In the 98 years since England first played a Test match against India there have been many occasions when Yorkshire’s players have produced match-defining performances. Paul Dyson looks back at some of those.
India and England first met in a Test match in 1932, at Lord’s, and it was a Yorkshire bowler who played an important part in the first such games on Indian soil 18 months later. Left-arm spinner Hedley Verity was England’s leading bowler in the three-Test series with 23 wickets, this including a match-winning performance of 11 for 153 (seven for 49 and four for 104) at Madras (now Chennai), This was in the final game of the series and saw England to a 202-run win and a two-nil series victory. Verity was also the leading wicket-taker in the first-class matches on the whole tour which also took in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with 78 wickets at 15.12.
History was made in 1952 when Yorkshire’s Len Hutton became England’s first-ever professional captain. India were given a four-Test series and fate determined that the first should be at Headingley where Hutton could lead out his team in front of his home crowd. A very great batsman, he had carried the England batting during the immediate post-War period and he yet again topped the averages in this series with 399 runs at 79.80, also making the most runs. He made centuries at Lord’s and Old Trafford, England winning both Tests and the series three-nil. England’s leading bowler, with 29 wickets at 13.31, was in his first Test series, having made his debut at Headingley. Fred Trueman exploded onto the scene and the Indians, being just not used to fast bowling of his pace were, at times, reduced to cannon-fodder. He took three wickets to help reduce the visitors to none for four at Headingley, took 15 wickets in the first two games before ‘thoroughly demoralising the opposition’ (Wisden) at Old Trafford with a first-innings eight for 31 through bowling of high pace and lift.