India got their five-match Test series against England off to a disappointing start with a 31-run defeat at Edgbaston, but now the visitors have a chance to prove themselves at the home cricket, Lord’s.
Unlike Edgbaston, where they are still winless, India have won two Tests out of the 17 they’ve played at Lord’s. However, they’ve also lost 11 at the ground. Virat Kohli’s men will take confidence from the fact that Lord’s is the venue of their last Test win in England, back in 2014.
However, very few Indian batsmen have made a mark on this ground. Vinoo Mankad scored 256 runs over two innings during India’s tour in 1952, a record that was held till South Africa’s Graeme Smith inched past in 2003, and now it firmly stands with Steve Smith who scored 279 runs in 2015.
The 2018 Indian team will look to Ajinkya Rahane to repeat his heroics from the 2014 series where he scored a century. Murali Vijay also come close to making the honours board at Lord’s. After a poor showing at Edgbaston, both batsmen will need to come out fighting.
India’s batting history at the ground isn’t very enviable. Eleven of the 105 centuries by visiting batsmen have been scored by Indians, three of which were made by Dilip Vengsarkar over three consecutive tours making him the only overseas batsman in history to hit three centuries at Lord’s.
India’s bowlers by comparison have done well since 2000. In the last four Lord’s Tests, at least one Indian bowler has found his way to the honours board. Since India played their first Test here in 1932, an Indian bowler has taken five wickets in an innings 21 times. Only BS Chandrashekhar and Kapil Dev have done it twice.
Best performances by Indian bowlers at Lord's
|Player||Bowling average||Wickets||Start Date of Test|
|M Nissar||22.5||6||June 25, 1932|
|L Amar Singh||11.83||6||June 27, 1936|
|L Amarnath||26.6||5||June 22, 1946|
|MH Mankad||46.2||5||June 19, 1952|
|RB Desai||19.66||6||June 18, 1959|
|BS Chandrasekhar||25.4||5||June 22, 1967|
|BS Bedi||18.5||6||July 22, 1971|
|S Venkataraghavan||16||6||July 22, 1971|
|BS Chandrasekhar||34||5||July 22, 1971|
|BS Bedi||37.66||6||June 20, 1974|
|Kapil Dev||21||8||June 10, 1982|
|C Sharma||18.66||6||June 5, 1986|
|Kapil Dev||23.8||5||June 5, 1986|
|BKV Prasad||18.57||7||June 20, 1996|
|J Srinath||30.4||5||June 20, 1996|
|A Kumble||35.33||6||July 25, 2002|
|RP Singh||16.71||7||July 19, 2007|
|Z Khan||23.5||6||July 19, 2007|
|P Kumar||29.33||6||July 21, 2011|
|I Sharma||19.28||7||July 17, 2014|
|B Kumar||17.16||6||July 17, 2014|
Although the track is expected to be dry, Indian spinners haven’t been game changers at the ground. Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 13 wickets between them in the 2014 Test win. Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma took 11 during their 1986 triumph.
The absence of Bhuvneshwar for the Lord’s Test could prove to be costly on a wicket that favours his style of bowling. But India’s pace battery is still pretty formidable and has enough variation to trouble the English batsmen.