Sunday, August 22, 2010

INDIA'S TEST BATTING - THE FOUNDATION OF NO. 1 SPOT

Whenever MS Dhoni's One Day team puts in disastrous performances like the one that was witnessed today, I like to think about out Test team... just to lighten up my dark mood!

So today, I decided to do a bit of number-searching. Here's what I found - India's performance in last 25 Test matches: Win - 12, Loss - 5, Draw - 8.

I have blogged a lot about how India's bowling unit (even in Tests) is very poor, but India is till managing to hold on to the No. 1 spot on the strength of its mighty batting. I decided to search for numbers that prove my viewpoint.

In these 25 Tests, India's bowling has managed to pick up 20 opposition wickets only on 11 occasions. So it's surprising to see 12 wins in the above stats, isn't it? That 1 win without grabbing 20 wickets (we did take 19 though) came against England in Chennai, where after England's declaration on their 9th second innings wicket, Sehwag led a brutal assault on the Kevin Pietersen - led team to mastermind an unprecedented chase on the Indian soil.

Coming back to the point, have you noticed that every time that the Indian bowling unit picks up 20 wickets in a Test, our batting manages to have enough runs on the board to win the Test... 'Time' is an immaterial factor in India's batting unit - there are men who save it, there are men who waste it, and there are men who can do both of it!

This stat is a remarkable one. Though I have not checked for the other teams, I am sure not many teams will be able to boast of having won every Test in which they have picked up 20 opposition wickets. This is a testimony to the remarkable abilities of India's batting stalwarts!

On the other hand, India has lost 20 wickets in only 6 occasions in these 25 Tests. And on one of these 6 occasions, the batsmen had scored more than enough to seal a win... so India's batting has truly failed only on 5 occasions in Test cricket over 2 and a half years! It may still not be the hallmark of a Test Champion side, but which other side has managed to perform as such over the last few years!?

Sehwag, the only one to have featured in each one of these 25 matches, scores at the rate of more than 100 runs per Test match... amassing 2598 runs during this period. Four batsmen have managed more than 15 scores of 50 or above... (Laxman - 17 from 23 Tests, Sehwag - 17 from 25 Tests, Sachin 16 from 23 Tests and Gambhir 16 from 18 Tests).

Though Raina has made a promising debut (albeit on the flattest track I have seen for quite some time), I am quite uncertain about life after Sachin, Rahul and VVS. They will have a lot of learning to do... and it is not going to be easy!



Masters at what they do...

P.S.: Amidst all these numbers, you might have failed to notice that only 1 Test of India's last 25 have resulted in 20 wickets falling... and guess where it came!?
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In a stadium, which in its small history, has been known to be one of the flattest of tracks... it is the VCA Stadium (Jamtha), Nagpur against Australia!

3 comments:

Rahul said...

Good one that. But when I see the age of these batters - Sachin, Rahul and VVS; I feel a lot tensed.

Perhaps, after a couple of years - for the then next few years, we would have nothing to rejoice cos the current batters aren't promising at all.

I don't say they ain't talented, but they seem just not dedicated, and that's something to ponder about.

Mahek said...

I'm not sure I got the bit about only 1 of our last 25 tests resulting in 20 wickets falling. If you meant the only time we've won despite losing 20 wickets then we won at Galle in 2008.

Shridhar Jaju said...

That's right, Mahek! My mistake... its twice!

And Rahul, you are right about the future of India's middle order being 'not dedicated'. But I must say that the selectors are also to be blamed here... they have left Cheteshwar Pujara feeling unwanted now! And I have high hopes from that lad!

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