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An Infamous Test Series For Indians: England Tour of 1952

The England tour of 1952 was one of the most terrible for the Indian Cricket. Fred Trueman debut and the infamous four wickets for no run put India to a stage; they could not recover from, for the entire series.  

Last updated: 19.07.2019
An Infamous Test Series For Indians Fred Trueman | Sports Social Blog

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19th July 1952. This was one of the most terrible days for India in test cricket as they were blown away by the English bowlers, especially Fred Trueman. When India went to England in 1952 to play a 4-match test series, Indian captain Vijay Hazare knew that this would be a very difficult tour as the English team led by Len Hutton had some great players like Alec Bedser, Jim Laker, Peter May, and Tom Graveney. But the Indians were not prepared for the young fast bowler from Yorkshire who made his debut in this series.

Fred Trueman announced himself in the international stage. With great pace, bounce, and accuracy he made the life uncomfortable for every Indian batsman. Also with his ragged look, long hair and fiery nature on and off the pitch made him an immediate sensation!

In the first test at Headingley India put up 293 runs in the first innings despite an early blast from Trueman. They also managed to take a lead of 41 runs but at the beginning of the second innings the infamous four wickets for no runs happened and Indians never recovered mentally during the series. They reached 165 and lost the test match by seven wickets.


Vinoo Mankad joined the squad in the second test, delivered his best performance in the Lord’s test which was known as Mankad’s test but India still lost the test match by eight wickets.

The third test match started at Old Trafford on 17th July. England batted first, captain Hutton scored a hundred, Godfrey Evans scored 71 and Peter May 69 to take England to 347/9 when Hutton declared. It was already the third day of the match. Indians came to bat and lost Mankad immediately as the debutant Tony Lock took a great catch of Bedser. Then it was a Trueman show, he got Pankaj Roy and Hemu Adhikari for ducks and then Polly Umrigar and Dattu Phadkar of back-to-back deliveries. He also broke the partnership between Vijay Hazare and Vijay Manjarekar, the highest partnership for the Indians and removed the tail easily to finish with 8/31. It is still the best bowling by a fast bowler at Old Trafford. Indians were all out for 58 and was asked to follow on.

Indians second innings was no better; Roy scored another duck to bag a pair. Bedser again got Mankad and India were 7/2. Hazare and Adhikari put up some resistance but the debutant Lock finally got the ball and broke the partnership. Lock finished with four wickets on debut and Bedser took five as Indians were all out for 82 runs on the same day.  This was the first instance of a team getting all out twice on the same day in a test match. Also, the 140 scored by the Indians in their two innings combined is their lowest in a completed test match. It was a sad day for Indian cricket and their lack of ability to play genuine fast bowling was exposed again.

India saved the fourth test thanks to rain and the series ended 3-0 for England.

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