Rewind: When India played their first ever Test match

Sudipta / 25 June 2015

It was December of 1933. India, a British colony, had been invited by England to play a Test match at Lord’s. It was the first four day international Test for India. Back in the country national conscience had been built up. Under the acute leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, India was struggling for independence. Britain was doing everything to make their mark in the Indian subcontinent. In this context, cricket in India took edge to rise in the international level.

India had to fight with cold, snow and damp English weather. If more to say the sub continental players had to fight with mental agony for getting tortured by British back in the country for almost over two hundred years.

Surviving the torture of British anarchism an Indian team comprised of players from both India and Pakistan made a foray in England at Lord’s that later culminated into India’s thumping domination in cricket and scripted many memorabilia which is now nostalgia for our generation. 

India obviously was an underdog to much experienced England team. Captain CK Nayudu winning the toss chose to bat first. Nevertheless, without any international experience India was no match for England. Although, they responded well to illustrative bowling attack of England comprised of Mark Nicholas, Edward Clark, James Langidge, Hedley Varity, Charlie Barnett and off spinner Lesli Townsend.

India scored 219 with the help of Wazir Ali (36), CK Nayadu (28), SHM Colah (31) and Lala Amarnath (38).  Hedley Varity, James Langridge and Mark Nicholas wrecked havoc on Indian innings, and shared three wickets each among themselves.

Yes, the scorecard was not looking good on the board. But, it was not the worst as they were playing for the first time. England went back to the dressing room with big smile on face.


1933 Lala Amarnath scored 118 in the second innings aganist England at Lord’s – the first Test for India 

Next day morning, as English opening Mitchell and Walters came in the pitch Indian first bowler Mohhamad Nissar started sending chin music to them. Result came with immediate effect as he bowled out Mithcell for five. Nissar  created a  buzz in the English dressing room as he later went on to tumble the wicket of famous Douglas Jardin (60),  Ediwn Clark, James Langidge and Hedley Varity.

A five wicket haul for the express quick fast bowler Nissar who was assisted by Rustomji Jamshedji who took three wickets.  But, Bryan Valentine’s 136 off 180 balls and Jardine’s 60 helped England to notch up 438 and imposed a huge 219 runs lead over India.


India’s first Test: Mohammad Nissar from Hoshiarpur, Punjub, Pkaistan took 5 wickets including the wicket of Douglas Jardine at Lord’s Test. 

India in the second innings managed to score only 258 which meant only 39 run England had to make to win the Test.  The innings highlight was Lala Amarnath’s  hard-fought 118 off 185 balls and CK Nayudu’s 67 which had gone in vain.

England defeated India by 9 wickets. The only wicket was Mitchell trapped lbw by Amar Singh.  

The positive thing was that India gave a fight to England and bundled out them for 438. Nobody expected that an English colony who never had previous experience of playing Test match made England fight to come back at their sanctuary Lord’s. Just think if Valentine got out without scoring any run what should happen then, India might test first victory over his colonial father Britain before even getting the independence 14 years later.  Being inferior on and off the field it was always difficult to compete with the English cricketer.

So, considering these things it was an honour not only for Indian team but also for common Indian citizens as England invited India to play them at the Lord’s as there was time when British government in India did not allow Indian in their social gathering. It was common sight to find signboards displaying “Indians and dogs are not allowed,” outside clubs, elite eateries and famous hotels. 

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