India - Dominating the Most 'Dominant Home Decade' in Test Cricket
As India gears up for its last home season of this decade and is all set to clash with South Africa in a three-Test series beginning on Gandhi Jayanti at Visakhapatnam, we look back at what was India’s most dominant decade at home in their Test cricket history.
Note: For Pakistan – UAE is considered as Home Venue
India, not only has the best win-loss ratio but also the highest win percentage amongst all major Test nations in this decade. India has won a staggering 32 of the 45 Tests they have played at home in this period.
There is a significant difference between India and the second-best team on both counts (win-loss and win %), Australia in this decade.
In terms of series, India has won 12 of the 14 series they have played in this decade. Their win % of 85.71% is again the best in this time-frame.
The only series they have lost in the 2010s was against England in 2012 where defeats in Mumbai and Kolkata resulted in a 2-1 series win for the visitors. The other two losses (in matches) came against South Africa in Nagpur in what was their first home Test of this decade and more recently against Australia in Pune in 2017.
The table below suggests that India has been the best ‘home’ team in the world in the 2010 decade. This is a phenomenal achievement which basically means that India in India is stronger and more difficult to beat than even Australia in Australia or England in England or South Africa in South Africa in this decade.
2010s was also, by far, by a country mile and more, the best decade for India (in their own history) in terms of the number of Tests they won and their overall performance.
India’s win-loss ratio of 8 in the 2010s is followed by the 1990s where they had a ratio of 3.4 (won 17 and lost 5) – their ratio in this decade is more than double of the next best! This shows the extent to which India has dominated at home in these 10 years.
Although India did not lose a bilateral series at home in the 1990s, the percentage of match wins is much higher in this decade.
It has also been a giant leap from the 2000s (the next best decade for India) where India won 21, lost 8 and drew a significant number of matches – 18. Yes, result oriented pitches and faster run-rates (and declining techniques) courtesy the advent of T20 cricket has meant lesser draws in this decade. But credit also has to go to India – they have played attacking cricket and made the most of their opportunities.
In fact, here is a staggering statistic - India’s winning percentage at home in the 2010s (71.11%) is the second-best (after Australia in the 2000s – 76.27%) for any country in any decade in Test history.
MARGIN OF VICTORIES, DURATION OF MATCHES, SERIES SWEEPS AND FOLLOW ONS
India’s dominance at home in this decade can also be gauged from their margin of victories. They have the maximum percentage of innings’ wins and the second-highest percentage of 8-plus wickets’ wins amongst all Test nations in the last 10 years.
India also has the distinction of the maximum percentage of wins within 315 overs of a Test – basically this translates to wrapping a win within three and a half days of a match.
India’s stranglehold at home is also evident from the number of series they have swept in this period – 6 and the number in which they have gone unbeaten (ie, not lost a single Test match). On both counts, no one betters India.
India enforced the follow-on on 5 occasions in this decade though they could have done so on 4 more occasions but decided to bat again. Thus, India were in a position to enforce the follow-on in 9 home matches in this decade.
India has the second-best bowling average (26.96) after South Africa (24.26) at home in Test cricket in this decade.
Not surprising it is the Indian spinners who have dominated in home conditions. They have the best home average of 25.22 amongst all countries and are followed by their counterparts in Sri Lanka (28.22).
But what is interesting is this – Indian spinners have a better average in India than Australian, English and New Zealand fast bowlers in their respective home countries!
Another startling fact – India’s spinners have picked 560 of the 800 opposition wickets (taken by bowlers) at home in this decade – that is a staggering 70.125%.
R Ashwin is the third-highest wicket taker in home Tests in this decade (after James Anderson and Stuart Broad) with 234 wickets from 38 Tests at 22.68 apiece.
Ravindra Jadeja has the third-highest home average of 19.70 (min. wickets 75) after Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada in this decade.
BEST BATTING AVERAGE, FIRST INNINGS SCORES AND KOHLI’S RECORD
India, collectively, has the best batting average at home amongst all countries.
The Indian batsmen have scored big runs at home – their hundreds per match ratio of 1.42 is the second-highest only after Australia (1.53).
India had a template of winning at home – scoring big in the first innings, putting pressure on the opposition and then letting their spinners wreak havoc on a wearing Day 4-5 pitch.
Not surprisingly, it is India who have the highest average first innings total at home in this decade – 435 (the only team to average above 400). The difference between them and the second-best in this regard is 37 runs (Australia with 398).
They have also crossed 400 on maximum number of occasions - 27.
Also, courtesy their spinners opposition teams have the lowest average second innings total in India – 200.
Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara have been the two outstanding batsmen for India in this decade. While India’s number 4 averages 64.68 (third-highest amongst all batsmen with a minimum of 2000 runs in this decade) with 11 hundreds, number 3 is not far behind at 61.86 (at number 5) with 10 hundreds.
India’s domination in this decade, especially in the latter half, has coincided with Kohli’s leadership and captaincy.
The Indian captain has the best home record for any captain in the 2010s. He has won 15 of the 21 home Tests and lost just one! He has won all the 6 series (two or more matches) at home since taking charge in 2015 – one against all the major Test nations who have toured India in this time-frame.
India has dominated this decade and how!
Overall, if we take an aggregate, 2010s has been the best decade for home teams, both in terms of win-loss ratio and win percentage.
And India has been the most dominant home team in the most dominant home decade.in Test cricket history.
They start favourites against South Africa and will look to consolidate their position at the top of the ICC World Test Championship Points Table.