Lord’s remains close to every Indian cricket fan's heart. In 1932, India began their international journey at the venue. Exactly 51 years later, they halted the West Indian juggernaut to be crowned the World Champions in 1983.
In 89 years of India’s international cricket history, they have played just 18 Tests at Lord's, winning just two and losing 12. However, memorable moments have come aplenty.
Ahead of the 2021 Lord’s Test between India and England, which starts today, let us revisit some of the iconic performances from Indian cricketers at the game’s Mecca.
1932: Mohammad Nissar claims the first five-for for India
Playing their first-ever Test, India reduced England to 13 for three in the first hour. CK Nayudu, who was leading India in the Test, noted that Mohammad Nissar, in his first spell, was even faster than England pacer Harold Larwood, a man who terrorized Australia in the Bodyline Series and was the then-fastest bowler in the world.
Nissar became the first Indian to claim a five-for. Douglas Jardine, the England skipper, saved his seasoned side from blushes as India gave a good account of themselves.
England 259 (Douglas Jardine 79, Les Ames 65; Mohammad Nissar 5/93) & 275/8 dec. (Douglas Jardine 85, Eddie Paynter 54; Jahangir Khan 4/60) beat India 189 (Bill Bowes 4/49, Bill Voce 3/23) & 187 (Amar Singh 51; Wally Hammond 3/9) by 158 runs
1936: Amar Singh gets into the act for India
Four years later, India played their second Test on English soil, with the venue being Lord’s. Amar Singh, who became the first half-centurion from India on the 1932 tour, starred with the ball, claiming a six-for. Singh and Nissar exhibited exceptional fast bowling to help India earn a first-innings lead.
It’s another story of India running into a tail-up Gubby Allen, who helped the hosts seal a win.
India 147 (Gubby Allen 5/35, Walter Robins 3/50) & 93 (Gubby Allen 5/43, Hedley Verity 4/17) lost to England 134 (Maurice Leyland 60; Mohammad Nissar 3/36, Amar Singh 6/35) & 108 for 1 (Harold Gimblett 67*) by nine wickets
1952: Vinoo Mankad’s all-round show salvages some pride for India
Only two cricketers have a Test century and a five-wicket haul in an innings at Lord’s. Vinoo Mankad was the first. He scored 72 in the first innings and then sent down 73 overs and claimed a five-for. In the next innings, he led India’s batting charge again with a 184, scoring almost half the side’s runs. The effort wasn’t enough to save a defeat, but Mankad’s spectacular performance is remembered as one of the finest all-round shows at the home of cricket.
India 235 (Vindoo Mankad 72, Vijay Hazare 69; Fred Trueman 4/72, Allan Watkins 3/37) & 378 (Vinod Mankad 184, Vijay Hazare 49; Fred Trueman 4/110, Jim Laker 4/102) lost to England 537 (Len Hutton 150, Reg Simpson 53, Peter May 74, Tom Graveney 73, Godfrey Evans 104; Vinoo Mankad 5/196, Ghulam Ahmed 3/106) & 79 for 2 by eight wickets
1982: Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev give it all
It’s not often that a player from the losing side gets awarded the Player of the Match. But Kapil Dev's all-rounder efforts at Lord’s was exceptional. A year before he lifted the World Cup at the very venue, his five-for restricted England to 433 in the 1982 Lord's Test. He then scored a quick 41 in India’s 128. Following on, he blasted a 55-ball 89 to ensure England batted again. England needed just 65 for the win, and here was Kapil, who picked up all three wickets.
Another Indian star from the Test was Dilip Vengsarkar, who could do no wrong at Lord’s. His 157 was stroke-filled – an amalgam of artistic wrist-work and power.
England 433 (Ian Botham 67, Derek Randall 126, Phil Edmonds 64, Paul Allott 41*; Kapil Dev 5/125, Madan Lal 3/99) & 67/3 (Kapil Dev 3/43) beat India 128 (Sunil Gavaskar 48, Kapil Dev 41; Ian Botham 5/46, Bob Willis 3/41) & 369 (Dilip Vengsarkar 157, Kapil Dev 89; Bob Willis 6/101) by seven wickets
1986: Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar and Chetan Sharma help India script history at Lord’s
In 1986, India scripted history by winning the Lord’s Test, courtesy of the significant architects – Kapil, Vengsarkar and a 20-year-old Chetan Sharma.
Sharma’s five-for restricted England to 294. Vengsarkar then proceeded to slam his third hundred at Lord’s. Vengsarkar batted with the lower order, who didn’t contribute enough with runs, to ensure India got the lead. Kapil proceeded to dismantle the English batting in the second innings. Despite the jitters, India successfully chased down the target on the morning of the fifth day to record one of the most memorable moments in their cricketing chronicles.
India went on to win the series 2-1.
