Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, which hosts the fourth Test of the ongoing series between India and England, has been a fairly successful venue for the visitor. England has won thrice and lost thrice in the seven Tests played by it here. Notably, it has defeated India convincingly the last two times it played here, in 2006 and in 2012.
The venue has featured plenty of stellar performances on both sides. Some notable ones are Ian Botham’s single-handed victory effort with a century and 13 wickets in the 1980 golden jubilee Test, leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramkrishnan's match haul of 12 for 181 in 1984, Vinod Kambli’s double-century in 1993 and the spin duo of England, Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, bundling India out in 2012-13.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin are the only ones to have been a part of India’s last defeat here. Although England is led by the same captain as in 2012 – Alastair Cook – his squad is also very different, as only three of his team-mates then (Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad and James Anderson) feature in the current team.
India v England, 5th Test, 1977: In a series won by Tony Greig’s England and marred by the Vaseline controversy, the teams engaged in a close encounter in Mumbai (then Bombay). Sunil Gavaskar scored a century, but this was offset by a strong top-order performance from England, led by Mike Brearley’s patient 91. Left-arm spinner Derek Underwood took 5 for 84 to bowl India out for 192. Chasing 214, England was struggling at 152 for 7 when the game was declared a draw.
India v England, Golden Jubilee Test, 1980: Ian Botham ran through the Indian line-up in both innings and scored 114 in the only innings he played as England strolled to a 10-wicket victory in the one-off Test.
India v England, 1st Test, 1981: Botham shone in this Test as well, taking nine wickets in a low-scoring game. Left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi took a five-for to restrict England to 166 in the first innings, and seamers Kapil Dev and Madan Lal took five wickets each in the second to bowl England out for 102. India took a 1-0 series win as the rest of the matches were drawn.
India v England, 1st Test, 1984: David Gower’s England narrowly avoided an innings defeat in this one-sided game, the first of five in the 1984-85 season. Leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan took 6 for 64 as England was bowled out for 195. Ravi Shastri and Syed Kirmani scored centuries for India to lead it to 465 for 8. Mike Gatting scored a century in the second dig but Sivaramakrishnan foiled England's recovery plans with another six-wicket haul to bowl England out for 317, setting India a target of 48. This was India’s only victory of the series as England squared it in the second Test in Delhi, and then took the lead in Chennai, for a 2-1 series win.
Sivaramakrishnan's performance was the best of his international career.
India v England, 3rd Test, 1993: Left-hand batsman Vinod Kambli scored a double-century and India’s spinners, led by Anil Kumble, dented England’s batting to give the home team an innings victory. This time, the match was as one-sided as the series overall. The result meant England was whitewashed 3-0 in three Tests.
India v England, 3rd Test, 2006: England profited from a first-innings century from opener Andrew Strauss that allowed it to post 400, and it dictated proceedings from this point. Seamer James Anderson, the only player also featuring for England in the current squad, 10 years later, took 4 for 40 in the first innings to have India bowled out for 279. After scoring 191 in the second dig, England bowled India out for 100 to take a 212-run victory, the only one in the series.
Spinner Shaun Udal, playing the final Test of his career, took 4 for 14 in the second innings.
India v England, 2nd Test, 2012: Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook scored centuries to lay a solid foundation with the bat, after which spin duo Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar took over. They accounted for 19 of the 20 Indian wickets to fall in the match, to lead their team to a 10-wicket victory. Panesar outshone his more distinguished spin partner, taking 11 wickets.
The performance boosted England’s confidence. It went on to clinch the series with another victory in Kolkata.