Team India’s woes against budding players in overseas Tests

England's Sam Curran denied India a victory in the Birmingham Test with his brilliant all-round effort.

Sam Curran
England bowler Sam Curran. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Team India lost the opening Test at Edgbaston to England after possessing a strong grasp on the game at Tea on Day 3. Virat Kohli showed some great tenacity against pacers but as soon as he departed, the Indian tail was wiped off soon enough by the English bowlers to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Sam Curran was the stand-in performer for England grabbing 5 for 92 and scoring vital 87 runs in his maiden Test against India and was adjudged the Man of the Match. At 20 years, he is the youngest ever England player to achieve this feat.

This was not the first time India lost an overseas Test match despite being in the driver’s seat. Till date, they have played 17 Test matches in SENA nations (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia) from December 2013 but managed to win only two.

Since India’s tour of South Africa in 2013, there may be some occasions when they smelled the opportunity of winning overseas Test in SENA nations but players like Curran stood in between them and a favourable result.

The Indian team must figure out how to operate against these players – should make an organised game with a clearer understanding and learning from the past defeats before going into the second game at Lord’s as Ollie Pope is set to make his debut against India.

Here is a throwback to some matches when India could have tasted overseas Test victory but budding players dashed the tourist’s dream.

1. Proteas batted for 136 overs in the fourth innings to fortify Johannesburg

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis of South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

India’s tour of South Africa 2013: 1st Test, Johannesburg

It was India’s first overseas Test without the likes of Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. India had a chancohannesburg against South Africa, the then No.1 ranked team that had never lost a Test series since March 2009.

Vernon Philander & Faf du Plessis were playing their maiden Test match against India. Philander restricted India to 280 by taking 4 for 61 in his very first outing against India. Also, he played a vital knock of 59 (86) batting at no.8 helping South Africa post 244 from 146/6 sharing a partnership of 80 runs with Faf and reduced the deficit to 36 runs.

India asked South Africa to chase a mammoth total of 458, highest ever target to win the Test match or to survive 135 overs in case of a draw on a really difficult Johannesburg wicket. The visitors were favourites in both the cases. While chasing, the Proteas promoted Faf at no.4 ahead of Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers. He played a rear resilient inning surviving for 395 minutes scoring 134 (309) on the fifth day wicket rescuing South Africa from a certain defeat.

At one point they were in a position to even win that match falling just 16 runs short as du Plessis ran himself out. Philander ensured a draw remaining unbeaten on 25 (37) in the last 30 minutes.

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