File photo of Indian Cricket Team (AFP Photo)
India haven't won an overseas Test for over three years now, and the record at their latest destination - England - doesn't ooze much confidence to right that wrong. In fact, the odds are heavily loaded against the visitors.
A five-Test series is almost an alien term for all the 18 Indians in England as they have never been part of a tour involving 25 days of Test cricket alone. The last time these two nations were involved in a five-Test series in England was 55 years ago in 1959. India were zipped up and dispatched 5-nil in those days of uncovered pitches. Five-and-a-half decades later, MS Dhoni & Co will hope for a drastically different result.
Since 1932, when India first crossed sea to land in the 'Three Lions' den, India have won just three of the 16 Test series in England, losing 12 and drawing one.
India's first Test series win under the English sun came in 1971, after six winless tours, when the Ajit Wadekar-led men claimed the three-match rubber 1-0. The second triumph came 15 years later in 1986 under Kapil Dev and the third after a gap of 21 years in 2007 with Rahul Dravid at the helm. In between, India managed to hold England 1-1 in 2002 under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy.
In 2011, India were whitewashed 4-0 and still feel the pain in those wounds England inflicted three years back. But it will be a uphill task for this young Indian team that is without the Tendulkars, the Dravids and the Laxmans. Instead, just three of the touring 18-man squad have previously played a Test in England.
That highlights the magnitude of task awaiting India.
Here are the season-wise series results (India in England):
1932 (1 Test) - England won 1-0
1936 (3 Tests) - England won 2-0
1946 (3 Tests) - England 1-0
1954 (4 Tests) - England 3-0
1959 (5 Tests) - England 5-0
1967 (3 Tests) - England 3-0
1971 (3 Tests) - India 1-0
1974 (3 Tests) - England 3-0
1979 (4 Tests) - England 1-0
1982 (3 Tests) - England 1-0
1986 (3 Tests) - India 2-0
1990 (3 Tests) - England 1-0
1996 (3 Tests) - England 1-0
2002 (4 Tests) - 1-1 Draw
2007 (3 Tests) - India 1-0
2011 (4 Tests) - England 4-0