Team India will play its 18th Test at the Mecca of cricket, the Lord’s cricket ground in London. India has won only two Tests at Lord’s out of the 17 played so far and despite losing the first match at Birmingham on the current tour of 2018, India is looking good to make a match out of it at Lord’s in the 2nd Test.
India’s highest score at Lord’s has been 454 in 1990. Dilip Vengsarkar has scored the most runs for Team India at the ground and has the second highest score by an Indian on the ground.
The present Lord’s ground has a legacy that goes back to 1814 when it was constructed and hosted its first Test in 1884. The old Lord’s ground had hosted the first match in 1805 between Eton and Harrow. The current ground first hosted a first-class match between MCC and St John's Wood club between 13 and 15 July 1814.
India played their very first Test match at Lord’s on June 25, 1932, and since then, India’s match at Lord’s has brought unprecedented popularity with all the eyes on the encounter. There have been 11 centuries by Indian batsmen at the Lord’s ground and Team COC brings to you five of the most memorable performances by Indian batsmen at the Lord’s ground, on the eve of India’s Test against England on the 2018 Tour.
Here are Top 5 memorable performances by Indian batsmen at Lord's ground
RAHUL DRAVID – The last man standing
The 2011 India tour of England would be the last time the nation saw Rahul Dravid playing on the Lord’s ground. Dravid had made his Test debut at Lord’s in 1996 and had missed a debut ton by 5 runs. He missed the opportunities to score in 2002 and 2007 as well.
But when the going got tough in 2011, as England hammered Indian team in the four-Test series, 38-year-old Rahul Dravid proved to be the last man standing for the Indian team.
England had batted first and put on 474/8d with Kevin Pietersen scoring 202. India replied with 286, in which Rahul Dravid proved to be the proverbial wall, as he remained unbeaten for 103 runs, as the wickets kept falling around him. The next best score was 49 from Abhinav Mukund.
Dravid’s innings was a master class spanning for 330 minutes and he had hit 15 boundaries in the 220-ball vigil. Everyone knew that they were seeing a special innings against the skills and guile of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann.
England scored 269/6d in the second innings and set India a stiff target of 458 runs to which. Team India collapsed to 261 all out in reply with Anderson picked 5/65 and India lost the match by 196 runs.
However, Rahul Dravid’s century got a very special mention in the tabloids for his stoic innings.
VINOO MANKAD – First Indian to score a century at Lord’s
The 1952 tour of India to England was the first one which India took as an independent nation. The Lord’s Test of that series was the second Test and much was expected from both the home and visiting sides.
India captain Vijay Hazare won the toss and decided to bat first. But four wickets from Fred Trueman blew the Indian batting away with Vinoo Mankad scoring 72 and captain Hazare scoring 69 runs. India was bowled out for 235 runs.
England replied with 537 as skipper Len Hutton scored 150 and wicketkeeper Godfrey Evans scored 104. The bowling hero for India was again Vinoo Mankad with 5/196 in 73 overs. India in the second innings needed to give a strong reply. However, Fred Trueman picked four wickets again and four wickets from Jim Laker as well; saw India being bowled out for 378.
The hero for India with the bat was Vinoo Mankad, who backed up his 72 in the first innings with a master class innings of 184 in 270 minutes with 19 fours and one six. With the next highest score being 49 from captain Hazare and 42 from GS Ramchand; He alone took India to a respected 378, but it wasn’t enough for India to put up a big target.
England reached the minuscule target of 77 runs with the loss of two wickets and won the match by 8 wickets.
However, Mankad did become the first Indian to score a century at Lord’s and did it in some style, as his 184 is still the highest score by an Indian batsman on the Lord’s ground.
AJINKYA RAHANE – The new crop takes over
The 2014 tour proved to be a replay of the 2011 tour for India as they were beaten 1-3 in the five Test innings. However, unlike the last tour in 2011, India managed to secure a win and a lead in the series.
