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Spirit of détente breaks out as England prepare for Test series with India

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Recent visits have been mired in controversy but Virat Kohli’s team will play five Tests and hopes are high for a return of the sporting values that once characterised the tour

The Maharaja of Porbandar was a better captain than batsman, a fact that, it has to be said, had very little to do with his leadership. The Maharaja was India’s leader on their very first Test tour of England, back in 1932.

When it was over, the joke was that he’d bought more Rolls-Royces than he scored runs. Which was unfair, since the scorebooks show that he made a combined total of eight in the matches he played, and even the most generous estimates are that he only had seven Rolls in his fleet, the best of them a bright white Phantom, numberplate ‘Porbandar’, which he had had shipped over especially from India.

Related: Thousands of empty seats expected for England’s first Test against India

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