Blown away: India’s five lowest team totals in Test cricket

Since their first step in international cricket, India have been a cricketing side known for their batting prowess. From Ranjitsinhji to Virat Kohli, most of our cricketing superheroes, with exceptions, have been batsmen. However, on occasions, the batting unit has fallen apart. The combination of a difficult pitch, strong opposition bowling attacks and poor stroke selection has seen India registering their lowest scores in Test cricket. Here are the top five entries.

5) 66 vs South Africa, 1996

In 1996, India toured South Africa for a 3-match Test series and an ODI tri-series. In the first Test at Durban, chasing South Africa’s 235, India faltered to 100 all out in their first innings. The hosts bettered their effort and set India a massive target of 395 runs. In reply, the Indian side amounted to only 66 runs. Rahul Dravid was the only batsman who recorded a double-digit score while Allan Donald claimed 4/14. India lost the Test by 328 runs.

4) 58 vs England, 1952

India visited the English shores in 1952. After losing the first two Tests, the visitors arrived at Old Trafford, Manchester. England, batting first, posted 347/9 declared. India’s reply was disastrous. Fred Trueman’s pace saw them crashing to 17/5. Vijay Hazare and Vijay Manjrekar stitched a face-saving partnership of 28 runs but India were ultimately shot down for 58 all out. They fared a little better in the second dig but 82 all-out consigned them to an innings defeat.

3) 58 vs Australia, 1947

Australia was the destination of independent India’s first-ever cricket tour. In the first Test at Brisbane, the Indians tasted the might of Sir Don Bradman’s batting. His 185 saw the Australians totalling 382/8 declared. India were quickly reduced to 0/2 as Australian pace battery troubled them. Ray Lindwall, Bill Johnston, Keith Miller and Ernie Toshack (5 wickets for 2 runs) bundled the visitors for 58 runs. India managed 98 runs in the second innings and lost the match by an innings and 226 runs.

2) 42 vs England, 1974

India’s tour to England in 1974 is earmarked as one of the worst outings of the Indian team. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. In the second Test at the Lord’s, centuries from Dennis Amiss, Mike Denness and Tony Greig helped England post 629 in their first innings. India in reply managed 302 and were asked to follow-on. The deflated side was slaughtered by Geoff Arnold (4/19) and Chris Old (5/21). India were all out for 42 and the tour was dubbed as the ‘Summer of 42’.

1) 36 vs Australia, 2020

The latest entry in India’s lowest score was recorded on 19th December in Adelaide. Despite scoring only 244 in their first innings, India claimed a lead of 53 runs. However, a surprise awaited them in the second innings.

Resuming on their overnight score of 9/1, India lost their night-watchman Jasprit Bumrah on the score of 15 at the end of the 8th over. 13 overs later, the scoreboard read 31/9. Josh Hazlewood (5/8) and Pat Cummins (4/21) induced the carnage. Last man Mohammed Shami was retired hurt as India recorded their lowest score in Test cricket. Australia won the first Test by eight wickets.