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5 amazing series wins for India after starting on a wrong note

Krish Sripada
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 12:59 IST

Comebacks in any sport are not easy. Sport, no matter how many strategies have been chalked up and how much training and conditioning has been done, is still comprised of emotions at its core, which can make or break a situation.That perfect away-swinger which gets the big breakthrough, that counter-attacking surge that brings a dominating bowling attack back on its knees, those stunning flying catches which cannot really be practiced and can be pulled off only in a moment of inspiration mixed with luck – cricket is awash with examples of unbelievable stunts pulled off in the middle.Comeback wins are amazing because a cricket series is about momentum more than ability, more often than not. It is very hard to turn around the tide within a series once a tone has been set, almost like painting a new colour over a wall that already has another bright colour as opposed to a primer-white. India has had its fair share of comeback wins as well. The recently concluded 2-1 win against Sri Lanka is only their third series win ever and the first away from home after being down a game. That puts into perspective how unique the victory is. There have been some other instances as well where India didn’t exactly start off on the right note but went on to win the series.Here are five amazing series wins for India – hard-fought, hard-earned victories that’ll always be savoured.  

#5 1972, England\'s tour of India. India won 2-1

India England Cricket 1972
A still from the series between England and India in 1972 which the hosts India won 2-1

What makes the victory incredible: India lost the first Test in Delhi by six wickets and it looked like Wadekar’s golden run might come to an end before the turnaround happened.

The Awe factor: BS Chandrasekhar and BS Bedi took five-wicket hauls as Indian spinners accounted for 19 out of the 20 England wickets to draw level.

The second Test that India won to level the series after losing the first was a low-scoring affair. India having scored 210 in their first innings, had a slender 36 run lead which turned out to be decisive. The hosts set England a target of 192 and bundled them out for 163 in 91 overs.

The combination of Bedi’s off-spin and Chandrasekhar’s leg spin at Eden Gardens, Calcutta (now Kolkata) bamboozled the England batsmen. Once again the top-scorer for India in the Test overall was Farokh Engineer whose 75 took India from 100 for five to 210 in the first innings, with the next highest being Wadekar’s 44. India won the match by 28 runs.

The third Test at Chepauk, Madras (now Chennai) was equally sensational. BS Chandrasekhar took a six-wicket haul once again to restrict England to 242 allowing India to take a lead of 74 when they scored 316, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi scoring an excellent 73.

England were all out for 159 in their second innings, this time the off-spinners Erapalli Prasanna and Bishan Singh Bedi taking four-wicket hauls. India chased down 86 but lost six wickets in the process. It was and still remains one of India’s greatest series comeback wins in its cricket history.

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Published 02 Sep 2015, 19:04 IST
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