Fifth Test

India v England

The same groundsman who had produced the drugged Delhi pitch was responsible for another defunct strip of turf, which ensured that the dull sequence of draws should be continued to the end.

Pataudi won the toss for the fifth time, but gave England first innings, and they scored mightily, despite much defensive bowling by Nadkarni. Smith himself set an aggressive example, and on the second day Knight drove his way handsomely to a century, hitting his final 62 in one hour fifty minutes.

Parfitt, his partner in a stand of 191, also played good attacking cricket after taking a long time gauging the slowness of the pitch, which accounted for much of the five hours and twenty minutes he spent reaching 121. Parks at the end was playing delightfully, and England scored their highest ever total in India.

The batting success was followed by Titmus bowling at his best and India's batsmen at their safety-first worst. On the third day they made only 136 in five and a half hours while moving to 145 for four.

On the fourth they were saved from the English spinners by the resolute Nadkarni, who showed his colleagues that run-getting is more effective than obdurate defence in such circumstances. After his 52 not out he was promoted number three and scored his first Test century. He batted for five and a half hours (107 overs) before reaching it and altogether spent eleven hours at the crease in the match.

When he reached 103 out of 216, soundly supported by Sardesai, the time had come for frolic. The match was long since dead; the final proceedings allowed Sardesai and Durani cheap runs against occasional trundlers.

© John Wisden & Co