3 Indian captains to win Test series in SENA countries in the 21st century
The Indians have traditionally been poor travellers as far as Test cricket is concerned, especially where conditions assist swing, pace and bounce. And after 86 years of Test cricket, there are still some lands left to be conquered by the Indian team.
However, India had their share of success, their moments of glory in the past. The recent series win in Australia was their sixth in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries.
Three of them have come in the 21st century, under three different skippers in three different nations. Here we look at the three skippers under whom India have tasted series victories in the SENA countries in the 21st century.
Rahul Dravid (in England, 2007)
Rahul Dravid managed to achieve a rare double, winning the Test series in West Indies and England, which only Ajit Wadekar did in 1970-71. The 1-0 series win in a three-match series in England was sandwiched between a disappointing World Cup debacle and a remarkable World Cup win in 2007.
Going into the series, India did possess a potent fast bowling attack and a formidable batting lineup, barring the opening woes. The first Test was a see-saw contest, with the game tilting the balance every session.
India succumbed to 201 in reply to England's 298. In the second innings, RP Singh's five-fer reduced England to 282, setting India a target of 380. Playing for a draw, India managed to escape, courtesy a superb fighting knock by Dhoni and rain-curtailed last session.
The second Test at Nottingham saw India dominate the English in every way possible. A disciplined bowling performance on the first morning stopped England for 198, in reply to which India posted 455 with five of the top six scoring fifties.
The second innings will be remembered for the Jelly Bean controversy, which spurred Zaheer to rattle the English lineup with a five-wicket haul. Chasing a target of 73, India reached the target with seven wickets in hand, with skipper Dravid scoring the winning runs.
The third Test at Lords saw yet another dominating display by the Indians. With a first innings score of 664, courtesy a brilliant hundred by Kumble, and a strokeful 92 by Dhoni, India ensured they outbatted England from the match as well as the series.
England finished with 345 on the board, and surprisingly India did not enforce the follow-on. More surprisingly, they showed no urgency in scoring as well and declared at 180/6. England managed to survive the 110 overs and finished with 369/6 as the match ended in a draw.
India lifted the trophy after 21 years on English soil. And for the first time in the 21st century India tasted victory in SENA countries.