It was just the second Test series that India played since being granted Test status in 1932, in which year a CK Nayudu-led team had toured England for a one-off Test match and lost 1-0.
England, led by Douglas Jardine, came on a tour of India for a three-Test series on the back of the 4-1 Ashes series victory in Australia in 1932-33 (which became known as the bodyline series for the hostile bowling tactics employed by the English).
CK Nayudu won the toss in the opening Test at the Bombay Gymkhana Ground and chose to bat first. Arthur Mitchell (an opening batsman) and Bryan Valentine (a middle-order batsman) made their England debuts, while India had five debutants (Lala Amarnath, LP Jai, Vijay Merchant, R Jamshedji, and L Ramji).
India were bowled out for 219, Lala Amarnath top-scoring with 38. England batted and in their first innings, doubled (438) India’s first-innings score to put themselves in a strong position. Mitchell made by only 5 opening the batting, but the other debutant, Valentine, made a hundred on Test debut (136).
India, with a first-innings deficit of 219, had a mountain to climb. The top-scorer in the first innings, Lala Amarnath, scored a century (118), forging a 186-run, third-wicket stand with captain Nayudu, who himself made 67. Nayudu fell with the score on 207 and India lost seven for 51 thereafter to be bowled for 258, setting England a target of 40 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Mitchell failed to make an impression the second time as well, but Cyril Walters and Charlie Barnett chalked off the runs to put England ahead in the series.
The second Test was played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, where Jardine won the toss and chose to bat first. Given how the first Test had played out, the tourist will have been wise to give their bowlers a first use of the pitch.
England, though, batted solidly and posted a formidable first-innings total of 403. For India, Amar Singh took four for 106, while Nayudu took three for 40.
In reply, India were bowled out for 247 in their first innings. Because this was a four-day match, they had to post a score of at least 150 less than England’s total to avoid a follow-on.
India made 237 in their second innings and a lead of 81. The target for England was only 82, which they, however, had to get in an hour. The match ended in a draw with England two for 7 in their second innings.
The third Test was played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, where India to win to draw the series. A result other than an Indian win was enough to give England a series win.
Jardine’s men thumped India by 202 runs to win the series 2-0.