India have posted a record consecutive 11 Test series win at home. They look almost invincible at home in the longer version of the game. Under Virat Kohli, India look unbeatable at home. India have lost just once in 23 Tests at home under Virat Kohli. What makes India invincible at home in Tests?
Cricwizz takes a look at possible reasons that make India a champion team in Test cricket at home.
Virat Kohli’s batting form
The rise of India as No 1 test team is a lot due to the success of Virat Kohli as a Test batsman. Since he took over as captain, he has struck 7 double tons in 50 Tests, while none as just batsman in his first 31 Tests.
He has led by example and showed his teammates how to push oneself for the bigger cause of the team. He has set a high benchmark for his mates to follow and nothing below is unacceptable.
Led by Kohli as a batsman, India have seldom failed as a batting unit. The only blip at home has been the Pune Test against Australia in 2017. But that was an exception – a bad day at the office.
India have batted out all their opponents at home in Test cricket, led by the consistent Kohli at the top.
India have benched top players such as C Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant when they have been off the mark. This has kept them on their toes always. It has kept complacency at bay.
India have not been afraid to take tough decisions anymore. India have benched an entertaining batsman in Rishabh Pant for a boring, but consistent keeper-batsman in W Saha.
They have also benched a triple centurion in Karun Nair when their regular batsman Ajinkya Rahane was back from injury. The leadership has been strong and consistent and brought confidence among players and kept politics at bay.
This has helped India keep a happy dressing room. And it has shown on the pitch and the results in Test cricket.
Great spin attack
The Indian bowling attack has improved by leaps and bounds since Kohli took over as Test captain. India have two of the best spinners in R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who bowl well in pair and have blasted the opposition out in Test cricket at home, especially.
All opponents have struggled against these two spinners at Indian soil. Whenever either of these two spinners have not been available or India needed the third tweaker, their backups – Kuldeep Yadav or Jayant Yadav – have come to the party.
In fact, India have been blessed to have quality spinners in their ranks.
Penetrative pace bowling
It would be wrong to say the Indian bowling attack has been only about spinners at home. Indian pacers led by Jaspirt Bumrah have done exceptional work on Indian soil. They have given India the breakthrough early for the spinners to cash in.
In fact, Indian pacers have done well even on the flat pitches on the subcontinent. And if the pitch has been pace-friendly, Indian pacers have outperformed their counterparts from the opposition.
Besides, Indian pacers have shown great skills to counter the opposition. For example, Umesh Yadav has used the reverse swing to devastating effect on Indian soil. Mohamed Shami, Ishant Sharma and even Bhuvneshwar Kumar have exhibited great work ethics.
India have played fearless Test cricket at home. They have not stopped short in experimenting and taking bold decisions. The promotion of Rohit Sharma, benching Nair for Rahane, and many such bold decisions show India have been hungry for wins.
India have adopted the right intent to combat the opposition’s questions. They have played for the bigger cause of the team.
A defensive batsman like C Pujara going for big hits and quick runs when the declaration is around the corner, or tailenders such as Ishant Sharma digging in, or Kohli declaring the innings and not going for a triple ton in Pune Test against South Africa show this team has the heart and mind in the right place.
They want to win at all costs and maintain their invincibility at home.