The Last Time India Lost A Test Series At Home, Sachin Tendulkar Was Still Playing And Virat Kohli Was Establishing Himself
On October 13, India beat South Africa by an innings and 137 runs to clinch the Test series 2-0 with one game left to play. This was our 11th straight home Test series win, a world record. Over the course of those series, we have played 31 games, won 25, drawn 5 and lost 1. A pretty impressive record indeed.
Now this begs the question, when did we lose a Test series at home? The answer would be way back in 2012. England were the nemesis and they came back from a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1. After the 4th and final Test was drawn it meant our 8-year-old unbeaten record on home soil was at an end.
Fast forward to 2019, since then we did not lose at home again. In fact we lost just one Test during that period and that was to Australia in 2017. So how have things changed since 2012? Well for starters, one great man is no longer playing. Sachin Tendulkar was in the twilight of his career back then and he is no longer in the scheme of things. He retired a year after the series defeat. MS Dhoni was the skipper back then and now he has given up Test cricket and is nearing the end of his international career.
But the most interesting point is Virat Kohli. He is our skipper across formats and the best batsman in the world today. But back in 2012, he was still establishing himself. There was no doubt about the talent, but he was still a rising star. In the next couple of years he would go on to cement his place in the side.
However the noticeable change is the bowling dependency. Back in 2012, our spinners were the lifeblood. Now in 2019, the pacers have shouldered just as much responsibility. The likes of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have ensured that Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are not always under pressure. In fact we have occasionally dropped a spinner to accommodate an extra pacer in playing eleven.
Team India has evolved over the years. The players are more aggressive and there is even a degree of ruthlessness that was not always visible. The side that lost in 2012 and the side that is winning in 2019 shows how far we have come in the last 7 years.
The future is bright and our home record is bound to be intact for some time. Soon fans may even forget the last time we surrendered a Test series in our own backyard.