Second Test Match

England v India

Norman Preston

This was an extraordinarily one-sided contest, yet for three days India, handicapped because Chandrasekhar injured a thumb on the first day, put up gallant resistance, but compelled to follow-on late on Saturday evening 327 runs behind, they capitulated in seventy-seven minutes on Monday morning for 42, their lowest Test total and the lowest ever in a Test at Lord's.

The match was notable for several other milestones. England's total of 629 was their highest at Lord's and their highest against India as well as their best since making 654 for five against South Africa at Durban, 1938-39.

They had also only once surpassed the margin of victory, an innings and 579 runs against Australia at the Oval, 1938. It was also England's first win at Lord's for five years. The stand of 221 by Amiss and Edrich was the highest for the second wicket in England v. India Tests.

Bedi, who bowled continuously and exceedingly well on Friday until relieved just before tea, joined I.A.R. Peebles (The Oval, 1930) and L. O'B. Fleetwood-Smith (The Oval, 1938) as the only bowlers to concede 200 runs in a Test innings in England.

The match was also a memorable one for David Lloyd, the Lancashire captain and left-handed all-rounder, who was preferred to Boycott and performed so creditably on his Test debut that he kept the Yorkshire captain out of the third match against India and the next three against Pakistan.

With the pitch in perfect condition, Denness was fortunate to win the toss. Lloyd helped Amiss to make 116 for the opening stand and England scored 334 for one on the first day, India's solitary success coming when Solkar picked up Lloyd smartly at short leg.

Amiss excelled in masterly cover drives and, partnered all-day by a left-hander, he completed his hundred in three hours, twenty minutes. By the end of the day he was 187 and Edrich, having batted in a cool, confident manner, was 93.

Next morning, India removed both men leg-before for the addition of only five runs. Prasanna deceived Amiss with a ball that turned slightly and Bedi produced a faster ball that Edrich attempted to hook past square leg to reach his hundred.

As Fletcher soon fell into the Bedi-Solkar leg trap, prospects were brighter for India, but thereupon Denness and Greig took charge in an entertaining partnership that produced 202 runs.

Denness had the satisfaction of hitting his first hundred for England and as usual he was full of style and artistry and he used his feet to get at the slow bowlers. Greig, more solid and robust, always looked in masterly form.

When this pair were separated the tail hit merrily while the last five wickets went for a song, in fact 58 runs. Considering the punishment that was inflicted on Prasanna and Bedi, it was surprising that Wadekar did not call upon Solkar on this second day and that Abid Ali delivered only eight more overs while England built that mammoth total.

The Indian fielders never gave up, the best being Viswanath, Solkar and Venkataraghavan, who deputised for Chandrasekhar.

Gavaskar and Engineer replied nobly in the last hour while scoring 51 and they were equally enterprising on the third morning when they raised their partnership to 131. Gavaskar hooked Arnold in only the third over for a mighty 6, and if the Surrey bowler, who replaced Willis, injured, was at times loose, Old, Hendrick and Underwood were most menacing.

So much so, that after the departure of their first pair, India were really only adequately served by Viswanath and Solkar. The last five wickets crumpled for 52.

Time permitted only two overs on Saturday night when India batted a second time, and on Monday morning in a heavy atmosphere Arnold revelled in swinging the ball either way. He made the break-through and Old completed the debacle, Hendrick, who might have done just as well, being merely a spectator. The full attendance was 65,373; receipts £50,445.

© John Wisden & Co