Like how batsmen score runs in pairs, bowlers too hunt in tandem. There were many Test openers such as Mathew Hayden-Justin Langer, Virender Sehwag-Gautam Gambhir pairs who thrived together. Similarly, there were few bowling pairs such as Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis who hunted for wickets together.
The upcoming five-match Test series between England and India is also highly anticipated as it promises exciting contests between bat and ball. In England vs India Test contests, there have been bowling pairs who have done exceedingly well together to stamp their class on the series.
Here are some of the bowling pairs who created history in England vs India Tests.
R Ashwin-Ravindra Jadeja pair in 2016 series
In the 2016 series, India routed England 4-0 in the five-match Test series. Indian spinners R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja came to the party in this tour. Out of 93 England wickets to fall in the series, Ashwin-Jadeja scalped 54 wickets. Ashwin took 28, while Jadeja bagged 26 wickets. England batsmen struggled against the Indian spin duo.
Such was the impact of Indian spinners that Jadeja made England skipper Alastair Cook his bunny during the Test series, dismissing the Englishman a record 6 times in 10 innings. No other bowler in cricket history has dismissed Cook so many times in a single series.
For the records, Cook averaged just 12.50 against Jadeja in that series. Even Ashwin was no less a master, foxing the Englishmen with his guile and variations.
Graeme Swann-Monty Panesar in 2012-13 series
India have taken 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series against England. The Englishmen then went for a gamble in bowling both Swann and Panesar in tandem from the second Test and the two showed results straightaway. The two took 31 wickets out of 49 Indian wickets to fall in next three Tests as England won two matches and drew one to bag the series 2-1. Swann took 14, while Panesar bagged 17 wickets in the three Tests they bowled together.
James Anderson-Sturat Broad pair in 2011 series
In the 2011 tour of England, India were whitewashed 0-4 in the Test series. It means India lost all their 80 wickets in the four Tests. Out of these 80 wickets, 46 scalps were shared by the England pace bowling duo of James Anderson (21) and Stuart Broad (25).
The two complemented each other extremely well. While Anderson created pressure maintaining a great line and length, Broad reaped the rewards with his pace and accuracy. There was no respite for India on the tour. Tim Bresnan was the third highest wicket-taker in the series, with 16 wickets.
India lost 62 of the 80 wickets on the tour to the three medium-pacers, exposing India’s weakness towards quality pace bowling.
Anil Kumble-Harbhajan Singh pair in 2002 series
The two were the unsung heroes of 2002 Test series which was drawn 1-1 in England. Most of the credit went to Indian batsmen in the series, especially Rahul Dravid who cracked three tons, the match-winning 148 at Leeds being the most memorable.
But it was the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble who made the win possible at Leeds, bagging 11 wickets between themselves to help India win the Leeds Test. Overall, they took 17 wickets out of 30 England wickets to fall in 2 Tests they played together in the 2002 series.