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Vengsarkar

Lord’s Honours Board: The Best Indian XI

Elevens

India put up a disappointing performance across the board in the Lord’s Test against England, with 33* and 3/66 their best individual performances with bat and ball.

Even as Chris Woakes (137*) and James Anderson (5/20) made the coveted Lord’s Honours Board in England’s innings-and-159-run win, none of the Indians came close. A rare occurrence, as in the past, Indians have put up strong performances at Lord’s: 11 centuries and 14 five-wicket hauls.

Here’s a look at the Greatest Indian XI at Lord’s, which, unfortunately for their fans, doesn’t include Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli.

Vinoo Mankad shakes the queen's hand during the 1952 Test – he scored 184 in that game
Vinoo Mankad shakes the queen's hand during the 1952 Test – he scored 184 in that game

Vinoo Mankad
Mankad, one of India’s greatest all-round cricketers, was in excellent batting form in the second Test in 1952. He scored 72 in the first innings and 184 in the second against an attack of Alec Bedser, Fred Trueman and Jim Laker. And with the ball, he returned 5/196 in the England first innings in a special performance. India still lost the match by eight wickets.

Rahul Dravid scored 103* during the 2011 Test
Rahul Dravid scored 103* during the 2011 Test

Rahul Dravid (wk)
Before Ajinkya Rahane in 2014, Dravid was the last Indian batsman to get on the board, in 2011. Dravid had an outstanding series, scoring three centuries in aggregating 461 runs. And it started in that first Test at Lord's, when he scored an unbeaten 103 in India’s 286. India lost the Test by 196 runs and, despite Dravid’s best efforts, were whitewashed in the four-Test series.

'The Lord of Lord's' Dilip Vengsarkar scored centuries in 1979, 1982 and 1986
'The Lord of Lord's' Dilip Vengsarkar scored centuries in 1979, 1982 and 1986

Dilip Vengsarkar
They call him the ‘Lord of Lord’s’, and it’s a tag that sits well on Vengsarkar, who made the Honours Board three matches in a row. The first time he played at Lord’s, in 1979, he got a duck in his first innings. But he followed that up with 103. In 1982, there was the 157, again in the second innings. And then, in 1986, 126* in the first innings. He couldn’t make it four in four in 1990, but remains a true blue Lord’s legend.

GR Viswanath got on the Honours Board with his 113 in 1979
GR Viswanath got on the Honours Board with his 113 in 1979

Gundappa Viswanath
In the 1979 Test when Vengsarkar scored 103, Viswanath also had a poor first innings with 21 as India were blown away by Ian Botham for 96. The second innings was a different matter altogether, as ‘Vishy’ hit 113 in just under six hours in what was a magical innings. The match ended in a draw.

Sourav Ganguly scored a century on Test debut at Lord's in 1996
Sourav Ganguly scored a century on Test debut at Lord's in 1996

Sourav Ganguly
On debut, along with Dravid, Ganguly’s 131 played the biggest role in giving India a 85-run first-innings lead in the 1996 fixture. Dravid also scored 95 in his first innings in Test cricket, and India were ahead as the match ended in a draw. England, having won the first Test, won the series.

Mohammad Azharuddin got on the Honours Board in 1990 with an innings of 121
Mohammad Azharuddin got on the Honours Board in 1990 with an innings of 121

Mohammad Azharuddin
This was the Test of 1990 made famous by Graham Gooch’s 333, which meant that despite Ravi Shastri’s 100 and Azharuddin’s 121, India fell well short after the first-innings exchanges. From the Indian point of view, there were also Kapil Dev’s four consecutive sixes off Eddie Hemmings to save the follow-on, but the Test went England’s way, by 247 runs.

Kapil Dev picked up eight wickets, including 5/125 in the first innings, in 1982
Kapil Dev picked up eight wickets, including 5/125 in the first innings, in 1982

Kapil Dev (c)
It was India’s batting that let them down in the 1982 Test, but Kapil Dev had an outstanding match: 5/125 and 3/43 with the ball and 41 and 89 with the bat. Vengsarkar scored the second of his Lord’s centuries too, but India, as a team, were no match for Bob Willis’ England.

Lala Amarnath, India's first Test centurion, returned 5/118 in the 1946 Test
Lala Amarnath, India's first Test centurion, returned 5/118 in the 1946 Test

Lala Amarnath
Alec Bedser with the ball and Joe Hardstaff with the bat were the stars as England won the first Test of the 1946 series by 10 wickets, but Lala Amarnath gave an excellent display of his guile with the ball in picking up 5/118. He picked up the first four wickets in the England first innings, his victims Len Hutton, Denis Compton, Cyril Washbrook and Wally Hammond. Amarnath also scored a 50 in the second innings.

Bishan Singh Bedi conceded 223 runs in picking up six wickets in 1974
Bishan Singh Bedi conceded 223 runs in picking up six wickets in 1974

Bishan Singh Bedi
The Sardar of Spin has always talked about 'buying wickets', saying how important it is for a spinner to invite batsmen to attack him. He certainly bought his wickets in the Lord’s Test of 1974, when his six wickets – in 64.2 overs – cost him a whopping 226 runs. That made it the 10th most expensive spell in Test history. The six wickets, though, put him on the Honours Board.

BS Chandrasekhar returned 5/127 in the England first innings during the 1967 Test
BS Chandrasekhar returned 5/127 in the England first innings during the 1967 Test

BS Chandrasekhar
‘Chandra’ was at his absolute best in England in 1971, picking up eight wickets in the famous win – that gave India the series – at The Oval. At Lord’s in 1967, his 5/127 in the England first innings was good enough to restrict the total to 386, but with India scoring 152 and 110, he couldn’t prevent an innings defeat.

Mohammad Nissar (second from right) got on the Honours Board in India's maiden Test match
Mohammad Nissar (second from right) got on the Honours Board in India's maiden Test match

Mohammad Nissar
It was India’s first-ever Test match, in 1932, and England found themselves 11/2 as Nissar, all express pace, bowled out both Herbert Sutcliffe and Percy Holmes. He went on to return 5/93 as England were bowled out for 259. India, however, sank to a 158-run defeat.

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