Lord’s, often referred to as the "home of cricket", has a special place in the hearts of fans of the sport. And for Indian cricket, the venue holds special significance. Any sporting memory etched at the iconic venue finds more sheen in its celebration.
No wonder India continue to rejoice, soaked in the glory of a famous victory at the Lord’s that they registered on Monday.
As India register their third Test win at Lord’s, let’s look at all the golden moments the Asian team have achieved as a cricketing nation at the venue that’s considered the sport’s mecca.
June 25, 1932: India becomes a Test-playing nation
Still a British colony, India made their Test debut at Lord’s on June 25, 1932. After CK Nayudu and Douglas Jardine got involved in a toss, India became the sixth team to play international cricket after Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand.
Asked to bowl first, an upbeat India had reduced the strong English side to 19 for three inside the first hour, with the highlight being Mohammad Nissar cleaning up the legendary Herbert Sutcliffe.
Jardine’s batting in the Test ensured no fairy-tale for India as the hosts clinched the encounter by 158 runs. But the day when India debuted in Test cricket will forever remain special.
Trivia: India had to wait almost 20 years and 25 Tests to register their first win. The moment came in Chennai against the visiting English side in February 1952.
June 25, 1983: India’s greatest cricketing moment
It was a massive achievement when India beat hosts England to enter the 1983 World Cup final. India’s dismal record in ODIs didn’t inspire enough confidence. Nobody gave them a chance, not even they themselves.
The stage was set for the West Indies to complete a hat-trick of World Cups on June 25, 1983. More so after they won the toss and sent India to bat. Countering the menace of Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding, India managed 183. In response, the West Indies were 57 for two, with Sir Viv Richards running away with the game.
Trying to belt Madan Lal for a boundary, Richards spooned it in the air and Indian skipper Kapil Dev sprinted backwards to complete one of the game’s most iconic catches. This triggered a great West Indian collapse as they were bundled out for 140, handing India its most significant sporting moment.
As India won the World Cup, the romance between cricket and India hit another level from here on.
Trivia: This win was India's first win at Lord's. Their next ODI World Cup win came in 2011. India have won five major ICC trophies – 1983 World Cup, 2002 Champions Trophy (joint winners), 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.
June 10, 1986: India’s first Test win at Lord’s
The 1983 World Cup final was India’s first win at Lord’s. They extended the run on their next visit as well. In 1986, on their 11th attempt, Team India finally won their maiden Test at the venue.
Chetan Sharma’s five-for restricted England to 294 before Dilip Vengsarkar's unbeaten 126 helped India to a 47-run lead. England could only score 180, owing to Kapil’s four-for. Despite the jitters, India finished with a five-wicket win on the final day with Kapil blasting a 10-ball 23 not out.
Trivia: Dilip Vengsarkar registered his third hundred at Lord’s. No visiting batter has more Test hundreds than the Mumbai stalwart at the iconic venue.
July 13, 2002: India win a final, finally
India had made a habit of losing finals in ODI tournaments.So when England piled up 325 after electing to bat first in the NatWest Trophy final, and India's chances looked bleaker against a good English bowling attack.
Three months back, Australia had recorded a successful chase of 330 against South Africa, and that was the only instance in the format's history that a team had scored over 316 to win an ODI.
History may have been against India but Sourav Ganguly's will remained fixed to change it. If his hundred during his Test debut at Lord's was about those silken strokes, here he started as a man possessed, bludgeoning everything through the off-side.
The start from Ganguly and Virender Sehwag provided India with a platform before a flurry of wickets pushed them on the back foot at the halfway stage. When the nation lost hope and TVs were shut, Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh pulled off the unthinkable as India won a thriller in the final over.
Less than six months back, Andrew Flintoff had celebrated by removing his jersey and taking laps at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after he helped England beat India by a whisker to level the ODI series. Ganguly returned the favor by stripping off his jersey and whirling it on the Lord's balcony, giving the sport one of its most evocative moments.
July 21, 2014: MS Dhoni’s India finally win in England
MS Dhoni lost all four Tests as Indian captain during the 2011 tour. The first Test of the 2014 tour at Trent Bridge ended in a draw. To make things worse was India’s dismal record in Lord’s Test. They hadn’t won a Test there in 28 years. The curators dished out a green track, and India were asked to bat first.
Ajinkya Rahane's superb hundred ensured India posted a decent total. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s six-for then limited England's lead to just 24 runs. A charged-up Indian lower order then joined the party and helped the side set England a target of 319. The hosts looked well on course before Ishant Sharma began his short-ball barrage, claiming a seven-for as India bowled out England for 223.
Trivia: Ishant Sharma averaged 38 with the ball from 56 Tests till the 2014 Lord’s Test. Since then, he has averaged just above 25 from 47 Tests and is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in the world.
August 16, 2021: Virat Kohli's India turn the tables in a heated Lord's Test
Mental disintegration was more of an Australian thing. It was India's turn to take a leaf out of Steve Waugh's book and implement it on the English side. No wonder Waugh has always been vocal in his praise for Virat Kohli.
With Kohli around, you'd expect things to spice up, and the 2021 Lord's Test had zest aplenty. In a battle of skills, India trumped England, with their main artillery being psychology.
India could have won the Trent Bridge Test if the rain hadn't had the final say. At Lord's, India won round one after being forced to bat in seamer-friendly conditions, with Rohit Sharma scoring 83 and KL Rahul notching up a magnificent century. England bounced back on Day 2 and took the lead on Day 3.
Jasprit Bumrah's barrage of short balls against James Anderson fuelled controversy on Day 3, followed by Kohli and old nemesis Anderson's verbal tiffs on Day 4. Despite some resilience from the out-of-form batters - Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane - England remained in an advantageous position.
The hosts began sniffing a win after Rishabh Pant and Ishant Sharma were dismissed early on the fifth days, with India's lead being just over 180 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were at the end of hostility from the hosts. There was retaliatory short-pitched bowling against them, and so were the verbal volleys. The tailenders rode on it and breezed to an unbeaten 89-run stand. With a 271-run lead, Kohli declared just after Lunch.
Charged up with the fightback from the tail and England's verbal tactics, India matched their counterparts in their game and upped their skills with the ball to dismantle the hosts for just 120 during the late hours of the final day.
One of India's most famous wins was etched courtesy of a complete team effort. Rahul got a hundred; Rohit came close to it; Kohli played a crucial 42 in the first innings and led the side well; Pujara and Rahane stitched a critical second-innings partnership; Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja played good hands in the first innings; Shami and Bumrah changed it with the bat and claimed three wickets each; Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj were the best bowlers, claiming five and eight wickets in the Test respectively.