Mon, 08 Aug 2022

London [UK], June 25 (ANI): On this day in 1932, India started its journey in international Cricket as a Test-playing nation, making its debut against England at Lord's.

India's first-ever International cricket assignment was a tough one against a top-tier English team, boasting of world-class players like Wally Hammond, captain Douglas Jardine, wicketkeeper batter Les Ames, and pacer Bill Bowes etc.

But yet when England came out to the field to bat first after winning the toss, the most unexpected happened. Medium-pacer Mohammad Nissar shocked the Englishmen by dislodging stumps of openers Percy Holmes (6) and Herbert Sutcliffe (3). Batter Frank Woolley was run out for 9. This early attack left England shocked and struggling at 3/19.

Then Wally Hammond and skipper Douglas Jardine stitched an 82-run effort, rescuing England from a disaster. Hammond fell next to medium-pacer Amar Singh for 35. Eddie Paynter fell next, cheaply for just 14. Jardine finally fell for a well-made 79 to Indian captain CK Nayadu, who trapped him with his spin. England was 6/166 at this point.

Keeper-batter Les Ames then stitched another stand of 63 runs with Walter Robins. Ames fell as the ninth man for 65 to Nissar and Bowes was the last one to fall for seven to Amar Singh.

England were dismissed for 259 in 105.1 overs by India. The medium-pace duo of Nissar (5/93) and Amar Singh (2/75) emerged as the first-ever heroes of India's lengthy cricketing history with their bowling. Captain Nayadu also took 2/40.

In their first attempt with the bat. India was bundled out for 189 by the English. Naoomal Jeoomal (33), Syed Wazir Ali (31), captain Nayadu (40) and Sorabji Colah (22) made solid contributions for India. India were 4/139 at one point but lost their last six wickets for just 50 runs.

The pace duo of Bill Bowes (4/49) and Bill Voce (3/23) shined for England and helped them get a 70-run lead.

In their second innings, England extended their lead to 345 runs, putting up a solid 275/8 before declaring the innings. Skipper Douglas Jardine (85) once again shined for England after they were once again left struggling at 4/67 by Amar Singh (2/84) and medium-pacer Jahangir Khan (4/60). Eddie Paynter also struck a crucial 54.

Set 346 to win, Indian batters never really looked the part of the match, being bundled out for 187. Except for Jeoomal (25), Wazir Ali (39), Lall Singh (29) and Amar Singh (51), no other Indian batter posed even the slightest challenge to Englishmen.

Hammond shined with the ball, taking 3/9, while Bowes, Voce and spinner Freddie Brown took two each.

India had lost their first-ever Test and international cricket match by 158 runs.

But ever since that day in 1932, India has improved leaps and bounds in the longest format of the game, especially from the 1990s onwards and even more in the 2000s and 2010s. The team has so far featured in 562 Tests, winning 168, and losing 173. 220 matches ended in a draw while one in a tie. India's win percentage in this format is 29.89 per cent.

India reigned supreme as a Test side during the late 2010s. India held the ICC Test Championship mace, a sign of supremacy on numerous occasions in this time period. Afterwards, the Test Championship was converted into a proper tournament, with first one played from 2019-21. India were the finalists in the tournament, losing to New Zealand by eight wickets in the finals at Southampton.

India has given the world some of its finest Test batters, with Sachin Tendulkar being the leading scorer in the history of the format with 15,921 runs in 200 Tests. He is followed by Rahul Dravid (13,288 in 164 Tests) on the fourth spot in the top ten. Other than that, Sunil Gavaskar, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, and Saurav Ganguly have also left an impact on Tests.

India has also given the world some of its best Test bowlers, with Anil Kumble at fourth (619 wickets), Ravichandran Ashwin at eighth (442 wickets) and Kapil Dev at tenth (434 wickets) in the top ten wicket-takers list. (ANI)

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