James Anderson, Andrew Flitonn, Monty Panesar. These are some names that come to your mind when it comes to taking wickets, be it in pressure situations or early breakthrough. Some of these bowlers have revelled during the India-England Test series rivalry, be it in winning or painful situations.
Ahead of the first Test starting in Chennai on Friday, we take a look at few memorable bowling spells by England bowlers on Indian soil.
James Anderson’s 4/81 ( 2012 Test series)
It was the fourth Test in Nagpur of an intriguing series between India and England, with the visitors having led 2-1. A win or a draw for the then Alastair Cook-led England side would have meant history for the visitors, having never won a Test series on Indian soil in almost three decades.
England won the toss in that Test and opted to bat first. They eventually posted 330 on Day 2 on the back of some fine knocks from Kevin Pietersen (73), Joe Root (73, Matt Prior (57) and Graeme Swann (56), and it was up to the bowlers to put up a spectacular show.
And on a Nagpur pitch which did not have much on offer for the bowlers, Anderson destroyed the Indian top-order, seeing off the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar to put India reeling at 71-4.
However, India scripted an inspired fightback, with Virat Kohli (103) and MS Dhoni (99) building a 198-run partnership for the fifth wicket to keep themselves alive, but the next major turning point in the series took place when Anderson trapped Ravindra Jadeja leg-before wicket for 12, to give India just a mere fighting chance at 288-6.
India eventually declared at 326-9 on Day 4, with a draw very likely with every passing over.
With time running out, England eventually posted 352-4 at the end of Day 5, with Jonathan Trott (143) and Ian Bell (116*). The thrilling, hard-fought draw for England meant that they would win a Test series on Indian soil for the first time since 1984-85, a defeat which still haunts Indian fans and players alike even now.
Andrew Flintoff 4-96 (2006)
Both India and England came into the second Test in Chandigarh on the back of a drawn encounter in Nagpur. The Indian batsmen had showcased resilience on the final day in Nagpur to finish that Test at 260-6, chasing a target of 368, and this was an opportunity for both the teams to finally break the ice and surge ahead in the series. Flintoff, then captaining the side, had just an ordinary outing in the first Test, but his four-wicket haul in Chandigarh was all the more special, even during a fine run of form.
England won the toss and opted to bat first, posting 300 after a fine unbeaten knock of 70 from the then England skipper Flintoff himself. Kumble had picked a five-fer that innings, and the Indian batsmen put up just an ordinary show, with only skipper Rahul Dravid (95) and Irfan Pathan (52) contributing for the most part despite the rest of the batsmen getting starts.
India lost Virender Sehwag early, but despite a fighting knock of 31 from Wasim Jaffer (31), their middle-order batsmen looked out of sorts. Flintoff’s first victim was Tendulkar (4), who was comprehensively beaten by the extra bounce from Flintoff as the edge went straight to Strauss at second slip.
However, after Dhoni fell for 16, leaving India at 153-5, Dravid and Irfan Pathan forged a 76-run stand, before Flintoff once again produced the breakthrough, seeing off Dravid. The next two wickets, too, consecutively belonged to Flintoff himself, after the right-arm bowler dismissed Pathan (52) and later Harbhajan Singh (36). India were dismissed for 338 in that first innings, but England underperformed in their second innings, being dismissed for 181 which later paved the way for India’s nine-wicket win in the Test after chasing 144.
Matthew Hoggard 6-57 (2006)
Matthew Hoggard was one of England’s lethal pacers during his time, and he was once again at his fiery best in the first Test in Nagpur when he claimed a memorable six-wicket haul.
Hoggard was a force to be reckoned with, and one of the most fearsome bowlers along with the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison.
England won the toss and opted to bat, putting up 393 on the board after an unbeaten century from Paul Collingwood. Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan had shared seven wickets among them, with the former scalping a four-fer, and come Indian batting, it was Matthew Hoggard’s time.
Hoggard saw off Sehwag very early, leaving India 11-1 after the opener was caught by Kevin Pietersen at short cover. And despite a 139-run stand between Rahul Dravid and Wasim Jaffer, the former was the next to fall into Hoggard’s trap, being dismissed leg-before wicket. In the 53rd over, less than three overs since Dravid’s wicket, Hoggard struck a double blow on the Indian batting line-up, dismissing Jaffer and VVS Laxman in two consecutive deliveries to leave the hosts reeling at 149-4. The hosts then lost Tendulkar and Dhoni, and after the duo’s dismissals, it was once again Hoggard’s time to rejoin the party.
Hoggard then unleashed a good length ball, coming to bowl round the stumps, and Pathan was forced to drive the shot, directly edging to Flintoff at second slip to claim another five-wicket haul.
Hoggard’s final wicket was that of Sreesanth, who was struck lbw as India were bowled out for 323.
In their second innings, England declared at 297-3 after an unbeaten ton from Alastair Cook (104*), and set India a target of 368.
However, a well-fought century from Jaffer (100) on the final day meant that the Test ended in a draw.
Monty Panesar 6/81 (2012)
It was England’s tour of India during the winter of 2012-13, and India had already won the first match in Ahmedabad to take a 1-0 lead. The action shifted to the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, and India decided to bat first after winning the toss. The hosts rode on Cheteshwar Pujara’s ton (135( and R Ashwin’s (68) brilliant knock under pressure to put 327 on board in the first innings.
This was followed by a century each from Alastair Cook (122) and Kevin Pietersen (186) as England powered themselves to 413.
