India most dominant Test team since 2016: 16 wins in 22 matches

first_imgIndia continued their dominant run in Test cricket since 2016, winning their 16th match when Virat Kohli’s double hundred   Ravichandran Ashwin’s eight-wicket haul helped the world number one side decimate Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs.In the process, India also equalled their biggest margin of victory in Test cricket. That must have been pleasing for the hosts, who stopped short of a dramatic victory after being under the pump for the first two days in Kolkata last week.Sri Lanka had done well to push India hard in overcast conditions which aided swing and movement but Kohli’s men have been virtually unbeatable at home and anywhere else.In fact, since 2016, India have won 16 of the 22 Tests they haveplayed. No other team comes close. England and South Africa have won 11Tests in the same period while Sri Lanka and Australia have nine wins.New Zealand and Pakistan have managed only six wins in the two-yearperiod.Of those 22 Tests, India have played 15 at home, winning11 and losing one against Australia in Pune. Out of the five away wins,two came in West Indies and three in Sri Lanka, not the greatest teamsin Test cricket.300th Test wicket for @ashwinravi99 and #TeamIndia take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match Test series. India seal the 2nd Test in Nagpur by an innings and 239 runs #INDvSL BCCI (@BCCI) November 27, 2017However, India’s consistency cannot be ignored. They have had to battle some gutsy opponents in England, who lost 4-0 but fought tooth and nail throughout the series.advertisementAustralia came as unfancied tourists but their spinners shocked India in the first Test. It needed a special effort from KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to restore parity in Bengaluru. India won another dogfight in Dharamsala to seal the series.It has not been easy and India’s consistency is significant at a time when most teams are struggling to do well even in their own conditions.Australia succumbed to defeat against South Africa at home, West Indies shocked England at Lord’s and Sri Lanka upstaged Pakistan in their adopted home.In that context, India’s winning streak for so long is admirable.King Kohli scores his 5th double ton in Test cricket #INDvSL BCCI (@BCCI) November 26, 2017And that winning streak has come on the back of some sensational individual performances. Kohli, last season, became the first batsman to score double hundreds in four successive series. On Sunday, he equalled Brian Lara’s record for most double hundreds as Test captain.Ashwin, meanwhile, has been shattering records for fun. As India wrapped up a comprehensive victory in Nagpur on Monday, he became the fastest to 300 Test wickets. For successive years in 2015 and 2016, he finished as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket. AND, he has the chance to finish on top again if he has a good haul in Delhi.Besides, Kohli and Ashwin, India have had plenty of other heroes. Pujara is second only to Dean Elgar in the list of highest scorer in Test cricket this year. KL Rahul was on fire with seven successive half-centuries, Shikhar Dhawan made the most of his opportunities when he got them in Sri Lanka and Murali Vijay’s comeback hundred created a genuine problem of plenty for the Indians.India’s successful Test journey so far under Kohli would have been incomplete without support from their pacers. Umesh Yadav bowled his heart out on pitches that had little in it for his breed. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami were brilliant in their quest for wickets and Ishant Sharma made the most of his limited chances.India’s next big challenge would be presented in South Africa but the team looks well settled and ready for what comes their way. They have never won a series in South Africa but not many Indian teams have looked this confident and sorted.India’s success story would mean a whole lot more if they can go to South Africa and show the world what they are truly capable of.last_img read more