Cricket History - India Tour Of England 1986
Three years after the World Cup triumph, India returned to England to win the Test series 2-0. They won the first Test matches, at Lord's and Headingley, while the third, at Edgbaston, ended in a draw. This remains their biggest margin of win on English soil.
The architect of the wins was Dilip Vengsarkar, who put up a display of near-faultless batting. In the first Test match, he scored 126 not out in the first innings despite battling a cramp in his arm. This was his third hundred at Lord's in as many Tests. He top-scored in the second innings as well, with 33, as well when India chased 136.
At Headingley, he top-scored in each innings once again, this time with 61 and 102 not out. For perspective, England were bowled out for 102 and 128. Wisden compared Vengsarkar's batsmanship in this Test match with Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton, and Geoff Boycott, all of whom had honed their skills at Headingley.
In two years' time, Vengsarkar would attain the No. 1 spot in the Deloitte Rankings.
The fast bowlers responded as well. Chetan Sharma took 5/64 in the first innings at Lord's and later, a ten-wicket haul in at Edgbaston. When he picked up an injury before Headingley, India called Madan Lal, who was playing for Ashton in the Central Lancashire League. He took 3/18 in the first innings and Roger Binny 5/40 and 2/18 in the match. They were supported well by 20-year-old Maninder Singh, who had 67.1-30-80-8 across the two Tests.
England were in disarray. Ian Botham was serving a ban after admitting to smoking cannabis. When India were thrashing England at Headingley, fans put up a Bring Back Botham banner. England sacked captain David Gower after Lord's. While Gower was attending BBC's post-match presentation ceremony, Peter May, Chairman of Selectors, named Mike Gatting captain back in the dressing-room. Gower was informed once he returned to the dressing-room.
An oddity took place at Headingley. Raman Lamba was fielding as a substitute for Krish Srikkanth. Srikkanth forgot to inform the umpire when he returned to the ground. As a result of this, twelve Indians fielded throughout the course of an over from Ravi Shastri.
India Tour Of England 1986 - Test Series Result
- First Test, Lords (London) - India won by 5 wickets
- Second Test, Leeds - India won by 279 runs
- Third Test, Birmingham - Match