Why Virat Kohli’s Team Remains Unstoppable in Test Cricket
Aside from the English tour of India 2012/13, Virat Kohli’s team remains unstoppable at home in Test cricket. Winning against India’s Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, and Sachin Tendulkar was the best victory for Coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss.
Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott ensured that the England team claimed the series 2-1 after drawing the fourth test. Virat Kohli’s team has not let its guard down since that magical England tour of Indian that’s nearly seven years ago.
We cannot, however, forget to mention how challenging Australia was in early 2017. Other than that, India has been eviscerating opponents like they don’t even have a chance.
India has successfully won 11 consecutive series at home after thrashing South Africa at the three-match series. Theirs is a new record, and everyone wants to know what their secret is.
Match-Winning all-rounder Spinners
India’s star spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, play like they have to decord which direction the ball will spin. Jadeja perhaps has an advantage over opponents because he is a left-armer. His career stats prove just how much of a handful he is. Jadeja has mastered a nagging bowling that has proven impossible to score off. He’s recorded an outstanding 20.66 average in Indian of 154 wickets in 30 Tests, having taken 15 of the 30.
Another imperious player is Ashwin, with an impressive record of 22.62 for 248 wickets from 40 tests. Together, these two form a menacing duo that has kept India at the top.
So when India is playing at home, they have two undefeated all-timers as their arsenal. This is how Virat Kohli’s team has been successfully winning Test matches.
That said, it would be folly to compare them to Australia’s Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, who were the soul of the great Taylor-Waugh-Ponting teams. When these two players were still onboard, Australia never lost a Test. They won 31 straight matches and retired after winning the 2006/07 Ashes.
Even though Ashwin and Jadeja are confined in India, they’re doing the same thing the Australian beasts did. As long as India has these two great spinners, they’re assured of victory for much longer.
You need to, however, understand that cricket is not just a two-man spin show. India would not be where they are without the rest of the team. India’s quicks have mastered the terrains and ensure that any opponent has no chance of winning. It’s almost synonymous with seeing Michael Kasprowicz reincarnate in a different body. He played for Australia in the golden era of the early 1990s-2000s. Michael played a major role in securing Australia’s epoch-making victory in 2004.
It is worth mentioning that India successfully outmatched South Africa, even without their injured star quick Jasprit Bumrah. The victory against SA was momentous because the sensational Kagiso Rabada has been known to be undefeated. Perhaps SA lost due to India’s flatter pitches.
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Unlike other places like South Africa, England, and Australia, India takes batting quite seriously. Kohli is no doubt an all-timer, but when it comes to batting, he becomes dangerous. When a big platform gets laid, Kohli marvels in showcasing his masterclass career-best 254.
We cannot go without mentioning Robit Sharma, a newborn opener who scored hundreds in his first Test. However, after his first impressive performance, it became clear that he had not mastered the competitive balance between bat and ball. He just can’t seem to hack the tempo of Test cricket, and, as a result, he’s often out to ham-fisted brainless shots. Perhaps, he’s most comfortable opening because waiting around for his turn gets him nervous.
India is no doubt the strongest home team Test cricket has ever seen. Only time will tell if this will translate to dominance abroad, or they’ll fade away if they’re not playing on their tracks.