Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri stated India’s Test series win in England in 1971 lifted the spirits of Indian cricket at that time.
On Wednesday, India observed 50 years of completion of their historic Test series win in England. India drew the first two Tests at Lord’s and Emirates Old Trafford but returned with a thumping four-wicket win at the Kennington Oval in London to win their first-ever Test series in England by 1-0.
Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Sardesai and Bhagwath Chandrashekhar led India’s charge in the 1971 series win
England posted 355 in the first innings and responding to them, the then India captain Ajit Wadekar (48) and Dilip Sardesai aligned forces to stitch a 93-run stand between them, and later wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer added 59 to take India’s score to 284.
Karnataka leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrashekhar stunned the hosts with his dazzling spell of 6/38 as England were bowled out for 101 in the second innings and India were left with a target of 173 to chase.
The combination of Wadekar and Sardesai once again led from the front as they scored 45 and 40 respectively, as Gundappa Viswanath made 33 before an unbeaten Engineer took India to the finishing line.
Shastri, who is currently with the Indian team in England for the ongoing Test series, reminisced the historic victory and said it gave belief to the team to win matches and series in foreign countries.
Hats of to all those players who were part of the 1971 series win against England: Ravi Shastri
“The 1971 series win in England lifted spirits of Indian cricket in a huge manner. It gave them the belief that they can go overseas and win. And to do it in England is always historic. 50 years have gone by, and those players really set the tone. Hats off to all of them,” said Shastri in a video posted on the BCCI website.
“I was nine years old and I remember every ball bowled in that Test match because I was listening to the radio. I remember Farokh Engineer getting runs in both innings. Vishy getting some runs, Ajit Wadekar getting some runs in the match.” Said Shastri.
“And of course the brilliance of Chandrasekhar, you know, he turned the game on his head, 6 for 38, I still remember the figures,” he added.
India are currently leading 1-0 in the five-match series against England and will play the third Test on Wednesday (August 25).