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The numbers that show India's Test cricket dominance in 2019

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India_Test_dominance_2019_CricketVirat Kohli and his men have been exceedingly impressive in Test cricket recently. At the end of the series against Bangladesh, they have a whopping 360 points in the World Test Championship table with no other team coming anywhere close to them. Granted, two of India’s three WTC fixtures have been at home, where they have always been a juggernaut, but let’s not dismiss the manner in which India have won Test matches – clearly taken from the Aussies of 2000s. Here are a few numbers that hammer home not just India’s ability to win consistently, but their utter domination.

Racking up big totals

India’s domination in Test cricket has come on the back of some ruthless bowling, but the role of the batsmen has been no less. Putting up massive totals has become the norm for India in Test cricket and this is best understood when you see that India have scored 400-plus runs in an innings 6 times out of the 11 they have had to bat. India have been bowled out on just two occasions last year, with the innings ending on a declaration 9 times out of 11.

 

Teams

400-plus totals in 2019

India

6

Australia

4

New Zealand

4

South Africa

2

West Indies

1

Bangladesh

1

 

The six scores of 400 have all ended owing to a declaration with two of them crossing 600 and a further total in the 500-600 range. That kind of domination is nearly unheard of. In the 2010s, India have made 16 totals greater than 500, a fair comparison to Australia of 2000s which racked up 22 such totals.

The pace bowling metamorphosis

Crucial to India’s change has been the role of the quick bowlers. India’s wins at home or in countries like West Indies have mostly come on the back of their spinners running through teams. By banking on their pace bowlers to rush through opposition outfits, including pace-oriented teams like South Africa, India are establishing their supremacy as an all-round unit.

In 2019, India’s pacers have taken 95 wickets in 8 Tests, with a rate of nearly 12 wickets per Test match. As a pace unit, India averaged 15.16 with a strike rate of 31, both the best in the world last year. In the same time frame, the spinners have taken 50 wickets at an average of 28.22 and a strike rate of 59.6. In fact, the premier spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, hasn’t had to bowl over 20 overs in an innings in any of the last six innings India have bowled at home. This includes bowling zero overs in the first innings at Kolkata against Bangladesh.

Hard-earned time off

India’s supremacy is underlined by the fact that they finished off Test matches quite early. The day-night Test at Kolkata threatened to come to an end within two days before it was dragged out to day 3 by an effort from Mushfiqur Rahim. But Tests finishing in three days is very common for India nowadays. In 2017 and 2018, India played an average of 4 days of cricket per Test.

 

India's Test match results 2019

Result

Margin

Toss

Opposition

Ground

draw

-

won

 Australia

Sydney

won

318 runs

lost

 West Indies

North Sound

won

257 runs

lost

 West Indies

Kingston

won

203 runs

won

 South Africa

Visakhapatnam

won

inns & 137 runs

won

 South Africa

Pune

won

inns & 202 runs

won

 South Africa

Ranchi

won

inns & 130 runs

lost

 Bangladesh

Indore

won

inns & 46 runs

lost

 Bangladesh

Kolkata

 

In 2019, the average has gone down drastically, with the team playing only 26 days out of 35 possible days of Test cricket since the start of the West Indies tour. Two Tests each in the South Africa and Bangladesh series finished within 3 days, while one in West Indies was also done and dusted by the third day.

Winning by an innings

Winning Test matches by an innings is in fashion. Of their last few results in Test cricket, India, New Zealand and Australia have all won by an innings. But India managed to do this four times in succession with their win against Bangladesh in Kolkata. This is the first time any side in the history of Test cricket has won four successive Tests by the margin of an innings. Starting from their win against South Africa in the second Test by an innings, India have batted only once in a Test in four successive Test matches.

 

Innings wins for teams per year since 2017

Team

2019

2018

2017

Total

India

4

2

3

9

New Zealand

3

1

1

5

Australia

2

1

1

4

England

0

2

1

3

South Africa

0

0

3

3

West Indies

0

1

0

1

Pakistan

0

1

0

1

Bangladesh

0

1

0

1

Sri Lanka

0

0

0

0

 

With their win over Bangladesh in the pink ball Test, India also completed their seventh successive Test match win, the best streak they had in this format, beating the wins under MS Dhoni in 2013. They finish the year with seven wins and a draw (the Sydney Test).

Outdoing with bat and ball

There’s no questioning India’s supremacy with bat or ball in 2019. With the bat, India averaged 56.84, with a slew of players–including Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara–making a huge impact. Even those who aren’t regulars in the team, like Hanuma Vihari, have done exceptionally well. Lower-order contributions from Ravindra Jadeja have also been significant.

 

Best difference in batting and bowling averages

Team

Bat Avg in 2019

Bowl avg in 2019

Difference in averages

India

56.84

19.66

37.18

New Zealand

55.91

26.65

29.26

Afghanistan

31.57

20.3

11.27

Australia

35.39

26.58

8.81

West Indies

22.86

27.67

-4.81

England

23.56

30.15

-6.59

Ireland

16.72

26.77

-10.05

Sri Lanka

22.59

34.62

-12.03

South Africa

23.93

38.62

-14.69

Pakistan

23.58

38.75

-15.17

Bangladesh

20.54

55.58

-35.04

 

With the ball, India averaged a mere 19.66, with their pacers and spinners doing an impressive job on all counts. Their difference between batting and bowling averages is a whopping 37.18 for India with only three other teams – New Zealand, Afghanistan and Australia – having a positive difference in averages in Tests last year. However, none of them come close to India, underlining how exceptional they have been in the longest format last year.



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