Bombay bonanza brings back memories of Madras in '85

It may have seemed something of an exaggeration when Duncan Fletcher said that squaring the Test series in India was "close to that Ashes win" in terms of achievement but history backs up the England coach's claim.

Test victories, let alone series wins, do not come along very often in India and it had been 21 years since England last managed to win a five-day game there. That came in the fourth Test of the 1984-85 tour, under David Gower's captaincy.

The series was level at 1-1 when the sides came to Madras on 13 January for a match which will be remembered for two monumental and record-breaking innings by England batsmen.

India, led by Sunil Gavaskar, won the toss and batted but they were restricted to 272 largely by six wickets from the Essex seamer, Neil Foster. England's reply effectively sealed the match, and the series. After putting on 178 for the first wicket with Nottinghamshire's Tim Robinson, England's opener Graeme Fowler shared a mammoth 241-run stand for the second wicket with Mike Gatting. The pair both reached double hundreds, the first time two batsmen had done so in a Test for England, and only the sixth time the feat had been done in Tests.

Gower was able to declare on 652 for seven and five more wickets for Foster were the feature of India's second-innings of 412. That left England to score only 35 to win by nine wickets. A drawn fifth Test in Kanpur left Gower as only the third England captain to win a series in India, and no one since has matched him.

Ball of the day

Andrew Flintoff's bowling is beginning to resemble that of Courtney Walsh, the great West Indian fast bowler. Flintoff angles the ball in, but gets it to hold its line and that is why Rahul Dravid played at a ball he could have left alone. Several of these deliveries beat the outside edge but the ball to Dravid did not.

Shot of the day

There were very few of note on a day dominated by England's bowlers. Sachin Tendulkar clipped James Anderson beautifully for four, but the straight drive of Yuvraj Singh, against the same bowler, was top-class.

Moment of the day

England have shown huge character on this tour, and it was brilliant to see a squad containing so many young faces competing with tough opponents like India on their own patch. England have not won a Test series on the subcontinent this winter, but it felt like it yesterday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible