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England’s biggest defeats in Tests (by runs)



Last Updated on 3 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: List of England’s top 6 biggest defeats in Tests by runs | What is England’s largest defeat in Tests?

England’s 2024 Test against India at Rajkot began in promising fashion. They took the first three wickets within the first hour of the Test. However, from thereon, things went pearshaped.

After India recovered to post 445, Ben Stokes’ team collapsed in their first innings to hand the hosts a 126-run lead. Yashasvi Jaiswal, courtesy of his second double-century of the series, combined with Shubman Gill (91) and Sarfaraz Khan (68*) to pile on 430/4 and leave England needing an improbable 557 to win.

Worse, England collapsed to 122 all-out in the chase to raise questions of their biggest defeats in Tests. Here is a look at their top six.

England’s top 6 biggest defeats in Tests (by runs)

6. 384 runs vs Australia, Gabba, 2002

A Test Nasser Hussain is regularly reminded of. The then-England captain infamously won the toss and chose to bowl against the formiddable Australians at the Gabba – a move that immediately backfired.

Matthew Hayden (who finished with 197) and Ricky Ponting (123) took apart England, who lost Simon Jones to a horror knee injury. The Aussies finished day one 364/2 en route to 492 which set up the match despite England’s first innings fight to notch up 325.

In the third innings, Ponting’s side struck 296/5d courtesy of another Hayden hundred (103), before England were steamrolled for 79 in 28.2 overs courtesy of Glenn McGrath (4/36) and Shane Warne (3/29).

5. 405 runs vs Australia, Lord’s, 2015

England won the 2015 Ashes but suffered one of their biggest-ever defeats during that series. After losing the first Test by 169 runs at Cardiff, the Australians roared back at Lord’s courtesy of Steve Smith’s 215 that set up their huge first innings score of 566/8d.

England didn’t muster much in response, falling 254 short of Australia’s first innings score. The visitors then bludgeoned 254/2 at more than five runs per over to leave England needing 509. They only managed 103 in the chase.

4. 409 runs vs Australia, Lord’s, 1948

Australia again. Lord’s again. This time 67 years earlier. Sir Donald Bradman’s team thrashed England by 409 runs courtesy of a dominant third innings display (460/7d) that left the hosts with a mammoth 596 to chase.

Ernie Toshak (5/40), Ray Lindwall (3/61) and Bill Johnston (2/62) ensured England didn’t get close, knocking them over for 186 in 78.1 overs.

3. 425 runs vs West Indies, Manchester, 1976

England dismissed the great West Indies side for what looked to be a modest total of 211 in their 1976 series. However, that’s where the good news ended.

From there, the Windies dominated. First, Andy Roberts (3/22), Michael Holding (5/17), and Wayne Daniel (2/13) wreaked havoc to roll England for 71. The visitors showed no mercy in their second innings, with tons to Gordon Greenidge (101) and Viv Richards (135) setting up their total of 411/5d.

Needing 552 to win, Andy Roberts (6/37) ripped through the England lineup once again to help bowl the hosts out for just 126. The West Indies went on to win the five-match series 3-0.

2. 434 runs vs India, Rajkot, 2024

Bazball has seen a revival in England’s Test cricket fortunes since its inception in 2022. Before Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes took over as coach and captain, England had won just one in 17 Tests, with the last being a 1-0 series defeat in the West Indies.

However, McCullum and Stokes have also overseen England’s second-biggest defeat in Test history. England, who were 224/2 in reply to India’s 445, collapsed to 319 before Yashasvi Jaiswal took over.

Chasing 557 to win, England were out of the contest very early, falling to 28/4. They were soon bowled out for 122 to lose by a whopping 434 runs.

1. 562 runs vs Australia, The Oval, 1934

Defeat by 562 runs against Australia in 1934 is a record that England may never break. Australia racked up a mammoth 701 in their first innings, with Sir Donald Bradman smashing 244 at a strike rate of 90.03. Bill Ponsford (266) also piled on the misery.

In reply, England’s 321 looked miniscule in comparison. Australia then decided to pile on further pain by batting again and hitting 327, leaving England with the small measure of 708 runs to win.

They may as well not have gone out to bat. Clarrie Grimmett (5/64) led the way as Australia knocked England over for 145 to seal the deciding Test of the 1934 Ashes in the most dominant fashion.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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