Invincible at home

March 3, 2024

The Indian team recently extended its winning streak at home by defeating England in the Test series

Invincible at home

Test cricket is the oldest format of the game played at international level. Despite the fast-paced T20 format leagues around the world, people continue to watch Test cricket as it’s the real face of the game. Fans who appreciate the nuances and complexities of the game are drawn to Test cricket for this reason.

Test cricket has a rich history spanning over a century. Many cricket enthusiasts appreciate the heritage and tradition associated with Test cricket, and they enjoy witnessing the strategic battles and skillful performances that unfold over five days.

Test cricket is often seen as the ultimate test of a cricketer’s skills and endurance. The format allows for more strategic depth, as teams have time to build innings, set traps for batsmen, and employ various tactics to gain an advantage.

Test cricket showcases the highest level of technical excellence in the sport. Batsmen are tested against quality bowling attacks over extended periods, and bowlers are challenged to maintain their accuracy and stamina throughout long spells. Many fans admire the technical prowess displayed by players in Test cricket.

Test matches are characterised by their ebb and flow, with momentum swinging back and forth over the course of several days. A match can change dramatically from session to session, keeping fans on the edge of their seats and creating suspenseful moments that are unique to Test cricket.

Last week, India defeated England by five wickets in the fourth Test of the series in Ranchi. The victory gave the home side an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

It was England’s first series loss since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum came together as captain and coach, respectively.

Team India extended their world record of most consecutive series wins at home in the red-ball format. It was India’s 17th straight series win at home. India have not lost a single Test series since their loss against England in 2012. They have not even drawn a single Test series since 2012.

Teams like Australia and England won Tests in the past decade or so, but they have failed to beat India more than once in a Test series since 2013. In fact, India have lost only three Tests since 2013.

Late in 2012, England toured India for a four-match Test series. India won the first Test by 9 wickets, and it seemed that the hosts would continue the domination at home. But in the next two Tests in Mumbai and Kolkata, England beat the hosts to take a 2-1 and the last game ended in a draw.

There are several factors behind Indian cricket team’s unbeaten record at home in Test matches: favourable playing conditions, talented players, and strong team morale.

“It’s nearly impossible to beat India in India,” former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman and cricketer Ramiz Raja said after India thrashed Australia by six wickets in Delhi in February 2023.

Indian pitches are traditionally conducive to spin bowling. Indian spinners, who are adept at exploiting these conditions, often pose significant challenges to visiting teams, many of whom have little experience of playing on such surfaces.

India has produced many world-class spin bowlers over the years, including legends like Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, as well as contemporary stars like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Their skill and experience in spinning conditions make them formidable opponents at home.

India also boasts a strong batting lineup, with players who are well-versed in playing spin bowling. This allows them to put up imposing totals on home turf, putting pressure on visiting teams to match or exceed their scores.

Like any team playing in familiar conditions, the Indian team enjoys the advantage of playing at home. They are accustomed to the pitches, weather conditions, and other factors that can affect gameplay, giving them an edge over visiting teams who may struggle to adapt.

The passionate support of Indian cricket fans also plays a role in boosting the team’s morale and confidence when playing at home. The electrifying atmosphere in stadiums can intimidate opposing teams and further bolster India’s performance.

With the series win, India continued their unbeaten record while chasing targets of 200 runs or less in home Test matches. India have won 30 of the 33 home Test matches where they had to chase a target of 200 or less, while the other three Tests ended in draws.

Team India have won consecutive 17 Test series at home, a streak that began by defeating Australia in 2013. The next longest series-winning spree at home is ten series by Australia: from 1994-2000 and 2004-2008.

Skipper Rohit Sharma’s leadership quality played an important role in Indian team’s success. The way he utilised his players, especially spinners, showed that he is one of the best captain around. Rohit’s ability to remain calm even after a miserable loss in the first Test helped his side bounce back against an aggressive England team.

In the absence of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mohammad Shami and the resting of ace pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah it was a great performance by the young players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel who proved that despite the unavailability of senior players India are still a very good team.

Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav proved that India have best spin attack in world cricket.

NOTE: All stats are updated till the end of India vs England fourth Test.

Invincible at home