The world’s most populated Test nation is now in the midst of their best period in Test cricket. Their win-loss ratio of 37:4 at home is higher than Australia in 1990s and 2000s, though behind West Indies in 1980s. Unbeaten in 2013, 2016 and in this year. The main reason for this kind of dominance is equal contribution of all players in the team, while they earlier depended on some key players. After registering their historic first series win in Australia this year, India have expectedly won the away Test series in West Indies, followed by home series wins against South Africa and Bangladesh. Not just winning, they were ruthless in every match. Now lets have a detailed look at some key numbers which sum up India’s domination in Test Cricket in 2019.
High scoring matches
Crossing 400 is a routine for India, though it is not that frequent for other teams. In this year, India reached a total of above 400 six times while the second highest is four times, jointly by Australia and New Zealand. 33% of the above 400+ scores this year are by India. In 2017 as well as 2018, only 24% of the above 400-totals belonged to India.
Not just settled to 400. India often extended it to 550 or more. In the last three years, a 550+ total was recorded 28 times, and incredibly 12 of them belong to India alone.
Seven out of top-16 highest run-scorers in Tests in 2019 are from India. Only England has played more matches than India so far this year, but even England has only five in the top-16 list. Moreover, each of the seven Indian top-scorers average above 45.
Pace vs spin
India produced a record in an aspect which was an antithesis to them for many years. Their pacers average 15.1 this year, which is the best of any team playing at least 7 Tests in any year. 95 out of 145 wickets taken by Indian bowlers are by pacers, which is despite more than half of the matches being played at home. In the recent Test, 19 out of 20 wickets were taken by pacers, which is a record for Indian pacers at home. It beat the earlier record of 17 in the previous Test hosted at Kolkata (against Sri Lanka in 2017).
Earlier known for Jadeja’s and Ashwin’s magic, 68% of the wickets by Indian bowlers in the last two years are via pace. Jadeja in this series scored two fifties in two innings but didn’t take any wicket in four innings.
India finished their most successful decade in a way no team did at any point of time. They have now become the only team to win four consecutive Test matches by an innings margin. They have successfully proved themselves twice better than the opposition in a way no other team did earlier.
In this year, ten times a team has won by an innings margin, while four of them belong to India. In the last three years, India won nine tests by an innings margin, while the second best is just 5, by New Zealand. Exactly one third of the innings wins belong to India.
Table: Total innings wins by each team in last three years
|Team / Year||2019||2018||2017||Total|
Not just trashing the opposition mercilessly, but India also do it in very short time. Out of the 35 days of Test cricket scheduled to India in 2019, they have played only 26 – courtesy of winning it very quickly. Even in those 26, there were three matches where India won in the first hour of a day.
In this year, India have played only 3.8 days per Tests won, when compared to 4 days per Test in both 2017 and 2018.
To declare the only innings a team batted, and beat the opposition by an innings does mean something special. India have done this four times in a row. India have ended this year with 7 declarations in a row, which is a new record beating England’s 6 consecutive declarations in 2009. They have declared 11 of their last 13 test innings, including 9 out of 11 this year. In comparison, India have declared only 5 times in 2018 and 8 times in 2017.
Table: Total declarations by each team in the last three years