After the captaincy fiasco of the 1958-59 season in
which all the candidates for the post found themselves at some point leading
the side against West Indies, the Indian Board’s choice of captain for the
1959 tour of England was Datta Gaekwad.He was an aide-de-camp to the Maharaja of Baroda, the tour manager.He proved unable to mould his players into
a unified force or give them the determination to fight against the odds.
Besides this, there were no players, apart from perhaps Gupte, better than
their corresponding numbers on the home side, a very strong England XI.
Ghulam Ahmed was persuaded to delay his retirement
and be included in the tour party but he withdrew on 22 March when he found
that his selection had not been unanimous. Cota Ramaswamy felt obliged to
resign from the selection committee in March, as had L P Jai earlier in the
season.They were too unhappy with
some of the choices made by other members of the panel.
Though given good weather and fair batting pitches,
the Indians struggled against the pace of Statham and Trueman and as a team
did not bat well until the fourth Test.Manjrekar, Umrigar and Borde were the ablest batsmen but Manjrekar’s
knee failed him after the second Test.Defeat after defeat saw the tourists merely trying to prolong the Test
matches into a fifth day, and they lost the series 5-0.
The manager's name was given out on 8 March and the scorer's on
Lala Amarnath (chairman), M Dutta Ray, Cota Ramaswami,Datta Gaekwad.
The Board of Control announced in Madras on 23 February
that Datta K Gaekwad would captain the touring party and he was invited to
join the selection panel.Against
West Indies India had used four captains and Gaekwad was not one of them.
Ramaswamy resigned as a selector on 11 March.
Unavailable:Ghulam Ahmed had said he
was retiring but then withdrew his announcement.
Vinoo Mankad also originally
asked not to be considered.In his
letter of 6 October he said that, since no assurances had been given him
about a place on the 1959 tour, he would be fulfilling his League contract
with Stockport.On 6 January, after playing two Tests
against West Indies, he made himself
available for the tour by withdrawing the letter but in the event the
selectors decided not to make use of his services.
Tour Party Announced : 25 February 1959.
Not selected : Vinoo Mankad,G S Ramchand.
Ahmed changed his mind and announced his retirement again, so Muddiah came in
to the side.
Time between selection and departure from India
(25 February - 16 April)
The team flew from Bombay on the evening of 16 April and reached Heathrow Airport next evening, 17 April.
Time spent in England
(17 April - 17 September)
Datta Gaekwad (captain),Pankaj Roy (vice-captain) and Fatesinh Rao Gaekwad (manager)
Abbas Ali Baig
Summoned from Oxford University which proved a wise move;
made three centuries in his 12 games for touring side
Vijay Manjrekar left the tour needing an operation on the cartilage in his knee.
There were many other injuries which greatly weakened the team: Contractor broke a rib; Nadkarni, Kripal Singh and Borde damaged fingers;
Muddiah fell ill, missing long periods of the tour.
Duke of Norfolk's
† The Oval
Club Cricket Conference
Won 10 w
Won inns 53 r
Lost 51 r
Lost 147 r
Won inns 53 r
LOST inns 59 r
Lost 6 w
Won inns 9 r
LOST 8 w
LOST inns 173 r
Lost 4 w
LOST 171 r
Won 114 r
Lost 8 w
Lost 192 r
ENGLAND Fifth Test
LOST inns 27 r
Won 8 w
A E R Gilligan's XI
T N Pearce's XI
Lost 5 w
† not first-class
Time spent in England
before First Test:
(17 April- 4 June)
appearances on tour
Gupte, Roy, Surrendranath.
Contractor, Gaekwad, Nadkarni, Umrigar.
Jaisimha, Kripal Singh.
•Abbas Ali Baig scored 112 on his Test debut
at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Other first-class matches
Fifteen players left St Pancras Station, London,
on 17 September and took the 'Iberia' from Tilbury docks, landing at Bombay on 1 October.
The manager flew back to India in early October.
Apte flew to the United States
on 18 September to study textile engineering; Gupte flew to Trinidad on 19 September to
become coach for Sports & Games Ltd; Baig returned to Oxford University.
Time away from India
(16 April - 1 October)
India's total share of gate receipts was £30 000, which
gave them a profit of £5 000.
of the tour
"Cricket Journal II"(1959) by