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India's largest wins in SENA countries

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India_England_South_Africa_Australia_New_Zealand_Test_Victories_CricketBattered, bruised and hurt after the debacle at Lord's, India pulled one past the English at Trent Bridge in a rare show of dominance in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia) countries. Known for their bullish talks before big series, this Indian team has somewhat managed to walk the talk in recent times.

This is just their third win in these countries since 2012. Notably, though, two of them have come this year - at Johannesburg and Trent Bridge. In the aftermath of the huge win, it is the perfect time to dig into some statistics and dish out India’s most audacious performances in SENA countries in terms of margin of victory.

#6 vs England - 2018, Trent Bridge - by 203 runs

In an exemplary comeback, India thrashed England by a whopping 203 runs at Trent Bridge after being 0-2 down in the series. Aided by scores of 97 and 103 from skipper Virat Kohli and five-wicket hauls from Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, India piled on the runs for a change.

With two scores of 300+ in the same Test, the visitors were well on top and England were left to chase 521 within two days. England had collapsed to 161 all-out in the first innings after Pandya's brilliant spell. The second time around, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes put up a bit of resistance, with the former cracking a hundred, but Bumrah's five-for put the result beyond doubt.

#5 vs Australia - 1977, Melbourne - by 222 runs

A stupendous second innings hundred from Sunil Gavaskar was the game-changer for India at Melbourne way back in 1977. Bowled out for 256 in the first innings, India replied strongly by crushing the Aussies with spin. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar’s six-wicket haul ensured India bowled out Australia before they had taken a lead.

Ahead in the first innings, Gavaskar made the hosts toil with a fabulous hundred. Defending 387 to win in the final innings, Chandrasekhar and Bedi once again worked over the Aussies, the former taking yet another six-fer to take his match tally to 12. Bowling out Australia for 164, India secured a whopping 222-run victory.

#4 vs New Zealand - 1968, Auckland - by 272 runs

In a low scoring entertainer at Auckland in 1968, India trumped the Kiwis by 272 runs courtesy another brilliant performance from their spinners. Batting first, India made 252 driven by a half-century from skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and a 44 from opener Farokh Engineer. Erapalli Prasanna then scalped four as New Zealand crumbled against his guile.

None of the Kiwi batsmen made more than 30 as India established their dominance right from the word go. The host’s hopes of bowling out India early were affected by a battling 99 from Rusi Surti and an unbeaten 65 from Chandu Borde. Needing 374 to win in the final innings, the Kiwis once again crumbled against India's relentless spinners - Bedi and Prasanna. The whopping 272 run win was their highest in SENA countries at the time.

#3 vs England - 1986, Leeds - by 279 runs

In the second Test of India's tour to England in 1986 at Leeds, the visitors managed to defeat the English by a stunning 279 runs in a low-scoring Test. An iconic performance from India’s seam bowlers was the highlight of the win at Leeds. Opting to bat first, India racked up 272 courtesy decent starts from seven of the eleven batsmen. Five batsmen crossed 30 as India’s combined effort gave them 272. Roger Binny and Madan Lal then rampaged over the hosts in a sensational period of play that saw England bowled out for 102.

Leading by a fairly large margin by now, India rubbed onto England's wounds with Dilip Vengsarkar stroking a fabulous 102 from no.4. Kapil Dev’s late blitz and Binny and Lal’s contributions helped India set a mammoth target. Maninder Singh, a forgotten figure in India's spin bowling history, then picked up four in the fourth innings as England were bowled out for 128 to give India a memorable 279-run win.

#2 vs Australia - 1978, Sydney - by an innings and 2 runs

India's famous triumvirate of spinners - Bedi, Prasanna and Chandrasekhar- wrecked havoc on a sluggish Sydney surface way back in 1978. They bowled the Aussies out for 131 in the first innings of the fourth Test of the series with eight wickets coming from the spinners. In reply, Gundappa Viswanath and Karsan Gharvi slammed half-centuries to take India to 396.

Looking to eclipse India’s lead, Australia fought through led by Peter Toohey but once again found the going tough against the spinners. This time Prasanna was the wrecker in chief. The hosts eventually succumbed to 263 all out, conceding the game by an innings and two runs.

#1 vs England - 2002, Leeds - by an innings and 46 runs

With India’s batting at its pinnacle and a flat Leeds pitch on offer, India slammed 628 in the first innings before declaring. Rahul Dravid (148), Sachin Tendulkar (193) and Sourav Ganguly (128) were the major contributors for India. While England had fairly similar conditions to work with, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble ran through the middle-order to crush England's hopes.

The duo shared three wickets apiece as England conceded a mammoth lead and were forced to follow-on. Despite a hundred from Nasser Hussain, England folded for 309 to concede the game by an innings and 46 runs. To date, the win still remains India’s best in SENA countries.

 

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