Having drawn the first Test, India was put into bat by England at Lord’s in the second Test of the series. India managed to put up 295 despite being 128/6 and 145/7. This was all because of one person and that was Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane was playing his first Test at the ground and scored a sublime 103 in 154 balls with 15 fours and 1 six. After the top order failed to score runs, Rahane shepherded the tail with Bhuvneshwar Kumar making 36 and Shami and Ishant contributing 19 and 12 respectively, to take India to 295.
Indian bowlers responded tremendously well and it resulted in an Indian win by 95 runs. Rahane’s century was rated as one of the best and it was a sign of the new crop of Indian batting taking over after the retirement of the fab 5.
SOURAV GANGULY – The god on offside debuts in Tests
The 1996 India tour to England saw the dawn of two of the greatest batsmen and leaders Indian team had ever seen in Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. The three-Test series saw India lose the first Test at Birmingham by 8 wickets.
When the time came for the second Test at Lord’s, Team India changed their playing XI and dropped Sanjay Manjrekar and Sunil Joshi, to bring in Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, handing them their Test debuts.
For Ganguly, it was a time to prove the ghosts of his past wrong, as he had already made his ODI debut in 1991/92 in Australia and was then dropped and forgotten for 5 years before the England tour. Ganguly made sure that he cashed in this opportunity with both hands.
England batted first after Indian skipper Azharuddin won the toss and put up 344 with Jack Russell scoring 124. India had to reply in kind and they lost their way a bit at 154/4, but then Sourav Ganguly came in at no.3 and scored a sublime 131 in 301 balls with 20 fours. His innings was punctuated with beautiful drives and cuts through the off side and some ferocious pulls on the short deliveries.
India drew the match comfortably as they piled up 429 and Ganguly had arrived big time. He also managed to score a century in the next Test as well, which was drawn too, but India still lost the series 1-0.
In the same Test at Lord’s, Rahul Dravid missed his chance to score a century on debut, when he was dismissed by Lewis for 95 runs. But things indicated that the future of Indian batting was in good hands.
DILIP VENGSARKAR – The King of Lord’s
103- 1979; 157- 1982; 126- 1986
Nicknamed the ‘Colonel’ Dilip Vengsarkar was one of the most stylish Indian batsmen in the 80s. His record speaks for himself; 116 Tests, 6868 runs at 42.13 with 17 centuries and 35 half-centuries in a career spanning from 1976-1992.
He was the wall at no.3 long before Rahul Dravid made the position his own. He also loved the Lord’s ground a lot, as he is the only visiting batsman to score three consecutive centuries at the ground.
His first century came in 1979 when he scored 103. India was bundled out for 96 in the first innings as Ian Botham picked 5/35 and Vengsarkar scored a duck. England replied with 419/9d and put India under pressure.
India replied with 318/4 and Vengsarkar hit 103 in 295 balls with 13 fours and along with Gundappa Vishwanath, who scored 113; added 210 runs for the third wicket, as India drew the Test match.
His highest score at Lord’s- 157 came in a loss in 1982. England scored 433 in the first innings with Derek Randall scoring 126. India was bowled out for 128, as Ian Botham picked 5/46; and India was made to follow-on.
This innings was punctuated with Bob Willis’ 6/101. But India had a star with Dilip Vengsarkar scoring a marvelous 157 in 264 balls with 21 fours. The next best was a brutal 89 from 55 balls with 13 fours and 3 sixes from Kapil Dev, as India put on 369.
However, it was Vengsarkar’s innings that brought some credibility and respect to the Indian team in a loss by 7 wickets.
After a century in each in a drawn Test and a lost Test; Vengsarkar finally tasted victory in 1986, as India won the Test by 5 wickets. England scored 294 runs thanks to Graham Gooch’s 114. India replied with 341, thanks to Vengsarkar’s masterful 126* in 213 balls with 16 fours. After a spirited Indian bowling bowled out England for 180 and was set a target of 134; India replied in kind with Vengsarkar scoring 33 and India won the match by 5 wickets.
Vengsarkar holds the record for most runs at the Lord’s venue by an Indian, with 508 runs in 8 innings of 4 matches with an average of 72.57