England 294 (Graham Gooch 114, Derek Pringle 63; Roger Binny 3/55, Chetan Sharma 5/64) & 180 (Kapil Dev 4/52, Maninder Singh 3/9) lost to India 341 (Mohinder Amarnath 69, Dilip Vengsarkar 126; Graham Dilley 4/146, Derek Pringle 3/58) & 136/5 by five wickets
1990: Mohammad Azharuddin and Kapil Dev entertain
In what was a forgettable outing for India. Graham Gooch put pressure on the visitors by piling up most runs in a Test. Then-Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin rose to the occasion, exhibited tremendous wrist-work and slammed a splendid century. His 121 came off just 111 balls. The innings also saw Kapil smash four consecutive sixes off Eddie Hemmings to help India save following on.
England 653 for 4 dec. (Graham Gooch 333, Allan Lamb 139, Robin Smith 100*) & 272/4 dec. (Graham Gooch 123, Mike Atherton 72) beat India 454 (Ravi Shastri 100, Mohammad Azharuddin 121, Kapil Dev 77*; Angus Fraser 5/104) & 224 (Angus Fraser 3/39) by 247 runs
1996: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid mark a new era in Indian cricket
The 1996 Lord’s Test marked a new era in Indian cricket as it introduced two future megastars. Having lost the first Test at Birmingham, India had to win or save the Lord’s Test to stay alive in the series. The chances were slim, thanks to the green-top surface and India’s form. Less than a week back, they had lost a first-class game against Derbyshire.
India handed two caps in the Test, both of whom shone brightly. While Sourav Ganguly became the third cricketer to slam a hundred on debut at Lord’s, Rahul Dravid fell five runs short of a century. Ganguly also picked up three wickets in the match. The manner in which the two aced the conditions, and the English attack provided glimpses of what was to come ahead. The duo went on to establish themselves as massive pillars of Indian cricket.
England 344 (Graham Thorpe 89, Jack Russell 124; Javagal Srinath 3/76, Venkatesh Prasad 5/76) & 278/9 dec. (Alec Stewart 66; Anil Kumble 3/90) drew with India 429 (Sourav Ganguly 131, Rahul Dravid 91; Chris Lewis 3/101, Alan Mullaly 3/71)
2002: Ajit Agarkar and Virender Sehwag’s memorable outings in an otherwise forgettable Test
Less than a fortnight back, India beat the odds to hurt English pride and won the NatWest final at Lord’s. It was payback time with the red ball and England had their say.
The then Indian captain Ganguly marked a new era in Indian cricket by asking a young middle-order batter named Virender Sehwag to open in Tests. The aggressive batter responded with a 96-ball 84 and crafted his legacy as one of the most excellent openers in the sport’s history.
Meanwhile, Ajit Agarkar, a frontline pacer who bagged only three wickets in the Test, went on to get his name etched on the prestigious Lord’s honors board with an improbable hundred.
England 487 (Nasser Hussain 155, John Crawley 64, Andrew Flintoff 59, Craig White 53; Zaheer Khan 3/90, Anil Kumble 3/128) & 301 for 6 dec. (Michael Vaughan 100, John Crawley 100*; Anil Kumble 3/84) beat India 221 (Virender Sehwag 84; Matthew Hoggard 3/33) & 397 (Wasim Jaffer 53, Rahul Dravid 63, VVS Laxman 74, Ajit Agarkar 109; Matthew Hoggard 4/87) by 170 runs
2007: MS Dhoni denies an English victory
Playing his first Test at the home of cricket, MS Dhoni produced a gem of an innings to help India escape with a draw. The result proved to be fruitful as India went on to clinch the series. Chasing 380 for victory against a probing attack in testing conditions, India’s no.7 held the fort at one end as wickets tumbled at the other. The visitors were also aided by bad light and a slice of luck.
England 298 (Andrew Strauss 96, Michael Vaughan 79; Sreesanth 3/67) & 282 (Kevin Pietersen 134; Zaheer Khan 4/79, RP Singh 5/59) drew with India 201 (Wasim Jaffer 58; Ryan Sidebottom 4/65, James Anderson 5/42) & 282 for 9 (Dinesh Karthik 60, MS Dhoni 76*; Chris Tremlett 3/52)
Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ajinkya Rahane pull off the unthinkable
After a dull draw at Trent Bridge, the focus shifted to the green track at Lord’s. When England put India in to bat, the chances looked grim for the visitors. A fighting hundred from Ajinkya Rahane helped India post 295.
Rahane received support from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who scored 36 and, importantly, added a 90-run eighth-wicket stand. Bhuvi wasn’t done, though. He bagged a six-wicket haul and ensured England's lead was just 24 before he put up another resilient display with the bat in the second innings. This time, he and Ravindra Jadeja added 99 runs for the eighth wicket to help India set England a target of 319 runs.
With Joe Root in brilliant touch, England remained in the game before Dhoni instructed Ishant Sharma to go ahead with a short-ball strategy. The lanky pacer, who had gone wicket-less in the first innings, ended up producing one of the most iconic spells of fast bowling and claimed a seven-wicket hau as India registered their second Test win at Lord’s.
India 295 (Ajinkya Rahane 103; James Anderson 4/60) & 342 (Murali Vijay 95, Ravindra Jadeja 68, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 52; Ben Stokes 3/51, Liam Plunkett 3/65) beat England 319 (Gary Ballance 110, Liam Plunkett 55*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 6/82) & 223 (Joe Root 66; Ishant Sharma 7/74) by 95 runs