3-0; 4-0; 1-0; 2-1.
A football team would have been proud to win by such margins. Except, these are test matches won by India in four series this test season – New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.
P13 W10 L1 D2
A win percentage of 76%. A loss percentage of 7.6%. Incredible numbers.
All the talk before this home season was about turning pitches. About how Indian pitches were killing test cricket. About how India could only win on turning tracks.
Of the 13 test matches played this season, there were two pitches that turned square – Pune and Bengaluru. The others were good test wickets. Dharamsala where the Australia series concluded so dramatically was an atypical Indian wicket with pace, bounce and carry.
India won 6 tosses out of 13. It is true that every time India won the toss, it won the test. However, India also won 4 games out of the 7 tosses it lost (with two draws and one loss), often coming from behind to beat scoreboard pressure. No luck involved there.
Along the way we found out a few more things about the Indian team:
- That Pujara might be a slow scorer, but is the backbone of the test line-up.
- That Umesh Yadav has finally grown into the bowler he sometimes threatened to be.
- That Saha makes runs when the going is tough.
- That Ashwin played the Australia series with sports hernia (and will miss the IPL).
- That Rahul played the last four test matches needing shoulder surgery (and will miss the IPL).
- That Vijay played most of the season with a wrist and shoulder injury (and will likely miss the IPL).
- That Kohli with three double hundreds in the season hurt his shoulder trying to save a single run for the team (and will miss part of the IPL).
- That Kohli will carry the drinks for the team if it means he stays involved.
- That the Indian team was obviously exhausted at the end of a long season but still put in one last heroic performance in Dharmsala to make Kohli’s India the current holder of the test trophy against every other nation.
- That, this season, the Indian team this season put test cricket above all other forms.
IPL madness starts on Wednesday. This time, let no one say that the IPL is killing the test game.
We will remember this season of test cricket for a long, long time.