(Last Updated on : 27-01-2015)
The India-England Leeds Test, 2002 was the third match in the four-match Test series between the two teams, when India toured England. The legendary cricketer, Saurav Ganguly was leading the Indian team in the tour and India played the Leeds Test, after losing the first Test and drawing the second one. The team had to win the match in order to stay alive in the series and also to try for a series win. All the Indian players were looking to be quite determined for winning the match and their determination was clearly being shown on the field. It was the determination and hard work of the Indian players that eventually helped them to clinch a wonderful victory of an innings and 46 runs in the Leeds Test, against England.
The Indian skipper, Saurav Ganguly won the toss on the first day of the Indian-England Leeds Test, 2002 and took the right decision to bat first. The decision was proven to be absolutely a right one, as the Indian team got a good start in the match. Though the Indian team lost its first wicket, that of Virender Sehwag within the score of only 15 runs, the second wicket pair rescued the team, nicely. The opener, Sanjay Bangar played a wonderful innings of 68 runs in the beginning of the match and as Rahul Dravid provided a good support to him, they together added 170 runs in the second wicket partnership. However, the cricket enthusiasts saw the real essence of the legendary Indian middle order, just after Bangar got out at India's score of 185 runs. The three most successful cricketers in the history of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly showed their real class in the innings. At first, Dravid and Tendulkar made a superb partnership of 150 runs for the third wicket, before Dravid got out on his individual score of 148 runs. Then, Tendulkar and Ganguly made yet another splendid partnership of 249 runs for the fourth wicket. The partnership was broken when Ganguly got out after playing a magnificent innings of 128 runs. However, Tendulkar continued to play well in the innings and his wonderful innings of 193 runs helped India to secure a mammoth total of 628 runs in the first innings.
The Indian bowlers started bowling in England's first innings on a very confident note, as they were boosted by the performance of their batsmen. On the other hand, the English batsmen were already under huge pressure, as they were batting after conceding such huge 628 runs to the Indians. They were finding it quite difficult to play well in front of the well disciplined bowling of the Indian bowlers. However, they managed to get a good start in their first innings, as the openers added 67 runs in the opening partnership, before Robert Key became the victim of Zaheer Khan. Then, Anil Kumble provided India the second break through by picking up the wicket of Mark Butcher on England's score of 109 runs. The England team then started to lose wickets in regular intervals and most of the wickets were taken by the Indian spinners, Kumble and Harbhajan. Both the spinners took 3 wickets, each and their wonderful performance helped India to restrict England's first innings to only 273 runs and forced England to follow on.
The Indian captain, Saurav Ganguly rightly took the decision to invite England to follow on in the second innings, as India was having a huge lead of 355 runs in the first innings. Boosted by such a huge lead, the Indian bowlers bowled with more intensity and discipline in the second innings and Ajit Agarkar provided the first break through for India. He successfully removed Michael Vaughan from the crease at England's score of 28 runs and Kumble soon picked up the wicket of Robert Key to reduce England to 76-2. England lost another two wickets within a short period, as Bangar struck twice by taking the wickets of Mark Butcher and John Crawley. England was struggling on 148-4 at that moment and the English captain, Nasser Hussain then made a good partnership of 117 runs, along with Allec Stewart. However, Anil Kumble then provided the much needed break through to India when he picked up the wicket of Nasser Hussain, on England's score of 265 runs. None of the other English batsmen, except Andrew Flintoff could play well after the departure of Nasser Hussain and as a result, England's second innings was wrapped up on 309 runs. Anil Kumble once again excelled with the ball in this innings and took 4 wickets for 66 runs. As, the other Indian bowlers also made their contributions nicely, the Indian team became successful to clinch a glorious victory of an innings and 46 runs in the India-England Leeds Test, 2002.