Indian cricketing greats who have not realized their potential in England

Cricket - Investec Test Series - First Test - England v India - Day Five - Trent Bridge
Cricket - Investec Test Series - First Test - England v India - Day Five - Trent Bridge
Modified 25 Jun 2018
Top 5 / Top 10

A tour to England for players from the subcontinent is looked upon as a challenge for an individual as well as a team. Cool/moderate climate, swinging and seaming conditions are unfamiliar to subcontinental players and hence performing in England is a major incentive to one's career.

A solid batting performance coupled with bowlers who get movement of the air or seam is vital to performing well in England and India have also done well on few tours to the Old Blighty having won there on three occasions- 1971,1986 and 2007, a series draw in 2002.

Apart from that, India has largely disappointed having even been whitewashed on three occasions- 1959, 1974 and 2011. Each team is difficult to defeat in their own backyard and England is no exception having been rarely defeated by touring teams and their last test series loss at home came in 2014 (2 match series).

A series win is achievable when the mainstays of the batting and bowling unit perform to their potential and when they are ably supported by others. Many legends of the game have performed exceedingly well in England with the likes of Sir Donald Bradman, Vivian Richards, Imran Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid boasting of impressive stats and matchwinning performances.

However, there are some great cricketers- particularly Indian as the article focuses on them, who've not performed as they would've liked in England.

Note: The criterion for selection is that the player should have lasted a complete test series on a minimum of two occasions. This is the reason why Virender Sehwag despite averaging a low 27.80 has not been included as he went to a test tour to England midway(3rd test) in 2011.

1.Polly Umrigar

Hobbs And Umrigar
Polly Umrigar meeting the great Sir Jack Hobbs in 1959

One of the earliest batting legends for India along with Vijay Hazare and Vijay Merchant, Polly kaka was a prolific run scorer in both First class and Test level. He played in 59 tests scoring 3631 runs at an average of 42.22 and he batted in the middle order playing vital knocks.

He went on two full tours to England in 1952 and 1959 and they yielded poor results for the team as well as Polly. Throughout these tours, he scored heavily against first-class teams but came short against a bowling line-up of the likes of Trueman, Statham and Laker.

He could manage only one test century and in 15 test innings, he made 273 runs at a below-par average of 18.20.

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Published 25 Jun 2018
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