Thursday, 3 April 2008

India 76 all out: Remembering lowest score 42 in Lord's Test in 1974

The Indian cricket team got out for a mere 76 in the second test against South Africa at Ahmedabad. The batsmen fell one after the other, failing to come to terms with the Proteas' bowling attack.

But that's not the worst in India's cricketing history. It was 34 years ago in the series in England when Indian team had got out for just 42. The famed Indian batting line up had crumbled in front of Arnold and Old, who tore through Indian middle-order.

The Indian team had arrived in England in the season that came to be known as 'Summer of 1942', carrying a reputation, after beating West Indies and MCC (England) in the early 70s. Gavaskar had arrived on the international scene as a world class batsman and the spin quartet remained as lethal as ever.

However, India lost the first test at Manchester despite Gavaskar's century. In the second test, Dennis Amiss (188), Mike Denness and Greig's centuries along with John Edrich's 96 propelled England to a total of 629. Bedi took 6 wickets but gave 226 runs. Prasanna and Abid Ali took two wickets each.

India scored 302 in reply. Engineer top scored with 86 followed by Viswanath and scores of 49 and 43 by Gavaskar and Solkar. In the follow-on, Indian batting fell like a pack of cards. Gavaskar, Engineer, Wadekar, Viswanath, Brajesh Patel and Ali all got out without reaching a double figure.

Solkar remained not out at 18*. In 17 overs, India was all out for 42. It was the second lowest total in the history after New Zealand that had got out for just 26 in 1955. Again the next test was won at Birmingham by an innings and India lost the series 0-3.

Indian team returned home. And Ajit Wadekar had to resign from captaincy. His house was stoned. Due to a movie that won Oscar, it came to be known as the 'Summer of 42' and India's lowest score (42) also became synonymous with the summer.

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