India, after losing their home series to England in 2012, were eager to make amends and prove their class and defeat the Three Lions in front of their home fans in 2014. But, the task was never going to be easy as India's record in away conditions, where the pacers enjoy good movement, has never been great.
Despite their record, they had all the required ammunitions to deliver, and see them clinch the series. Let us recollect what transpired in the five-match series in the India's last tour of England in 2014 in detail.
1st Test @ Trent Bridge
Murali Vijay could not have started the tour much better, scoring a wonderful ton in the first innings of the Test. And with MS Dhoni scoring 82 runs, India were able to score 457 runs. In response to Vijay's ton, it was Joe Root, whoc scored 154 runs for England to help them take 39 runs lead in the first Test.
If England were to win the first Test, which was unlikely with not much time left for a result, they had to dismiss India for a cheap score, which did not happen. With half centuries from Vijay, Cheteswar Pujara, Stuart Binny and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India compiled 391 runs to produce a draw.
England 0-0 India
Scores: India 457 and 391/9d (123 ov); England 496
Man of the match: James Anderson, for his all-round display (81 runs in first innings and four wickets in the Test match)
2nd Test @ Lord's
After a draw in the first Test, which witnessed both teams scoring good runs, the second match was set to test the batsmen. England bowlers especially James Anderson looked brilliant, taking four wickets to help dismiss India for 295 runs. Ajinkya Rahane played a good innings to score a ton, and help India come with this score. Like Anderson, Bhuvnheshwar took advantage of the conditions, and took six wickets to bundle out England for 319 runs.
With England enjoying a first innings lead, India batsmen had to score some important runs in the second innings and they did so with some good contribution from Vijay (95 runs), Pujara (43), Ravindra Jadeja (68) and Bhuvneshwar (52) to score 342 runs. As a result, England were set a target of 319 runs, but they faltered with Ishant Sharma bowling perfectly in the English conditions to take seven wickets.
Their run chase was made difficult as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Joe Root, who top scored for England in second innings with 66 runs, did not get much support from rest of the batsmen, which led to the loss.
England 0-1 India
Scores: India 295 and 342; England 319 and 223 (88.2 ov, target: 319)
Man of the match: Ishant Sharma, for his match-winning second innings performance of seven wickets.
3rd Test @ Rose Bowl
Gary Balance and Ian Bell put India under pressure immediately, scoring 156 and 167 runs respectively, to put up a massive score of 569 in the first innings. India, in response, did not fare badly, but their batsmen could not convert their stars into meaningful scores, which put them down. Five of their batsmen scored 30 plus runs, but failed to score big, hence could only score 330. Anderson and Broad did the major damage, scalping five and three wickets respectively.
England, as a result, had a 200-plus run lead, and they added quick 200 runs in their second innings to put India back into pressure. India were required to score 445 runs to win the third Test, but Moeen Ali shone brightly to help England dismiss India for 178 runs. England tied the series at 1-1 after that 206-run win.
England 1-1 India
Scores: England 569/7d and 205/4d; India 330 and 178 (66.4 ov, target: 445)
Man of the match: James Anderson won his second MoM of the series for his seven wickets during the Test.
4th Test @ Old Trafford
After an impressive win in the third Test match, England looked a strong team in the fourth Test. Their bowlers made most of the pitch, with India losing wickets on a consistent basis. They lost their first four wickets for eight runs, and they never really recovered from that, scoring 152 runs in the first innings. Stuart Broad and Anderson were the architects, taking six and three wickets respectively.
India were desperate to dismiss England for a small score, but a good batting performance from Joe Root and Jos Buttler helped them amass 367 runs, and India were pushed further in the backfoot as they were trailing by 215 runs. The India batsmen could not deliver in the second innings, and compiled 161 runs only to suffer an embarrassing loss. England won the match by an innings and 244 runs.
England 2-1 India
India 152 and 161 (43 ov); England 367
Man of the match: Stuart Broad for breaking India's spine in the first innings with his six-wicket haul.
5th Test at The Oval
India's dismal run with the bat continued as their batsmen looked in all sorts of problems against the English seamers. Despite a valiant effort from MS Dhoni, scoring 82 runs, none of the batsmen contributed as they were all out for an embarrassing 148 runs. Things went from bad to worse for India, with England's Joe Root scoring another ton in the series to help England score 486 runs. England, with it, enjoyed a lead of more than 330 runs. India's second innings was even more pathetic as they scored 94 runs only, leading to another loss. England clinched the match by an innings and 244 runs.
England 3-1 India
India 148 and 94 (29.2 ov); England 486
Man of the match: Joe Root for his stunning hundred in the first innings.