Five wicket test hauls by Indian bowlers at Oval
While the Indians thrived on the batting pitches at the Oval scoring some big hundreds over the years, their bowlers have struggled on traditionally the best batting pitch in England and that reflected in the results as India so far has managed only one test win at the Oval in last 90 years. That win was in the famous 1971 series which was registered as one of the greatest moments in Indian cricket. India’s first-ever test win on English soil. Five wicket test hauls by Indian bowlers at Oval.
There are only 3 five-wicket hauls by the Indian bowlers at the Oval as under:
Surendra Nath – 5/75 1959
In the late 1950s, India had some very good fast-medium swing bowlers like Ramakant Desai and Surendra Nath. The latter was a fine swing bowler and tailormade for the English conditions. Surendra Nath became the first even Indian bowler to get 5 wicket haul at the Oval. In the 1959 test, after India was bowled out for 140 in the first innings. England piled on the runs. However, Surendra Nath bowled with a lot of effort and with great lines and lengths to dry up the runs. With a planned leg sideline he never allowed England to get away and used his outswing to great effect to take 5 wickets in that innings in a marathon bowling spell of 51 overs. His 5 wickets included England captain Colin Cowdrey for 6 and Ted Dexter for nought. However his stellar effort of 5/75 in 51 overs was in vain as after England made 361 in the first innings. Another poor batting collapse saw India getting all out for 194 in the second innings and losing the match by an innings and 27 runs.
B S Chandrasekhar – 6/38 1971
The most famous bowling spell by an Indian in overseas across eras. The was a historical spell in a historical match which announced the arrival of India in world cricket in more ways than one.
England who had won the Ashes in the previous winter had scored 355 in the 1st innings of the Oval test. India replied with 284 to concede a lead of 71 runs.
The Chandra magic started to unfold in the England and innings. After the openers put on 23, Chandra got Jameson run out. Then proceeded to clean bowl John Edrich for nought as the ball spun from middle to off to beat Edrich’s defensive shot. Immediately Keith Flecher who was regarded as a fine player of spin was caught smartly by the ever-alert. Solkar to leave England 3/24 before lunch. Chandra was looking unplayable now.
Post lunch Venkat provided 2 crucial wickets of D Oliviera and Knott to reduce England further to 5/54. Before Chandra took over for good, picking up skipper Illingworth caught and bowled off a full toss. A patient Luckhurst (33) caught smartly by Venkat at slip and Snow caught and bowled to dent England further at 8/72. After some resistance, England was finally all out for 101 with Chandra getting the last wicket to complete his figures of 6/38 in 18 overs.
With 173 for victory, India win in a nervy run chase by 4 wickets in a historic triumph. This to date is India’s only test win at the Oval.
Harbhajan Singh – 5/115 2002
In the high scoring Oval test of 2002, England batting first looked all set to score 650-700 with their score on 273/1. Harbhajan Singh came on and bowled with great flair and lengths to start making inroads. He got a confident looking Butcher (54) first and then which the score looking a threatening 4/434. He got Stewart and Tudor to balls that drifted in and straightened to take the edge. Two more lbws of Cork and Hoggard completed his tally of 5/115 as England was 515 all out. Fine batting by India led by Dravid’s 217 ensured a drawn test.