5 outstanding Indian openers who failed in England
England is one of the toughest places to bat as an opener. The conditions favor lateral deviation of the Dukes ball, and fresh bowlers steaming in with all their skill and might makes it a nightmare for the opening pair.
It is no wonder that most successful Indian batsmen in England have been those who possessed technical solidity and incredible temperament. Sunil Gavaskar, Vijay Merchant, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar lead the tally of India’s runs in England.
While these greats accumulated runs, a few others struggled to put together their innings. Here are five famous Indian opening batsmen who could not taste success against English bowlers.
1. Virender Sehwag ( 278 runs in 10 innings)
The maverick big-hitter is undoubtedly one of the finest Test openers. Sehwag has scored two Test triple centuries for India, one of which is the fastest triple century in the history of Test cricket.
Sehwag, whose batting technique depended more on hand-eye coordination than the textbook defense, was expected to have a tough time in the English conditions, where the ball swings a lot more than any other location.
After beginning excellently in the 2002 tour, where Sehwag scored 84 (Lord’s) and 106 (Nottingham) in his first two Tests, the opener started fading away as the English bowlers found a chink or two in his armor.
The Delhi batsman managed to score only 61 runs in his next seven innings, five of which were single figure scores. These include the infamous king pair at Birmingham in 2011, where Sehwag was out on the first ball in both the innings of the Test.
Batting record in England:
6 Tests, 10 innings, 278 runs, Batting average 27.8, 100’s - 1, 50’s - 1, 0’s - 3