India made its debut at Lord's under Col C K Nayudu

Written by: Keshavamurthy c
Published: Friday, July 19, 2002, 16:02 [IST]
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Bangalore: After the ongoing current NatWest tri-series involving India, England and Sri Lanka, India will be taking on England in a four-Test series the first of which will be starting from 25th July at Lord's.

India has toured England 13 times so far dating from its inaugural tour on any foreign soil way back in 1932. It is interesting to note that India started its international Test career by playing first against England in 1932 at Lord's - known as the Mecca of cricket grounds - under the captaincy of the legendary Colonel C K Nayudu.

Although India lost the only Test, it won the admiration of many for the fighting spirit it showed and the captaincy of Nayudu was applauded. In the 13 series played so far comprising of 41 Tests in England, India has won the series only twice - in 1971 by winning the Oval Test (and drawing two Tests) under the dynamic leader Ajit Wadekar - which incidentally was its first overseas win in England shortly after the historic win in West Indies the same year.

Its next series win came after a lapse of 15 years when it won in 1986 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev - at Lord's and Leeds (and drawing one Test). Since then India has been fighting hard to achieve a Test win in England but in vain.

Of all the foreign visits, when it comes to touring England, every country is eager to perform better and attach some significance to such visit. The fight between the traditional rivals Australia and England for the prestigious 'Ashes' is well known.

So also the other countries wish to lay their tall claims in their visits to England but have been rarely successful barring Australia and save in some cases when the mighty West Indians ruled by its own law when it was on top of the world.

The other teams victories in England could be counted on fingers. England has now become a well-knit unit under the able stewardship of Nasser Hussain. By winning the series comfortably by 2-0 margin in the recently concluded 3 Test-series against Sri Lanka - who had a streak of 9 continuous Test wins at one time and who had beaten Pakistan at Lahore in the Asian Test Championship, England has given signals to India as to what might be in store for the visitors in case the hosts are considered underdogs.

On the other hand India had a disappointing Test series losing in West Indies in early 2002. The only consolation India is having is that it has beaten England in the home series in 2002 albeit unconvincingly as England had almost turned the table to square the series but for rain God interfering in the final Test at Bangalore.

In all, the two countries have played 24 Test series (including one Test series) with England winning 15 and India 7; 2 series' ended in draws; all the series have ended with a result in England while the two drawn series have occurred in India - in 1951/52 and 1963/64.

Test wise also India has won only 3 Tests in England out of 41 Tests played so far and 12 Tests out of 46 played in India. India has thus played a total of 87 Tests against England winning 15, losing 32 and drawing the remaining 40.

Saurav Ganguly - the current captain - had in fact made his debut during his last tour to England in 1996 along with his deputy Rahul Dravid. What is more the two had celebrated their debuts on an acclaiming note - Ganguly had scored a century on debut while Dravid had missed the coveted mark by just 5 runs.

Following are some of the stats confining to India and England Tests:

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