Then came in Monty Panesar, who was known for his precise and affluent way bowling. He saw off Sehwag for just nine runs after being caught by Graeme Swann at gully, and from then on, it was wickets galore for England, mostly for Panesar. Tendulkar (8) and Yuvraj Singh (8) were Panesar’s next victims, and this left India at 78-5. And just over four overs since Yuvraj’s wicket, Panesar got the big scalp of Dhoni (6) to keep India further in a spot of bother. Panesar’s final two scalps were that of R Ashwin and Zaheer Khan, who were seen off in a gap of exactly six overs.
India were eventually bowled out for 142, and went onto lose the match, with England chasing down 57 with all 10 wickets to spare.
Ben Stokes 5-73 (2016)
A relatively recent series, this Test series in India was a forgettable one for England as they went down 0-4 in the five-match series (one match drawn). But Ben Stokes’ five-wicket haul was a major positive talking point in the series.
It was the third Test of the series in Chandigarh. England elected to bat first on what was Karun Nair’s Test debut for the hosts. Their decision to do so backfired after being bowled out for 283 following Jonny Bairstow’s knock (89).
Ben Stokes struck in the earlier stages of India’s reply, seeing off Murali Vijay for 12 runs. And after hosts suffered a double blow from Adil Rashid who dismissed Parthiv Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, Stokes broke through once again to see off Virat Kohli for 62, courtesy a catch by Jonny Bairstow. And by the time Ashwin and Jadeja were dismissed, India were 381-8. Stokes’ final victim was Umesh Yadav, who was once again caught by Bairstow who made no mistake behind the wickets.
India posted 417 and went onto dismiss England for 236 in the second innings. Stokes’ efforts eventually went in vain as India comfortably chased down 103 with eight wickets to spare.
Graeme Swann eight wickets in Mumbai Test (2012)
In the same match where Monty Panesar picked a five-fer, Graeme Swann was another bowler who stole the limelight, scalping four wickets each innings.
In the first innings as India batted, he was responsible for that crucial breakthrough, removing Pujara (135) after a Matt Prior stumping. This was followed by his scalps of Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan as Swann finished his first-innings figures of 4-70.
In the second innings, he once again haunted the Indian batsmen, getting rid of the well-set Gautam Gambhir (65), along with Pujara, Kohli and later Harbhajan. This was an even more impressive spell with figures of 4-43.
Asley Giles 5-67 (2001)
India, under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, had won the first Test in the winter of 2001 and were brimming with confidence heading to the second match.
England opted to bat first and posted 407 following a century from Craig White (121) despite Anil Kumble scalping seven wickets.
Giles dominated most of England’s bowling in India’s reply, seeing off Deep Dasgupta (17). Following this wicket, Giles came back to taunt the Indian lower order, dismissing Kumble, Harbhajan and Javagal Srinath in a span of four overs. India were 274-9, and it was not long before Giles wrapped up the Indian innings for 291 with the wicket of VVS Laxman.
However, Giles went wicketless in the second innings as both teams shared spoils following a draw.
Phil Tufnell (4-142 in 1992-93)
India had already sealed the series with victories in the first and second Tests, and going into third Test during Graham Gooch-led England side just had pride to play for.
Graeme Hick’s 178 led England to 347 after they elected to bat first. And amid Vinod Kambli’s double ton (224), England had something to celebrate following a four-wicket haul.
India started strongly following a 109-run stand between Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Singh Sidhu. After Hick’s wicket of Manoj, Tufnell got into among the wickets, removing Sidhu for 79. Tendulkar was the next to be dismissed, being struck lbw by Tufnell, and later he turned to the lower-order to see off Kumble and Rajesh Chauhan.
India went onto post 591, and went onto beat England by an innings and 15 runs.
John Lever (5/100 in 1981)
It was the second Test of the series, and England came into this match trailing 0-1 in the series.
Almost every batsman, including Graham Gooch (58) and David Gower (82) dominated as England posted 400 after winning the toss.
And after Ian Botham broke through with the dismissal of Kris Srikanth following his century stand with Sunil Gavaskar, John Lever first saw off Dilip Vengsarkar, who was stumped by Bob Taylor, before seeing off Gundappa Viswanath, Ravi Shastri and Sandeep Patil, all being struck lbw.
Lever then earned his fifth in the form of Kapil Dev, who was dismissed for 59.
India were dismissed for 428, and following a fifty from Geoff Boycott, England declared at 174-3, with the match resulting in a draw.
Richard Dawson 4/134 (2001)
It was the first Test of the series in Chandigarh, and India had elected to field after winning the toss. England had made 234 on the back of knocks from Marcus Trescothick (66) and Nasser Hussain (85). However, India responded strongly, posting 469 thanks to a Deep Dasgupta (100) century. Despite this fightback from India, right-arm off-break bowler Richard Dawson stood out for the visitors, taking four wickets. He first struck in the 36th over, when he saw off Anil Kumble for 37 courtesy a catch by the wicketkeeper James Foster. And after seeing off Laxman for 28 following a few wicketless overs for him, he struck Harbhajan Singh leg-before, while displaying a spectacular caught and bowled effort to dismiss Sanjay Bangar, thereby completing his spell with four wickets.
However, the England batsmen in the second innings showcased a weak display, barring Trescothick (46) and Graham Thorpe (62) as England collapsed to 235.
As a result, India needed just five runs to win, and did so in just two balls to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
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