Where do India stand?
In test performance in the last 5 years with the others
While spinners like Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh managed to do the job for India at home, the pace bowling landscape was barren. India had only Zaheer Khan who continued to perform consistently. R.P. Singh, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan did impress, but faded away quickly. Moreover, even Zaheer used to get injured in the middle of important tours towards the end of his career, adding to the team’s woes. Now, though, things have changed.
The current team India has been billed as the best ever by many experts. While India did have world-class batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly in the same team before, all of whom would go down as India’s greatest batsmen of all time, they have historically struggled to find a core group of bowlers who can pick 20 wickets in tests.
However, have India lived up to the hype? India had held Test No.1 position for a long time, but was it because of only wins at home? We’ll go through India’s performance in Tests (as that’s the real Test of a player) since 2015 and compare it with that of the top 7 teams in the ICC rankings. We won’t be counting series with nations outside of Top 7.
India have a crop of extremely competent fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and youngsters like Navdeep Saini and Deepak Chahar knocking on the door, a luxury which India have seldom had before. The batting lineup has some great talent as well, with 3 batsmen in Top 10 and 5 in top 16. India became the No.1 side in Tests in October 2016 and stayed there till May 2020.
Clearly, India’s home is a fortress. No team has beaten India in India in a Test series since England (in 2011), and only Australia have been able to win a test (in 2017). India have also won at least one test in all SENA countries except New Zealand, in the only series where India looked out of sorts.
However, India have failed to convert the promise they showed in England and South Africa to series wins, and some fans even refrain from giving full credit to India for their Australia win citing the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner. Logically, though, given how strong Australia’s bowling lineup is, losing two batsmen for a home series shouldn’t be that big an issue.