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 Which batsman holds the record for the highest Test score by an Englishman in India?
(18 December 2001)

England's tour of India in 1984-85, for that is when the record was established, got off to a catastrophic start; their arrival was almost immediately followed by the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. And then, just a day before the first Test at Bombay, the British Deputy High Commissioner, who had earlier entertained them, was shot dead on his way to work.

It was thus no surprise when an already dazed touring team slumped to a eight-wicket loss against an Indian team powered by the magic wrists of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. David Gower's side, though, had many experienced campaigners in their ranks, and this saw them bounce back in the second Test at the Feroze Shah Kotla grounds, securing an eight-wicket victory. After the third Test at Eden Gardens was drawn, Chepauk and its famous MA Chidamabaram Stadium provided the Englishmen with the chance to do what no touring side had done before - come from behind and win a series in India.

Neil Foster set the stage by running through the heart of the Indian batting, claiming 6-104 in 23 overs; Sunil Gavaskar's Indians were dismissed for 272. The English reply was rousing. First, openers Graeme Fowler and Tim Robinson put on 178. Mike Gatting, who followed, then provided Fowler brilliant support, and the duo put on 241 for the second wicket; both stands remain records for the respective wickets. Fowler was eventually dismissed for a stellar 201 off 409 balls, a new high for an English batsman in India.

Fowler enjoyed his record for only a short period, for he had the mortification of seeing Gatting passing it within hours. The future English skipper made 207 off 309 balls, with 20 fours and three sixes. This remains the highest score by an English batsman in India. England went on to win the Test by nine wickets and eventually claimed the series 2-1.

Gatting's aggregate in India - 862 in 13 Tests at an average of 50.7 - is also the best by an Englishman. His exploits in India and his mastery of the sweep shot were to give him a reputation as one of England's finest players of spin bowling.

For more details on all the above facts check out [ StatsGuru ]


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