Lord's is one of the most iconic cricket grounds in the world and is synonymous with Test cricket. It’s a stadium that has been soaked in over 200 years of history. It’s a ground where Test cricketers from around the globe wish to play and get their names etched on the famous Lord’s honors board.
Indian cricketers are no different. Several Indian players have time and again mentioned their love for playing at Lord's. India have played 18 Tests at the iconic stadium so far, managing just two wins and four draws. However, a fair few historic innings have been played by Indians at Lord's that are still celebrated.
With the second England-India Test set to start at Lord's today, let's take a look at the top three innings played by Indian batsmen at the "Home of Cricket".
#3 Ajinkya Rahane - 103 in 2014
Having drawn the first Test, India looked in a much better place than they were during their infamous 4-0 loss to England in 2011. A green top was on offer at Lord's, with India asked to bat first against the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Ajinkya Rahane walked into bat at 86-3 and saw India slip to 145-7 at Tea.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami for company, Rahane went about resurrecting the Indian innings and scored a magnificent century. His hundred came via a confident drive through the covers off Anderson's bowling as Rahane reached his second Test century in style. Although the right-handed batsman was dismissed a couple of balls later, he did enough to help India post a respectable total of 295.
Rahane started his innings in a sedate manner, with his first 50 runs coming in 101 balls. His second 50 came at a run-a-ball as he took a more attacking approach with India being seven wickets down. Although the Test is remembered mostly for Ishant Sharma's seven-wicket haul that helped India to a famous win on Day 5, it was Rahane's innings that enabled the visitors to get into a winning predicament in the first place.
#2 Dilip Vengsarkar - 126* in 1986
The most prolific Indian batsman at Lord's – Dilip Vengsarkar – played an instrumental role in India’s first win at the venue.
England were bowled out for 294 in their first innings and India were 90-2 when Vengsarkar walked into bat. He played a crucial role in India posting 340, with the Mumbai batsman remaining not out at 126. His classy knock helped India take a vital 46-run first-innings lead which was more than enough to help them push for a historic victory.
Vengsarkar’s innings was a sublime mix of attack and defense as he blunted the English attack of Graham Dilley, Richard Ellison and John Emburey in style. He was involved in key partnerships with Mohinder Amarnath, Mohammad Azharrudin, and Kiran More.
It was Dilip Vengsarkar’s third century at Lord's, a feat that no other batsman from any visiting team has ever achieved in the history of Test cricket.
Saurav Ganguly - 131 in 1996
India lost the first Test of the series within three days. A green pitch and cloudy skies beckoned at Lords, but the result of the match was not even close to being gloomy from India's point of view.
India handed debuts to Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid and the rest, as they say, was history. Ganguly orchestrated one of the greatest debuts in Indian cricket history. England scored 344 in their first innings, and India’s primary objective was to survive when Ganguly walked into bat at no.3. India lost their first wicket for 25 runs, and the onus was on the debutant to help the visitors post a respectable total at Lord's.
Ganguly's innings was filled with poise and elegance as his 131-run knock helped India take a vital 85-run first-innings lead. The future Indian captain was at the crease for over seven hours and hit 20 boundaries. The 1996 Lord's Test saw one of the most memorable knocks and matches in Indian cricket history as it kickstarted the careers of two future legends - Ganguly and Dravid.