Under Ajit Wadekar’s leadership, the Indian side managed to battle all odds and defeat the Three Lions in their own backyard, registering a landmark win in England, in 1971. 50 years after the win, with India’s victory at Lord’s, Virat Kohli’s side stand just two wins away from winning the five-match Test series against the Three Lions. Former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar reckoned that Kohli’s side has the caliber to repeat the feat of Wadekar’s 1971 team.
"So now this time around too, at The Oval, India will clinch the series just like we did way back in 1971. Be rest assured of that. This team will repeat what 1971 Wadekar's team did," Gavaskar said in a video on his official Instagram handle.
On the 50th anniversary of the remarkable win, Gavaskar recalled the 1971 Test series, and hailed that it was a truly ‘unforgettable’ outing for the visitors, which also happened to be India’s first Test win.
"50 years ago, on August 24th, India won a Test in England for the first time and with it the Test series. What a day it was... It was truly unforgettable. The crowds that lined up the Oval was something similar to what happened in 1983.
“Of course, 1983 was much bigger because the whole of Lord's cricket ground seemed to be taken by Indian supporters. But it was truly unforgettable(India's first Test win), truly memorable,” he added.
After two draws in the 1971 series, India pulled off an improbable win in the third Test, at Kenningston Oval, where BS Chandrasekhar, with his six-wicket haul helped India bundle the hosts out for just 101. While the chase was always going to be tricky for India, Wadekar’s 45 in the second innings ensured that India completed their first Test win in the English shores.
"Ajit Wadekar led the side superbly and there was some tremendous batting by Farokh Engineer, Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Sardesai to take us home. But above all, it was BS Chandrasekhar six wickets for 38 that dismissed England for only 101 in the second innings and paved the way for India to win," he said.