England were deprived of all except two of their specialist batsmen. Following Barrington's injury, an attack of stomach trouble removed Edrich, Sharpe and Mortimore before the match and Stewart at tea time on the first day.

The ten-man side then consisted of two specialist batsmen, two wicket-keepers, of whom Parks reverted to his first role as specialist batsman, four quick bowlers and two spinners. Yet India played so apprehensively on the defensive that they never seriously challenged this makeshift team.

This was a spineless Indian performance, but a superb one by England, whose spirit on this testing occasion was magnificent. They put the sort of fire into their out-cricket that distinguishes the best Celtic rugger pack, and they fought splendidly with the bat.

If Binks, who otherwise kept well, had stumped Borde off Titmus when he was only two, this scratch collection might even themselves have won. Borde stayed to share with Durani a fine seventh-wicket stand of 153 after the first six wickets had tumbled to Price, Titmus and Knight for 99.

England themselves were similarly in trouble when, puzzled by Chandrasekhar's googlies, they lost six for 116. Titmus, however, made his highest Test score, Price his highest in first-class cricket, and Jones stayed eighty-five minutes while the last wicket added 48.

Titmus was the hub of resistance, a fighter revelling in a critical situation. He batted commandingly through 98 overs in five hours for his 84 not out.

Price, his partner in a stand of 68, played only because Mortimore did not, as hoped, recover in time. From being last choice, Price rose in a day to become number one choice fast bowler. He bowled throughout with such fire that he banged something out of the sluggish pitch, which no other quick bowler could do.

India still had a winning chance when leading by 67, but they remained stodgily defensive for seven hours and ten minutes; the usually aggressive Jaisimha batted almost four hours for 66.

England's fragile batting side was asked to score 317 in four hours ten minutes at a rate 17 runs an hour faster than in any previous innings. They settled for a draw justifiably. Binks was another player to excel by batting three and a half hours in an opening stand of 125 with Bolus. Price, Binks and Jones, together with Chandrasekhar, had good reason to took back on their first Test with satisfaction.