Top 5 Highest Scores in England v India Test Matches played in England
The Specsavers Test Series between England and India starts on Wednesday at Edgbaston. There is plenty of batting talent on show for both sides and records could tumble. Looking back at past series in England, there have been plenty of high scores and legendary innings. Looking at the top five highest scores in England has generated some interesting omissions.
Wally Hammond's 217 at The Oval in 1936, Rahul Dravid's 217 at The Oval in 2002 and Sachin Tendulkar's 193 at Headingley in 2002 have all missed out on the top five. Interestingly, five out of the top ten innings have been scored at The Oval. By the time the Fifth Test of this series comes around, and records haven't been broken, then watch the Test match carefully!
Let's take a look at the top five highest scores...
Sunil Gavaskar's 221 v England at The Oval in 1979
The summer of 1979 had not been a good one for the Indian team. Losing all their games in the Cricket World Cup India went into the Test series against England with little confidence. By the time the Fourth Test at The Oval came around, India were 1-0 down in the series and only the weather had so far prevented that being worse. An innings defeat at Edgbaston was followed up by being shot out for 96, with Ian Botham's 5/35 doing the damage. A rearguard innings from Gundappa Viswanath secured a draw.
Rain ruined the Third Test at Headingley before England had batted themselves into a winning position at The Oval. Needing 438 to win, a draw seemed to be the best to hope for as India's second innings got underway with Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan batting solidly. An opening partnership of 213 offered a glimmer of the impossible before Dilip Vengsarkar's 52 helped India within 76 of victory with 12 overs left.
Gavaskar's innings ended, after 443 balls, when David Gower took the catch off the bowling Ian Botham. The score at that point was 389/4 but India lost too many wickets and fell agonisingly close to a win by finishing nine runs short. All set up with a masterly innings from Gavaskar.