Free Press Journal

India vs England 2018: Vijay Hazare to Sourav Ganguly, 5 famous Indian cricketers who made their Test debut on English soil


India is all set to play as gruelling five-Test series against England on English soil. The first Test will be played at Edgbaston. This time the Indian team will have a new face Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. Yadav has been rewarded for his scintillating bowling performance during the recently concluded ODI and T20Is against England. The BCCI also included the wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in the squad and this is his maiden call in the Test squad. To note, India’s first overseas Test was against England way back in 1932 and all matches were played at Lord’s which is widely referred to as the ‘Home of Cricket’.

However, Kuldeep and Rishabh Pant are not lone players who made their debuts against England. Here is a list of 5 Indian players who made their debut in England in the English soil.

Vijay Hazare

The man who led India to its first Test win, Vijay Samuel Hazare, made his Test debut for India in England in 1946. Hazare scored 31 runs in his debut innings before being bowled by AV Bedser. Hazare’s Test record is very respectable: he amassed 2,192 runs in 30 Test matches with a batting average of 47.65. Hazare is an icon of the sport who helped to popularize cricket in India.

Abbas Ali Baig

Abbas Ali Baig was once the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred. Baig only had 10 caps for his country between 1959 and 1967. However, his greatest achievement is his debut Test century which he managed against England at Manchester in 1959. Baig scored 112 in India’s second innings. It was also the first century by an Indian outside India. However, Baig retained his place in the team for the final match of the series.He also set the record for becoming the first batsman to score a century in the 4th innings of a test match on test debut.

Anil Kumble

A legend of the game, Anil Kumble made his Test debut against England at Manchester in 1990. At the debut, Kumble impressed team-mates and made a mark by taking 3 wickets in 1st innings. Since making his debut, Kumble has represented the Indian Test team on more than 132 Test matches and was responsible for many of India’s victories. 1999 was the memorable day not only for Kumble but all cricket fans as while playing against Pakistan, Kumble dismissed all ten batsmen in a Test match innings, joining England’s Jim Laker as the only players to achieve the feat.

Rahul Dravid

‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid is one of the most consistent Test batsmen the world has ever seen. Dravid made his Test debut at Lord’s in 1996 against England in the 2nd Test of the series replacing injured Sanjay Manjrekar. Dravid was already informed that he would play if Manjrekar failed the fitness test. And as fate would have it, Manjrekar failed in the fitness test. Then 10 minutes before the toss, the then Indian coach, Sandeep Patil turned to Dravid to inform him that he was indeed going to make his debut that day. Dravid came to bat at No 7 and forged an important partnership with another debutante Sourav Ganguly. Dravid concluded a successful debut series with an impressive average of 62.33 from two Test matches.

Sourav Ganguly

The Lord’s Test match between India and England in 1996 was in memory of every Indian cricket fan. The Test saw two Indian stalwarts Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid making their entry into the Test arena. Ganguly scored a ton in his first innings at Lord’s becoming the only third to achieve such a feat after Harry Graham and John Harmpshire. It was followed by another in the second Test match which cemented his place in the Test squad. To note, English cricketers Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior have since accomplished the same feat, but Ganguly’s 131 still remains the highest by any batsman on his debut at the ground.