditions too, bagging 12 wickets from five Tests against England at 31.75.
Mohammad Nissar (1932-36) – Will play in England
Against England: M 6 | W 25 | BBI 5-90 | Ave 28.28 | Econ R 3.50 | SR 48.4 | 5wI 3
Mohammad Nissar is the first Indian cricketer to make a serious impression in international cricket. Regarded as India’s fastest pre-independence bowler, Nissar picked 23 wickets from four Tests in England at 26.55 and at a brilliant strike rate of 42.6. Nissar will partner Zaheer with the red ball in England.
When this team plays in Indian conditions, Nissar will be replaced by his much-famed partner of the 1930s.
Amar Singh (1932-36)
Against England: M 7 | W 28 | BBI 7-86 | Ave 30.64 | Econ R 2.35 | SR 77.9 | 5wI 2 | R 292 | HS 51 | Ave 22.46 | 50s 1
Amar Singh picked 14 wickets against England in their 1933-34 tour of India. He picked 7 for 86 in the Chennai Test, figures that stood best by an Indian bowler for 18 years. He was more effective than Nissar in Indian conditions, averaging 27.28.
Notable misses: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Ghulam Ahmed (1949-59)
Against England: M 6 | W 25 | BBI 5-70 | Ave 23.24 | Econ R 2.10 | SR 66.2 | 5wI 2
Ghulam Ahmed’s strength lied in his control over line and length. An off-spinner of classical mould, Ghulam was exceptional against England, both home and away. In the 1951-52 home series, he proved to be the perfect support to Mankad, finishing with 10 wickets from two Tests at 21. Later that year, in England, he was India’s saving grace in the series loss. He picked 15 wickets from four Tests at 24.73 and he was difficult to score against.
Notable misses: Anil Kumble, Bishan Singh Bedi and Dileep Doshi
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar (1963-79)
Against England: M 23 | W 95 | BBI 8-79 | Ave 27.27 | Econ R 2.50 | SR 65.2 | 5wI 8
Bhagwath Chandra makes this side for his wealth of experience. He picked close to 40 per cent of his career wickets against England. His most memorable feat came at The Oval in 1971. His 6 for 38 in the second innings enabled India to register their first win in England. In the 38 innings, he bowled against England starting the 1963-64 season, he claimed eight five-wicket hauls.
Moreover, Chandra claimed 64 of his English wickets in India at 24. In England, his numbers read 31 wickets from nine Tests at almost 34. But his other five-for at England came in the 1967 tour, at Lord’s. This leg-spinner completes the spin trio of this team that consists of a slow left-arm spinner in Mankad, and an off-spinner in Ghulam.
Also, England Vs India – India’s Greatest XI against England
Vijay Merchant, Vinoo Mankad, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly (c), Mohammad Azharuddin, Farokh Engineer (wk), Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Nissar (in England)/Amar Singh (in India), Ghulam Ahmed, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar
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