Second Test Match

India v England 1951-52

At Bombay, December 14, 15, 16, 18, 19. Drawn. England gave a vastly improved all-round display compared with the first Test and, despite the big Indian total in the first innings, went close to bringing off a suprise victory. Graveney's return made the batting much stronger and Leadbeater appeared for England before gaining his Yorkshire cap. Carr and Shackleton stood down. India made five changes, Mantri, Armanath, Sarate, Gopinath and Sohoni replacing Joshi, Modi, Chowdhury, Merchant and Phadkar, the last two being injured. With Mankad number ten, the side was extremely powerful in batting, yet showed signs of panic when things were going wrong in the second innings.

The pitch, reputed for being slightly "green" in the morning, was a little faster than that at Delhi. When he won the toss, Hazare took fifteen minutes deciding to bat and India might easily have been in trouble but for dropped slip catches. Leadbetter, in the unaccustomed position of second slip, missed Roy when 20 and Mantri when 21, and India's opening pair made 75. Leadbeater took his first Test wicket when getting Umrigar l.b.w. to a googly at 99, but a little later pulled a thigh muscle and retired. England did not take another wicket until the last ball of the day, Roy and Hazare adding 187. Both batted splendidly, young Roy showing such confident all-round stroke play as to make him a fine prospect for the future. He batted five and a half hours and his 140 included twenty 4's.

Hazare, 95 overnight, completed his second century in successive Test innings, but trying to hook a short-pitched ball from Ridgway played it on to his forehead, cutting it badly. Not only did that affect his batting in the match, but he seemed to lose all confidence and was never the same player in the three remaining Tests. Amaranth helped him add 82 and Hazare was run out after scoring 155 out of 289 in five hours (nineteen 4's). His first two innings against England thus brought him 319 for once out.

Despite the good score, Adhikari and Gopinath took an hour and a half over 63 for the seventh stand. England lost Lowson while scoring 40 in the last hour of the second day. Robertson and Graveney added 61 for the second wicket and Spooner helped Graveney put on 87. England continued to bat consistently, but Graveney was always the dominating figure. More good support came from Kenyon in a partnership of 67, but the best stand of the innings was 148 by Graveney and Watkins. In view of the big total against England, Graveney was much more subdued than usual and his 175 took eight and a quarter hours, but it was a fine display of concentration and selection of the right ball to hit.

When Howard and Leadbeater left for the addition of 19, India looked like gaining a reasonable lead, but Statham and Tattersall unexpectedly put on 40 for the ninth wicket and India's lead was restricted to 29. With only seven hours left a draw seemed certain, but in a dramatic last hour and a half on the fourth day India lost Roy, Mantri, Hazare and Amaranth and were only 71 ahead on the final morning. When three more wickets fell for the addition of 46 and India were 88 for seven, defeat seemed inevitable. Fortunately for them their strong tail proved its value, for Gopinath and Mankad made the game safe by adding 71, and Sohoni hit hard. England needed 238 to win in 100 minutes, a task too much for them on a ground not suitable for fast scoring. Graveney made his match aggregate 200 for once out and was on the field twenty-four and three quarter hours out of a possible twenty-seven in the match, a remarkable feat of endurance under trying heat.

© John Wisden & Co