With India playing at Lord’s this week, MCC Archivist Robert Curphey explores previous appearances by the nation at the Home of Cricket.
Although Indian teams had toured England from 1886 with the historic Parsees visit, and an Indian team which toured England in 1911 played against MCC at Lord’s, the first Test match between England and India at Lord’s took place in 1932, with England winning by 158 runs. This was doubly significant as it was India’s first ever Test match.
Despite this defeat, Mohammad Nissar took 5 wickets in the tourists’ first innings and thus became the first Indian cricketer to appear on the visitors’ honours boards at Lord’s when they were created almost 60 years later. The archive holds many photographs from this tour, from the team’s arrival to matches played in Peasmarsh and Liverpool during the tour, and of course at Lord’s.
India’s first Test victory at Lord’s came on their 11th attempt, in 1986, when a team captained by Kapil Dev defeated the hosts by 5 wickets. Key to this victory was an unbeaten innings of 126 by Dilip Vengsarkar in the first innings, while Kapil Dev was named player of the match. The archive holds scorebooks and scorecards relating to this match.
Surprisingly, India have only won one other Test match at Lord’s – on their last visit to Lord’s in 2014, which was the last time a Test match at Lord’s went to five days without a single rain delay. Overall India’s record in Test matches at Lord’s comprises two wins, four draws and 11 defeats – one of which came in 1990, where Graham Gooch made a record innings of 333 not out in England’s first innings, and followed it up with 123 – the highest aggregate score by any player in a Test match at the Home of Cricket.
Despite those two Test victories, India’s greatest moment at Lord’s was in 1983 when they became the second team to lift the Cricket World Cup, by defeating West Indies in the final at Lord’s. The Prudential Cup, on display in the MCC Museum, remains a popular attraction for visitors of all nationalities, and the archive holds a number of items relating to this triumph, including programmes, scorecards, and a copy of the Indian ‘Sportsweek’ magazine dated July 1983, which reported on India’s victory.
In addition to that famous triumph, India memorably defeated England in 2002 at Lord’s to win the NatWest Series Final, voted in 2014 as the greatest match ever played at the ground by readers of The Times and visitors to the Lord’s website. Despite centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nasser Hussain, a sparkling innings by Mohammad Kaif enabled India to chase down England’s total of 325 with three balls to spare.
One of the most iconic images was of Sourav Ganguly waving his shirt over his head on the dressing room balcony. This shirt was later donated to the MCC Museum. In the one-day internationals played at Lord’s from 1975-2018, including England’s recent victory by 86 runs, the teams are level with three wins each, with 1 tied match in 2011. One of England’s victories came in the first ever Cricket World Cup match, in 1975, with Dennis Amiss’s innings of 137 helping to defeat India by 202 runs.