On this day in 2012: England register a historic Test series victory in India

England toured India in the 2012-13 season. The full-fledged tour – comprising 4 Tests, 5 ODIs, and 2 T20Is – was kick-started by the four-match Test series. The visitors had a daunting task ahead of them for the last they registered a series-win on the Indian land was almost three decades ago. Given that it was a home series, India, quite obviously, were labelled as the favourites, and the expectations from MS Dhoni’s men skyrocketed after they started the series on the anticipated lines – winning the first Test.

India’s winning start

Guided by a magnificent double ton from Cheteshwar Pujara (206) in the first Test at Ahmedabad, India posted a massive 521 after electing to bat first. Graeme Swann’s 5-wicket haul highlighted the assistance for the spinners, and Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha made full use of the same as they shared 8 wickets amongst them to bundle England out for 191. Following-on, the visitors gave a strong response as Alastair Cook slammed 176 and England ended for 406. However, asked to chase only 80 for the win, India registered an easy win by 9 wickets.

England fight back

The fortunes changed for Cook’s men in the second Test at Mumbai as they outplayed India in both the departments. Despite Cheteshwar Pujara’s (135) and Ashwin‘s (68) efforts with the bat, the failure of others meant that India could only manage 330 runs in the first innings. England managed to take a healthy lead on the back of Cook (122) and Kevin Pietersen’s (186) centuries, finishing for 413 and all 10 belonging to the Indian spin trio – Ashwin, Ojha, and Harbhajan, was enough to highlight the nature of the track. India tumbled for 142 in response, and England chased 58 runs to level the series.

Going ahead with the same template of batting first after winning the toss, India amassed 316 runs with half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir (60), Sachin Tendulkar (76), and MS Dhoni (52) in the third Test at Kolkata. A magnificent 190 from Cook followed by half-centuries from Nick Compton (87) and Jonathan Trott (57), however, shifted the pressure back on the hosts. In the response to England’s 523, India could manage only 247, courtesy of Ashwin’s 91. Needing only 41 for the win, England lost Cook, Trott, and Pietersen cheaply, before Ian Bell (28) led them to a consecutive victory.

The historic moment

Coming into the fourth Test, England had a chance of creating history, whereas hosts India were eyeing redemption after being 2-1 down. After early breakthroughs, Pietersen and Root contributed 73 each, whereas half-centuries from Matt Prior (57) and Swann (56) led England to 330. India nullified the visitors’ lead as they declared on 326, which included sublime knocks from Virat Kohli (103) and MS Dhoni (99). England went on to bat for 154 overs as Trott (143) and Bell (116) piled up tons, however, the match ended in a draw, and with it, on this day, ended England’s 28-year wait to win a Test series in India.