Third Test Match

England v India

Norman Preston

England won by an innings and 78 runs in little more than two and a half days, not a ball being bowled on the first day because of rain.

This was England's third easy victory of the series and their fourth in succession, counting the one in the fifth Test in West Indies. Only twice previously in England had a side lost only two wickets and won the match and these were at Lord's in 1924 when England overwhelmed South Africa and at Headingley against New Zealand in 1958.

For the first time since 1965-66 in Australia, England fielded an unchanged XI. There was a doubt about Edrich who had been down with influenza and M.J. Smith (Middlesex) stood by.

The match was a personal triumph for Lloyd, whose not out 214 in only his second appearance for England was his first double century and moreover he began his Test career with two three-figure opening stands with Amiss, 116 at Lord's and now 157.

The match was also notable in that W.E. Alley was the first Australian-born umpire to stand in a Test in England since Jim Phillips in 1905. Moreover, off the first ball of the match Alley gave out Gavaskar caught at the wicket and off the last ball Engineer leg-before.

On a grey dull morning Wadekar had a perplexing task when he won the toss; conditions might well have got worse, the weather being so doubtful. Anyhow, he decided to bat and disaster soon overtook his side, so hostile were the three England seam bowlers, Arnold, Old and Hendrick.

Arnold dismissed Gavaskar and Naik in his first four overs and although Wadekar, Viswanath and Mankad resisted briefly, the batting fell apart except for some splendid hooking by Engineer.

India were all out just before tea for 165 and then Amiss and Lloyd permitted only one maiden over while each completed his fifty and saw the total to 117 by the end of the day.

England certainly made hay while the sun shone on Saturday. They helped themselves to 342 more runs in five and a half hours before Denness declared with a lead of 294, and in the last twenty minutes removed Gavaskar and Abid Ali for 12 runs.

Never in trouble, Lloyd batted through the innings of seven hours, thirty-five minutes, but with the outfield slow and the whole of the Edgbaston playing area in use his hits included no more than seventeen 4's. He followed his partnership of 157 with Amiss, with 211 with Denness and 91 with Fletcher. Denness kept a right-hander in company with the left-hander Lloyd by going in third and for the first time in 64 Tests Edrich did not get a knock.

Again, India relied mainly on three spinners, Bedi, Prasanna and Venkataraghavan and with no genuine fast bowler available the attack once more proved docile.

Denness in proceeding to his third century against the touring team (he made 113 for M.C.C.) was in dominant mood, especially with his superb cover drives and Fletcher showed his class in a final assault that brought him a quick fifty.

When India resumed their second innings on Monday the outlook for them was as hopeless as it had been on the Monday at Lord's, but this time they did not go down without offering some plucky resistance.

Wadekar was soon leg-before and four wickets were down for 59 when Viswanath, who had been piercing the close set field, fell in the slips to Greig. Naik, on his Test debut, survived several uncertain moments among some crisp leg strokes and with Mankad playing soundly the pair put on 87, before Mankad in keeping down a short ball from Old jerked off his cap which fell on the stumps and removed a bail.

At The Oval in 1953 against Australia, Len Hutton touched a rising ball from Lindwall with his bat. It removed his cap, which dropped behind the stumps (see Wisden, 1954, page 57). In the New Year Test at Melbourne 1961, Joe Solomon (West Indies) was out hit wicket when his cap fell on the stumps from a ball by Richie Benaud.

Altogether Naik resisted for three and a half hours, and on his departure, Engineer alone was seen to advantage for India during a session when Greig at last bowled his off-breaks against the wind and accounted for both Naik and Venkataraghavan.

Not surprisingly, in such indifferent weather, the crowds were small, except on Saturday when 10,000 were present. Altogether 19,900 attended; receipts £9,675.

The England players earned £1,800 for winning the three matches in the Test series. The Indians took £600. These awards were given by Globtik Tankers.

© John Wisden & Co