Cricket

Published on February 17th, 2017 | by Guest Writer

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India’s rise to the top in Test cricket, a statistical view

Even a few years back, India were not among the best Test teams in world cricket. Their performance at home and away had not been appreciative enough and had India lost its interest from Test cricket remained a moot question.

But in the last two years, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, the men in blue have reached the top of ICC Test ranking and are now rated as the best Test team in world cricket.

Why India are the number 1 Test team in the world?

Let’s have a look from a statistical point of view.   

When MS Dhoni was unfit to play the first Test of the series against Australia in 2014-15, a young Virat Kohli was handed over the Test captaincy for the first time. Virat Kohli’s first stint as captain impressed everyone. The pressure of captaincy didn’t hamper his form and he led his men smartly on the field. Moreover, his attacking captaincy earned him accolades from the fans and critics. Virat almost won the match for India, but Australia had the last laugh.

MS Dhoni returned as captain in the second match, but India lost the match. The Kohli-Rahane show managed a draw for India, but Dhoni shocked the cricketing world by resigning from captaincy post and India entered into the era of Virat Kohli from the fourth Test at Sydney.

Virat’s start was not rosy, but gradually he regrouped his men and at present, his team is sitting at the top and enjoying a pleasant moment.

Before going into detailed stats, look at the ICC Test team ranking below.

India are way ahead of the second best with a difference of 12 rating points.

 

Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 36 4,338 121
2  Australia 44 4,797 109
3  South Africa 33 3,528 107
4  England 50 5,071 101
5  New Zealand 41 4,011 98
6  Pakistan 36 3,494 97
7  Sri Lanka 39 3,578 92
8  West Indies 30 2,077 69
9  Bangladesh 19 1,168 61
10  Zimbabwe 10 48 5

India’s dominance in Test cricket for the last two years is a result of their performance as a unit. The performance of the Indian batsmen and bowlers had been consistent and this played a vital role behind India’s advance to the top.

Just check below table and compare Win/Lost ratio, you will feel the difference.

Team Matches Won Lost Tied Draw W/L
India 21 15 1 0 5 15
Australia 24 14 8 0 2 1.75
England 31 12 14 0 5 0.857
New Zealand 20 9 9 0 2 1
Pakistan 20 9 9 0 2 1
Sri Lanka 21 9 11 0 1 0.818
South Africa 18 7 6 0 5 1.166
West Indies 17 2 11 0 4 0.181
Bangladesh 10 1 5 0 4 0.2
Zimbabwe 4 0 4 0 0 0

For any team, the conditions became tougher when they played abroad. India, on the other hand, since the World Cup 2015, played without any fear and stress and they lost just a single game (against Sri Lanka in August 2015) and won 4 games out of 8, managing draw 3. In these three games, two were affected by rain else result could have been even better.

Team records since April 1, 2015 (away games)
Team Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L
Australia 12 6 6 0 0 1
Pakistan 14 5 8 0 1 0.625
England 14 4 7 0 3 0.571
India 8 4 1 0 3 4
New Zealand 12 3 7 0 2 0.428
South Africa 9 2 4 0 3 0.5
Sri Lanka 10 2 7 0 1 0.285
Bangladesh 3 0 3 0 0 0
West Indies 5 0 4 0 1 0

The role of Indian batsmen has been crucial. Especially, Virat Kohli led from the front as his bat continued to script big scores and four double hundreds in four consecutive Test series indicates, how fruitful he has been for India. Batsmen like Ajinkya Rahane, Murli Vijay, Cheteswar Pujara and Ravi Aswhin responded with the bat brilliantly along with their skipper and India relished a great time.

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50
Joe Root (ENG) 31 58 5 2862 254 54 6 20
Alastrair Cook (ENG) 31 59 4 2634 263 47.89 5 15
Steven Smith (AUS) 24 42 7 2448 215 69.94 9 10
David Warner (AUS) 24 43 1 2128 253 50.66 6 10
Virat Kohli (INDIA) 21 33 2 1904 235 61.41 6 4
Azhar Ali (PAK) 18 34 3 1856 302* 59.87 5 7
Johny Bairstow (ENG) 24 41 4 1842 167* 49.78 3 10
Kane Williamson (NZ) 19 35 5 1773 166 59.1 6 10
Younis Khan (PAK) 19 35 3 1650 218 51.56 6 3
Moin Ali (ENG) 30 52 6 1641 155* 35.67 4 9
Ben Stokes (ENG) 26 46 1 1623 258 36.06 3 8

Most Runs in Test since WC 2015

The bowling department, in the last couple of years, has been playing a vital role. The Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja duo have been lethal in turning the games towards India’s favour. This pair has shared more than 200 wickets in the last two years, which is most by any pair during this period.

Player Mat Inns Wickets 5 10
Ravi Ashwin (INDIA) 21 40 135 15 5
Stuart Broad (ENG) 28 52 104 3 0
Josh Hazlewood (AUS) 23 43 97 3 0
Yasir Shah (PAK) 18 35 97 7 2
Rangana Herath (SL) 20 37 96 7 3
Mitchell Starc (AUS) 19 35 93 5 1
Nathan Lyon (AUS) 24 45 90 0 0
James Anderson (ENG) 23 43 87 5 1
Moin Ali (ENG) 30 52 76 1 0
Trent Boult (NZ) 19 36 75 2 0
Ravindra Jadeja (INDIA) 14 27 72 4 1

Most Wickets in Test since WC 2015

India’s strong batting line-up and excellent bowling won almost every game, but some all-round performance has played a key role as well leading to an undefeated streak of 19 games in the home season.

Player Mat Runs HS Bat Av Wickets BBI Bowl Av
Ravi Ashwin (INDIA) 21 843 118 33.72 135 Jul-59 20.08
Rangana Herath (SL) 20 530 61 17.66 96 Aug-63 24.9
Moin Ali (ENG) 30 1641 155* 35.67 76 May-57 46.31
Ravindra Jadeja (INDIA) 14 560 90 37.33 72 Jul-48 20.18
Ben Stokes (ENG) 26 1623 258 36.06 57 Jun-36 35.07

All Round performance since WC 2015 (min 500 Runs & 50 Wickets)

India will be looking to keep their winning momentum intact against Australia, which will commence from next week. India are expected to dish out another dominating performance against them and entertain the home crowd.

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