2 Series that the ongoing England vs India Test series reminds of
India’s dramatic and against the run of play win against England in the Third Test at Trent Bridge has given an interesting twist to this series. Trailing the Test series 2-1 with 2 Test matches to go, India has a realistic chance of winning the series.
India’s historic 7th Test win in England bears resemblance to two series involving India in the past. In 2001 when Australia toured India, they had comfortably outplayed India in the first Test. The mighty Australians, as they were called, wanted to conquer their final frontier- “India” after they had proved their might all around the world.
After a massive win in the first Test, it appeared that Steve Waugh’s Australia were well on course achieving their dream. However, India turned the dice upside down in the second Test at Kolkata. With the help of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman’s batting heroics and a memorable performance of spin bowling by Harbhajan Singh, India won the match from an impossible situation. Post that, India won the Chennai Test and won the series.
In a similar Test series in 1974-75, West Indies toured India and this tour perhaps had much more similarity to the ongoing England-India Test series. India had lost the first 2 Tests even in that series- in Bengaluru and Delhi.
In the Third Test, India’s defeat looked certain. However, Gundappa Vishwanath’s century in the second innings helped India make an improbable comeback. Chasing a target of over 300 runs, West Indies were bundled out for 224 runs, thanks to the spinners.
West Indies won the final test and claimed the series. However, in order to come to a conclusion that match was extended to a 6th day. Had it been a modern 5 Day game, the series would have been a 2-2 draw.
In the ongoing series, India lost the first Two Tests because of poor batsmanship. The bowlers had done their job effectively. In fact, in South Africa and England, India has dismissed the opposition 11 out of 12 times.
For an Indian team such a bowling performance is unprecedented. The moment India got contributions from batsmen other than Virat Kohli, who has been in a league of his own, the results were there to see. India batted sensibly in the Trent Bridge test and showed enormous calmness and composure.
With a psychological boost and England suddenly having more questions unanswered than India, India will walk in as favorites in the fourth Test starting 30th August. Let's hope that India takes inspiration from the above mentioned series and finish the remaining two Tests on a victorious note.