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When Was The First Cricket Test Match Played By India?

Not only did the Indian team rattle a very strong English side, it also made the small world of cricket sit up and take notice of their talent

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It was this impact that led to June 25, 1932, going down in India’s cricketing history as a red letter day. Wikimedia Commons
It was this impact that led to June 25, 1932, going down in India’s cricketing history as a red letter day. Wikimedia Commons
  • All-India cricket team played its first cricket test match in England
  • On the same date i.e June 25, India won the ICC cricket world cup in 1983
  • Parsis were the first in India, to show an interest in cricket

Cricket’s journey in India began after British traders and soldiers brought the sport to Indian shores during colonial rule. The first cricket test match in India is believed to have been played by British sailors at Cambay in 1721.

The first Indians to take interest in cricket were the Parsis. They established the Oriental Cricket Club in 1846 and subsequently the Parsi Cricket Club, which sent its team to play in England in 1886 – it played in 28 matches, lost 19, drew eight and won only one.

Unfamiliar with English conditions, the Parsi cricketers were not able to make much of a mark but their adaptability made an impression upon the Englishmen. The resulting appreciation led to another tour two years later.

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The first Indians to take interest in cricket were the Parsis. Wikimedia Commons
The first Indians to take interest in cricket were the Parsis. Wikimedia Commons

After two more unofficial tours in 1888 and 1911 (financed and captained by the young Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupendra Singh), and within three years of the formation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1928, the first official Indian team left for England to play its first cricket Test match.

Maharaja of Patiala was named the first caption of the Indian team. Prince Ganshyamsinhji of Limbdi was the vice-captain and the Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagram was the deputy vice-captain.

Two weeks before the team left for the tour, the Maharaja of Patiala stepped down on health grounds while the Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagram withdrew from the team citing his lack of form and fitness. The choice of captain fell upon the Maharaja of Porbandar (who, funnily enough, was undoubtedly the worst player in the team) while Jahangir Khan was drafted into the team as a replacement for Vizzy.

The All-India Cricket team played its first cricket test match in England in 1932. Wikimedia Commons
The All-India Cricket team played its first cricket test match in England in 1932. Wikimedia Commons

When the Indians arrived in England to play their first cricket test match, on April 13, 1932, London newspaper Evening Standard made the following comment on the socio-political significance of the tour:

“No politics, no caste, just cricket. This is the unofficial slogan of the cricket team that has come from India after a lapse of 21 years. There has never been such a team of contrasts meeting on the common footing of cricket. The 18 players speak eight to 10 languages among them and belong to four or five different castes.”

The Maharaja of Porbandar was relying on Limbdi before he strained his back in a minor match, afterwards he handed over the captaincy to Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu.

The superbly fit and strong Nayudu was India’s best batsman and had just smashed the first Indian century of the tour in style. The Star’s headline on May 22, 1932, summed it all up: “The Hindu Bradman in Form at Lord’s”.

Choosing Nayudu, who would go on to be Wisden Cricketer Of The Year in 1933, as the captain of the team was thus a very wise decision by the Maharaja of Porbandar. Wikimedia Commons
Choosing Nayudu, who would go on to be Wisden Cricketer Of The Year in 1933, as the captain of the team was thus a very wise decision by the Maharaja of Porbandar. Wikimedia Commons

As India’s first cricket test match unfolded, the performance of the relatively raw Indian side left the English shocked in the first half-hour itself.

After winning the toss and opting for batting first, Sutcliffe and Holmes, Yorkshire’s record-smashing opening pair (they had put on 555-run partnership just nine days ago), walked out full of cool confidence.

But some excellent bowling by Indian fast bowlers, Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh, reduced the English team to a dismal 19-3 in the first 20 minutes!

At the end of their first day in International Test cricket, the Indian team stood at 30 without loss, a respectable scoreline against the formidable English side. Wikimedia Commons
At the end of their first day in International Test cricket, the Indian team stood at 30 without loss, a respectable scoreline against the formidable English side. Wikimedia Commons

After the worst possible start, English captain Douglas Jardine and Wally Hammond began stitching together a partnership, but it was difficult with the Indians bowling with nagging accuracy and fielding with sharp agility. Hammond lost his wicket just after lunch and the English team was bowled out for 259 before tea on the first day.

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Describing the day’s play, The Birmingham Post wrote: “The All India cricket team has administered a few shocks to the dignity and confidence of England today. If there were among the 24,000 spectators at Lord’s some who imagined that the granting of a Test match by the MCC to the tourists from the Indian empire was merely an amiable concession, then they had a very rude awakening before the close of play.”

At the end of their first day in International Test cricket, the Indian team stood at 30 without loss, a respectable scoreline against the formidable English side. While the next day started well for the Indians, with their score being 110 for 1 at one point, the lack of experience (other than Nayudu and Nazir Ali, all the Indian batsmen had practised only on matting wickets) was soon exposed as the middle order collapsed. From 160 for 4, India folded to 189 all out.

