Team India inflicted a crushing innings defeat on South Africa in the Ranchi Test and completed a series whitewash over the Proteas in the 3-match series. An astonishing 11 bilateral Series wins on the trot at home makes the sub-continent powerhouse the most dominant team in their backyard in the history of Test cricket.
This achievement by any means is a stupendous feat considering the fact that the game has seen extended spells of dominance by power-packed teams of yesteryears. India eclipsing the record of the mighty Windies and the all-conquering Australian teams (10 consecutive bilateral series wins at home) sums up a fairy-tale winning streak that seems unstoppable as of now.
The Indian team has been an unbreachable fortress at home, remaining unbeaten over 11 Test series in nearly seven 7 years (Nov 2012-Oct 2019). The last time India lost a Test series at home was to England (1-2), nearly half a decade back in 2012.
Over the last seven seasons at home, the Indians have beaten every visiting side by a fair and square margin. The Australians, the Kiwis, the South Africans, the English, Sri Lankans, the Bangla Tigers and the Windies; all have bitten the dust while facing a well-oiled Indian side in their own den.
A timeline of India’s 11 Successive Bilateral Series Wins At Home
|OPPOSITION||YEAR||NUMBER OF MATCHES IN SERIES||SERIES RESULT|
For the record, in the last six years, India by far have been the most consistent Test team on home soil winning a staggering 78.57 % of their games (22 wins in 28 Tests). To put things in better perspective, the next home record belongs to Australia – 68.75 % (22 wins in 32), followed by New Zealand – 65.38 % (17 wins in 26 matches), South Africa 62.5 % (20 wins in 32 Tests) followed by England – 58.75 % (24 wins in 41 Tests) .
At present, the Indian Test team is in a league of their own with a formidable batting unit, lethal spin armoury and a potent pace attack. At the peaks of their prowess, they have been fortunate to be led by two great skippers in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, both of whom have been the flag bearers and set examples.
There has been a sure shot recipe to their staggering success at home. Pile Up mammoth totals and then weave magic over the opponents with some quality spin and seam bowling.
The batting order has been notching up herculean totals with superlative consistency to grind the opposition under pressure. The opening pairs may have been up and down but surely had their moments of brilliance with some stellar performances by Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. The batting nucleus comes from the ever-dependable middle-order trio of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. While run-scoring machine Virat Kohli lays claim as one of the modern-day batting greats, Cheteshwar Pujara is second to none when it comes to holding the fort in the middle. If a rare top-order collapse has happened, there is plenty of batting depth coming in the form of all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha.
Spin was always our cutting edge weapon on the low and turning tracks at home and it continues to be so. Ashwin and Jadeja have arguably been the most lethal spin twins in red-ball cricket over the past 5 seasons. The duo has been instrumental in scripting many memorable wins by casting a web around the best of batting line-ups. The rise of Kuldeep Yadav has further bolstered an already potent spin attack.
Last but not least, Indian cricket has benefited tremendously by the emergence of a highly skilled pace attack, which has been quite effective on the not so friendly seam decks at home. It has been heartening to see some game-changing spells with the new ball from Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, setting the tone for many clinical wins in the recent past.
With the newly formed opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal putting a temporary end to long-standing woes up the order, the only chink in the Indian team seems to have got somewhat a temporary fix.
While Virat and Co. have proved their supremacy as an unconquerable fortress at home, they can build onto their already growing legacy if they can pull off Test series victories against top teams - England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, while touring overseas and playing on the opponent's turf.