This was the first tour made by India, as opposed to All-India, the country
having been finally partitioned in August 1947 when Great Britain granted full independence to India, Ceylon
The original tour party included Fazal Mahmood but five months after his
original selection he dropped out giving his allegiance to the new country of
Pakistan.Amir Elahi and Gul Mohammad, who
subsequently represented Pakistan
in Test cricket, retained their places in the team, although they made clear
that on returning home they would be migrating to Pakistan.
Apart from brief flights in a seaplane across the Tasman Sea, no touring party except the 1946 Indians
had flown to the country they were visiting for a Test tour. The 1947-48 team
was intended to sail on the 'Orion' but
it was delayed and they would have been obliged to cancel matches so it was
decided to fly.The team flew
throughout the trip but, if this saved travel fatigue, it did little for
results in the Test series.The
Australians were far too strong for India,
with brilliant players at the top of their form in every department of the
game, as would be conclusively shown on the forthcoming Australian tour of England in
1948. Nevertheless the Indians became a very popular side because of their
entertaining play and the spirit in which they approached the state matches.
The Indians were weakened by some significant
withdrawals - Mushtaq Ali and Merchant, as well as Fazal.However, these losses were made worse when
some of those on the touring party's original short-list do not appear to
have come under consideration for the vacancies, while Ranvirsinhji and Rai
Singh gained places thanks to friends on the Board pulling strings.
Bradman described the bowling attack as steady and
sound but lacking both a really fast bowler and a high-class spinner, as well
as not being backed up in the field. The tour was India's
first to any country other than England,
a proposed visit to Australia
in 1927-28 having fallen through.
Middle-order batsmen: Hemu Adhikari, Gogumal
Kishenchand, Kanwar Rai Singh, Gul Mohammad, Vijay Hazare, Khandu Rangnekar.
All rounders:Vinoo Mankad, Lala Amarnath
Sen, Jamshed ‘Jenni’ Irani
Spinners: Amir Elahi, C S
Phadkar, Commandur Rangachari, Ranga Sohoni.
H R Adhikari
V S Hazare
J K Irani
V M H Mankad
RHB opener SLA
C S Nayudu
D G Phadkar
K Rai Singh
C R Rangachari
K M Rangnekar
M S Ranvirsinhji
C T Sarwate
P K Sen
S W Sohoni
E: East Zone (3), N: North (4), S: South (2), W: West (8)
Ba - Baroda (4)
Gj - Gujarat
Hk- Holkar (2)
Ms - Madras (1)
Nw -Nawangar (1)
Sn -Sind (1)
S Pj- South Punjab
Average age of players at time
of first Test match
Nov 1947) :
28 yrs 11 months.
Appearances made before the tour
Amarnath 6, Nayudu 6, Hazare
3, Mankad 3, Sohoni 2, Gul 1, Sarwate 1, Adhikari 0, Amir Elahi 0, Irani 0,
Kishenchand 0, Phadkar 0, Rai Singh 0, Rangachari 0, Rangnekar 0,
Ranvirsinhji 0, Sen 0.
Baggageman / scorer
The selectors who chose the
original party after the last trial
match in Delhiwere C K Nayudu, P E Palia and D B Deodhar, with V M Merchant as
adviser.Mr Pankaj Gupta (convenor)
and Mr Anthony S DeMello (Board President) was also present at the selection
meeting.Deodhar later resigned from
Unavailable:The Nawab of Pataudi senior.
Tour Party Announced : March 1947
Mohammad, Chowdhury and Shinde might
have been expected to number in the original tour party, or at least among the
The players were asked to attend a training camp in Poona (Pune) in August
but for two weeks the monsoon rain prevented any practice and the camp was
Withdrawals : During the summer of 1947 members of
the team began to withdraw.
Fazal Mahmood (Northern India), 20, was recruited
into the police force in Lahore.Mushtaq
Ali (Holkar), 32, a member of the tour committee as a senior player, said
he did not wish to go away at a time of family bereavement (he was mourning
his brother, Iqbal Ali).
Rusi Modi (Bombay), 22, said he was not fit enough to
The most significant loss
was of the appointed captain, Vijay M Merchant
through problems of fitness.On 27
August he had flown to South
Africa to see a specialist bone setter and
on 4 September he was given three weeks in which to establish his fitness,
but two days later it was announced that he had withdrawn and Amarnath would
lead the tour.
V S Hazare seemed unlikely
to go owing to the delicate situation in Baroda but he did eventually agree to join
the tour, being appointed to the vice-captaincy on 6 October.
Replacements : Therefore four replacements were required
and the meeting to choose them kept getting deferred, from September 8th to
10th, to 16th, to 1st October and so on.Eventually it took place on 6 October when the tour committee and
DeMello chose Rai Singh, Rangachari, Ranvirsinhji and Sarwate. Owing to all
the travelling upheaval caused by partition, it had taken skipper Amarnath
five days to reach this meeting and finalise the team.
Deodhar said it was all very autocratic on the part of the Board
President to have ignored the constitutionally elected selection committee, which
was not given notice of the meeting proposed for 16 Sept.and not proper to
let the tour selection committee pick the four replacements before the team
had actually left India.
He then resigned from his position as a selector.
Time between selection and departure from India
approx 200 days
(March - 8 October)
On 8 October 1948 the first
thirteen players flew from Calcutta to Singapore, via Rangoon
and Penang where they spent the first night.
On 9 October they took off for Sourabaya but were denied permission to stay
in Indonesia so flew on to
Port Darwin, and arrived in Perth
on 10 October.
Sarwate was the first of the
replacement players to arrive, reaching Adelaide
on 23 October, after five days on the plane.Ranvirsinhji, Rai Singh and
Rangachari arrived in Sydney on 27 October and
joined the tour party in Melbourne
two days later.
5-Adhikari, Amarnath, Gul Mohammad, Hazare,
4-Kishenchand, CS Nayudu, Phadkar.
1-Amir Elahi, Rai Singh, Sohoni.
•Don Bradman scored his
100th hundred for an Australian XI in a tour match at the SCG
•Mankad (116) and
Sarwate put on 124 for the first wicket in the 3rd Test at Melbourne
•Vinoo Mankad hit two centuries at Melbourne,
the other being a score of 111 in the 5th Test
Hazare struck his two centuries (116 and 145) in the Adelaide
•Dattu Phadkar, who also scored a century (123) in the 4th Test, hit three fifties as
Other first-class matches
After their gruelling flight to Australia in October, the
tourists were happy to sail slowly back home. The 'Stratheden' left Fremantle on 1 March 1948 and sailed by way of Colombo.The players turned down requests to play in
because they had been on such an arduous tour.
The ship reached Bombay
on the evening of 10 March.They
docked and boarded the train at Mole Station, Ballard Pier.