A painful history for subcontinental giants: India in West Indies


Virat Kohli-led India team are in the West Indies for a four-match Test series starting July 21 in Antigua. India doesn’t have an impressive track record in the Caribbean having played 45 Tests – winning only five, losing 16 and drawing 24. Let’s have a look at the series that have taken place between the two teams over the years in the Caribbean.This was India’s first tour to the West Indies under the captaincy of Vijay Hazare. The five-match Test series finished 1-0, with the hosts winning one match and the rest ending in draws. For India, Polly Umrigar (560 runs), Madhav Apte (460 runs) were in prolific form on the tour along with Subhash Gupte (27 wickets) with the ball. West Indies won the second Test by 142 runs as India were all out for 129 chasing a target of 272.In this series, India were completely outclassed by the hosts West Indies. Led by Nari Contractor, India lost the first two Tests by 10 wickets and by an innings and 18 runs respectively. Prior to the third Test, India played a tour game, where Contractor was hit on the head by a nasty Charlie Griffith bouncer ruling him out of the series. He did brilliantly well to recover but was never again picked to play for India.For the remaining three Tests, Nawab of Pataudi took over the captaincy, becoming the youngest captain in Test history but nothing changed for India as they went on to lose by 30 runs, seven wickets and 123 runs respectively. India were whitewashed 5-0.After two series defeats, India finally returned back from the Caribbean successful. Led by Ajit Wadekar, India won the five-match Test series 1-0 and more importantly the tour saw the emergence of none other than Sunil Gavaskar. In the first drawn Test, Gavaskar didn’t play but in the second match at Queen’s Park Oval, he made a significant contribution helping India to victory.In his first Test innings, Gavaskar scored 65 and 67 in the second essay to lead India to a memorable win chasing West Indies’ target of 124. India managed to hold on to their 1-0 lead with the remaining three Tests ending in draws, though Gary Sobers’ team had a chance in the fifth and final Test. There also, young Gavaskar battling tooth pain stood in their way like a rock by scoring 124 in the first innings and 220 in the second – thus securing the series for India.Gavaskar finished the series with 774 runs from four Tests, which included four hundreds and one double hundred. Dilip Sardesai was the second highest run-getter with 642 runs.Touring West Indies after four years, India lost the series 2-1 but not before putting up a fight. India lost the first Test by an innings with Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards scoring centuries. In the second Test at Port of Spain, India managed a draw riding on hundreds from Gavaskar (156), Brijesh Patel (115*) and eight wickets by captain Bishan Singh Bedi.In the third Test, India bounced back to draw level by registering a six-wicket win. The visitors pulled off a near impossible victory chasing 403 runs with Gavaskar (102) and Gundappa Viswanath (112) leading from the front. However, West Indies won the final Test by 10 wickets to win the series.India lost this five-match series 2-0 with West Indies winning the first and fourth Tests by 4 and 10 wickets respectively. However, Indian batsmen did well on the tour, especially Mohinder Amarnath, but not enough to pull off a win.Richie Richardson dominated this series and helped West Indies to clinch the series 3-0. The rain-marred first Test ended in a draw but not before Richardson slammed a 194 against an experienced Indian bowling attack. In the second Test at Barbados, the hosts registered an eight-wicket win with Richardson again amongst the runs with two fifties, also supported well by Ian Bishop and Malcolm Marshall by returning with five-wicket hauls.In the third Test, India were handed a 217-run thrashing where Marshall picked 11 wickets. The fourth and final Test also went to the West Indies who beat India by seven wickets, with Richardson signing off the series with a brilliant 156.India led by Sachin Tendulkar did well with the series being evenly contested. The first two Tests ended in draws but India conceded the third match after a dramatic batting capitulation chasing a paltry 120. Pace trio of Venkatesh Prasad, Abey Kuruvilla and Doda Ganesh bundled out West Indies for 140 in their second innings, giving India a target of 120.Coming out for the chase, which should have been really easy, India were all out for 81 in 35.5 overs and lost the third Test by 38 runs. The remaining two Tests ended in draws with West Indies taking the series 1-0.The series started off with a high-scoring first Test that ended in a draw after both teams batted only once. Carl Hooper, after getting a reprieve, went on to make his highest Test score of 233 and then in reply Rahul Dravid scored a hundred. In the second Test, India took the lead by beating West Indies by 37 runs, thanks to a 117 by Sachin Tendulkar and contributions from the bowlers.The jubilation was short-lived for India as West Indies clawed back with a 10-wicket win in the third Test. The fourth match was a dull one in Antigua, where batsmen made the most of the pitch, resulting in a draw. In Jamaica, West Indies rounded off the series with a convincing 155-run win to clinch the series 2-1.A historic 1-0 series victory for Rahul Dravid-led Indian team on West Indies soil in 35 years. The last wicket stand helped the hosts draw the first Test at St John’s and in the second they were bailed out by Brian Lara with an unbeaten 120. In the third Test at St Kitts, India were saved by the rain after hundreds from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Daren Ganga.Then the action moved to Kingston, where Dravid and Anil Kumble had a huge part to play in India’s 49-run win. Dravid played two crucial knocks of 81 and 56, followed by Kumble’s heroics with six wickets in the second innings.The three-match series was fought well with India taking the lead by winning the first Test by 63 runs. Dravid’s 112 in the second innings played a huge role in India’s win. West Indies did well in Bridgetown by pulling off a dramatic draw – Ishant Sharma ended with 11 wickets in that second Test.However, the third Test in Dominica could have had a result if India had decided to go for a win chasing a target of 180. Skipper MS Dhoni made the decision of abandoning the chase when India needed 86 off 15 overs, with VVS Laxman and Dravid at the crease. Dhoni and youngster Virat Kohli were the next to follow them. India settled for a draw with Dhoni’s decision receiving heavy criticism. India won the series 1-0.


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