However, while India eventually lost the match by 158 runs, the courage and grit shown by the team, evident in the first 30 minutes itself, clearly conveyed to the world that it wouldn’t take much time for the Indians to carve out a niche for themselves in the world of cricket.

It was this impact that led to June 25, 1932, going down in India’s cricketing history as a red letter day. Interestingly, 51 years later on the same day, the Indian cricket team (led by Kapil Dev) made history at Lord’s by winning the Prudential Cup, as if commemorating the momentous day in Indian cricket.

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Here’s why Mind and Behavioural Coaching is Important for Indian Cricketers

This week had three significant moments with regard to Indian cricket.

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The Test matches are crucial for Indian cricket to garner points for the Test Championship. Wikimedia Commons

BY YAJURVINDRA SINGH

This week had three significant moments with regard to Indian cricket. The senior Indian team, having demolished New Zealand in the five-match T20I series were brought down to earth, lost 0-3 in the ODIs. The New Zealand side, that looked like a dazzled rabbit under a spot light after the T20Is, suddenly turned into hunters rather than one that was being hunted.

Although the ODIs did not have much importance at this stage, the failure of India’s three star performers — Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav — are a cause for concern. All of them looked till then infallible, but going into the important two-match Test series, New Zealand may feel that they have found a chink in India’s armour.

The Test matches are crucial for India to garner points for the Test Championship. The two top qualifiers will play for the first ever Test-match Trophy in the final to be held at Lords next year. The Test series, therefore, should be very interesting as New Zealand, especially at home, are a side that seem to flourish in their backyard. The red cherry or cricket ball is all that it takes to make cricket encounters between teams into a different ball game.

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Indian cricket at all levels seems to be swarmed with talented and skillful cricketers. Wikimedia Commons

The wonderful aspect of the New Zealand versus India battle has been the spirit in which both the teams have played the game. It is so inspiring to see players on both sides appreciating, acknowledging as well as admiring each other on and off the field.

On the other hand, the next significant moment for India was the U-19 World Cup final and the atrocious behaviour that one witnessed while watching it. India played Bangladesh and the match turned out to be an encounter that one should ensure never happens again on the cricket field. The umpires, I felt, should have sternly put a stop to it at the very beginning. It gradually escalated into an abusive and aggressive mayhem that marred the spirit of the game.

India, the more powerful side with the leading batsmen of the tournament in Yashasvi Jaiswal and the bowler Ravi Bishnoi in their fold, were the strong favourites. Although, both of them did come through with match winning performances, Bangladesh as a team and with an astute captain in Akbar Ali, romped home victorious.

The Indian defeat, if one analyses, was not because of the lack of any cricketing ability but solely on account of their immature and emotional outbursts. Bangladesh, who had nothing to lose, may have instigated the aggressive behaviour, but the Indian side, rather than focusing on their game fell a victim to it.

The talented Indian opening bowlers, rather than concentrating on their line and length went into a mode to showcase the fire power that they possessed and gave away those extra runs that proved detrimental at the end. This was a very bitter lesson that not only the coaching staff of the U-19 side learnt but one hopes that it will be an awakening for the young Indian cricketers in the future as well.

The U-19 Indian side had three of the coolest heads in Indian cricket preparing them for the tournament, in Rahul Dravid, Paras Mhambrey and Hrishikesh Kanitkar. All of them are known for their serious, unemotional attitude and ones who never lost their cool even in the most adverse conditions. One, as they say, lives and learns and one is sure that, hereafter, the U-19 and the India A players will be taken through an emotional and mental behaviour class in going forward.

Indian_cricket_team
The talented Indian opening bowlers, rather than concentrating on their line and length went into a mode to showcase the fire power that they possessed and gave away those extra runs that proved detrimental at the end. Wikimedia Commons

The third significant encounter was the tri-series final between Australia and the India women. India, did well to qualify ahead of England and had Australia in trouble. This T20I series is a warm-up to India’s T20 World Cup being held from February 21. Once again as in the past, India failed to close the match, with 40 runs to make with both their top players Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur at the crease.

The Indian women are getting themselves into a very good position but somehow fail to complete the task at hand. Once again this is all to do with mental preparation and the Indian coach, W.V. Raman, needs to address this very seriously.

India, has two of the most renowned finishers of the game in M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli. A talk with these two individuals before they commence their World Cup campaign would be just the pep talk needed to build their confidence. Cricketing wise the Indian women’s team is right at the top. A cool and collective mind is all they require to win the first big trophy for Indian women’s cricket.

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Indian cricket at all levels seems to be swarmed with talented and skillful cricketers. But the BCCI now has to make them mentally and behaviourally strong and coaching is the only way forward. One hopes they put a good curriculum in place soon. (IANS)