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India v England Test series: Five of the best England tours to India

England drew both of their Test series in 2023 and they will find it extremely difficult to come out on top in their latest red-ball assignment in India.

India are the top-ranked nation in the longest format of the sport and they love nothing more than to take down the old enemy at the best of times.

However, a home series against England whets the appetite more than most for India's fervent followers and there have been a host of memorable Test series between the two countries who first locked horns in 1933/34.

England haven't won a Test series in India since 2012, so Ben Stokes' men have it all to do, and there have been some memorable contests down the years.

Here we take a look at five of those thrilling series.


England's delayed Tour to India got off to the perfect start as Joe Root's men took a 1-0 lead in the series following a 227-run win in Chennai.

Root was playing in his 100th Test match for England and was named Player of the Match following scores of 218 and 40 that led his side to an emphatic victory. It was Root's 20th century in Test matches.

But that was about as good as it got for England, who felt the full force of the Indian fightback and lost the series 3-1.

The home side won the Second Test at the same venue by a whopping 317 runs, and they didn't let up for the remainder of the four-Test series, turning the screw in the Third and Fourth matches at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Root turned his hand to bowling in the third match and claimed his first ever five-wicket haul, but the tourists failed with the bat and managed scores of just 112 and 81 in a humiliating 10-wicket defeat in a match which lasted just two days.

Things weren't much better in the final contest where India won by an innings and 25 runs, taking just 114 overs to knock off the 365 runs required for victory, and it was the latest in a long line of heavy defeats for England on the sub-continent.


A 4-0 whitewash was the outcome for England in 2016/17 where Alastair Cook led the tourists in a series which saw India record their highest-ever total in a Test match.

A solid start to the five-Test series saw the opening Test finish in a draw in Rajkot, where Cook and Ben Stokes both hit centuries. 

After declaring in their second innings, England failed to take the necessary wickets to claim victory in the match, and that proved to be the catalyst for a collapse in the remaining matches.

Indian won the remaining four matches by 246 runs, 8 wickets, an innings and 36 runs and an innings and 75 runs and their total of 759/9 in the Fifth Test saw Karun Nair score 303 not out.

The victory put the icing on the cake for the Indians who broke their record for consecutive Tests without defeat, taking their total to 19 unbeaten matches.


The 2012/13 four-match series finished 2-1 to England for their first victory in India since 1984/85, while it was only the second time in that same period that they had avoided defeat. It also remains the last time the Three Lions have won a series in India.

The first time a touring party had won a Test series in India since the mid-eighties, captain Alastair Cook claimed it was England's biggest achievement in many, many years. 

Former skipper Michael Vaughan echoed those sentiments, suggesting the victory was bigger than the 2010/11 Ashes Series triumph in Australia.

Cook was the star of the show scoring 562 runs in the series, and he was also named as player of the series.

Things looked ominous for England who lost the first Test by 9 wickets but they bounced back to win the next two before holding out for a draw in the Nagpur decider.


Woeful battling, poor squad selection and dodgy local cuisine were some of the many excuses offered up for England's miserable performances in this three-Test series which ended in a whitewash for the tourists, who were beset by internal conflicts.

All the talk prior to the Tour had centred on the omission of David Gower, who had averaged over 50 in the previous summer's series against Pakistan. His replacement was Dermot Reeve who ended up not even featuring in the Test series. The official reason for leaving Gower out of the squad was that he was "too old", but with veterans Mike Gatting and John Emburey also making the trip, this seemed rather spurious. 

Questions about it were even raised in Parliament and a special general meeting of the MCC convened, but to no effect, and Gower's presence in India was as a media representative only. 

Adding to the unsettled nature of the contest was the additional omission of Jack Russell, considered by most to be England's best wicket keeper, in favour of the largely untested Richard Blakey.

The series started with an eight-wicket win for the home side in the first Test, and it got worse for England in the second match where they were beaten by an innings and 22 runs.

Graham Gooch had been struck down by food poisoning on the eve of the second Test and that pretty much summed up England's tour as they finished with a whimper, losing the third Test by an innings and 15 runs.


The 1963/64 tour of India was remarkable in the fact that neither side won the five-Test series.

All five matches were drawn with the highlight of the series being the 27 wickets taken by England bowler Fred Titmus.

Plenty of runs were scored but neither side could edge to victory in the series. 

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