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Test Matches Where India Emerged Victorious at Lord’s

The home of cricket, Lord’s has produced some memorable moments in Indian Test cricket history. It was the venue where India’s Test cricket journey began in 1932. CK Nayudu’s men had the honour of representing the country for the first time and became the sixth team to be granted Test status. Indian cricket embarked on a journey in 1932 and has come a long way. So much so that in 2021, we went into a Lord’s Test as favourites to win the match against the home side, England.

There have been some iconic moments we’ve witnessed as Indian cricket fans on the balcony of Lord’s, whether it was Kapil Dev lifting the country’s first-ever World Cup trophy or Sourav Ganguly swinging his t-shirt around in full form as India won the Natwest Trophy in 2002. These limited-overs achievements were important but nothing can beat the triumph of winning a Test match at Lord’s. In this piece, we are looking at three instances where India emerged victorious at the home of cricket in Tests.

1986 UNDER KAPIL DEV

The Lord’s honours board is a special place to have your name. Some of the biggest names in Test cricket have failed to get that honour, whether it was Sachin Tendulkar. Brian Lara, Sunil Gavaskar or Ricky Ponting. It isn’t easy to score a hundred on the hallowed turf at Lord’s and the only overseas player to have done it thrice is India’s Dilip Vengsarkar. His third and final century came in 1986 when India registered its first-ever Test win at Lord’s.

Another hero of that match was Chetan Sharma, whose 5/64 helped to bowl England out for 294 in the first innings. Vengsarkar’s knock helped India finish on 341 with a vital first-innings lead. A draw seemed the likeliest prospect given how slow the match was progressing but up stepped the captain of India, Kapil Dev.

Kapil Dev’s masterclass of swing bowling, where he ended up picking four wickets helped India bowl England out for just 180. India only needed 134 to win at Lord’s for the first time in their cricketing history. India were struggling at 78/4 in their chase but it was that man again, the Indian captain, who smashed a 10-ball 23 at the end to take India past the finish line. Kapil’s men scripted history and would go down in the annals of Indian cricket.

2014 UNDER MS DHONI

India had to wait 28 years for its next taste of a win at Lord’s and it came in 2014 under the leadership of MS Dhoni. It was a largely forgettable series but Dhoni’s men managed to upset the English at their home and that too at Lord’s.

It all started in the first innings with Ajinkya Rahane playing a gem of an innings on a green top, taking India to 295 from 145-7, with a stroke-filled 154-ball 103. It was then Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s turn to get his name on the honour’s board with a six-for on his Lord’s debut in England’s first innings, as the hosts bundled out for 319.

India’s second innings saw opener Murali Vijay show remarkable defensive technique and patience as he fell just five runs short of a special Lord’s hundred. The counter-attack from Ravindra Jadeja who was well supported by Bhuvneshwar with the bat helped India put on 342 in the second innings, giving England the total of 319 for a win.

In flat conditions, the responsibility of picking wickets fell on the shoulders of India’s most experienced bowler, Ishant Sharma. The collapse of the English batting came in an unusual manner as India switched its tactics and started bowling short balls to the batters with fielders deployed deep on the leg side.

Surprisingly, the English batters tried taking on Ishant’s bouncers and most of the shots went straight to the fielders. Ishant finished with a seven for and was named as the Man of the Match as India triumphed at Lord’s once again.

2021 UNDER VIRAT KOHLI

Arguably the most complete overseas performance under Virat Kohli has come in one of the most recent Test matches played by the team. Virat’s men were humbled back in 2018 at Lord’s and it wasn’t just the defeat but the manner in which they lost that hurt the most. They are a completely different unit in 2021 with confidence skyrocketing for most players.

India were put in to bat in the first innings by England captain Joe Root in challenging conditions. The Indian openers put on a show on day one as the English bowlers had no answers to counter their strengths. India finished day one in a commanding position at 276/3 and it seemed like their Test match to lose from that point.

Day two belonged to England as they finished the Indian innings out quickly at 364 and ended the day with 119 on the board with their captain Joe Root still in the middle batting like a million dollars. England consolidated their position on day three and finished with a first-innings lead of 27.

In reply, India struggled on day four and seemed on the back foot going into the final day of the Test with a slender lead of 157 runs. What happened on day five wasn’t expected in anyone’s wildest dreams as well. The tempers were rising on the field and India’s lower order batters showed the top order how to do it in England. The ninth-wicket partnership between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami added 89 runs as India declared with 60 overs in hand to get 10 wickets on day five. 

Those were some intense 60 overs to which the English batters had no answers. The Indian quartet of pace bowlers were on top from the first over and the relentless pressure they put on a fragile English batting lineup was enough to get the country its third-ever win at Lord’s.