India will, in 2021, play an eagerly-awaited Test match in Leeds – its first at the ground for 19 years and only its seventh in all. Paul Dyson re-visits its previous six such games at Headingley.
India first appeared in a Headingley Test match in 1952 – exactly 20 years after the first game between the two countries – and this was an auspicious occasion in more ways than one. In the first game of the series England were being captained by Len Hutton for the first time and he became, as a result, his country’s first professional captain. In addition, making his Test debut was a certain Fred Trueman and he was to make his mark on this game as well as many more to come. India, batting first, were boosted by a fourth-wicket stand of 222, after having been 42 for three, between two Vijays – skipper Hazare (89) and Manjrekar whose 133 was his maiden century in first-class cricket. England batted consistently with half-centuries from Tom Graveney and wicket-keeper Godfrey Evans and their 334 gave them a 41-run lead, despite a five-for from the off-spin of Ghulam Ahmed. Trueman then got to work in dramatic style taking three extremely quick wickets as the disconcerted Indians were reduced to no runs for four wickets and an unwanted world record which still stands. Hazare made another half-century, he shared another century-stand – this time with Dattu Phadkar but England needed only 125 to win and a half-century from Reg Simpson helped see it home by seven wickets.