5 most memorable Test wins for Team India on home soil under Virat Kohli

Team India celebrate after winning the 2017 Bengaluru Test [Image- BCCI]
Team India celebrate after winning the 2017 Bengaluru Test [Image- BCCI]

India's Test team under Virat Kohli has been the most consistent in the world, especially in the past five years. While they have consistently improved away from home, they have turned their home turf into a fortress.

Team India have always been a tough side to beat in their den. But under Kohli, the ruthlessness with which they have gone about dismantling opposition teams wasn't seen in years past.

Under Kohli, India have won 26 of 32 home Tests, losing only two. On that note, here's a look at the five-most memorable Test wins for India at home in the Kohli-era:

#5 India beat South Africa by 108 runs - Mohali 2015

India won the Mohali Test by 108 runs.
India won the Mohali Test by 108 runs.

The era of unprecedented dominance for the Indian Test team on home soil under Kohli started against the then No.1 ranked South African in Mohali in 2015.

The Proteas came to India in 2015 as the top-ranked Test side. What made that team legendary was the fact that they hadn't lost a series away from home between 2006 and 2014. Their last three-Test assignments in India in 2004, 2008 and 2010 ended 1-1.

Before this Test series, the visitors had beaten India in a five-match ODI rubber 3-2. So, the proverbial momentum was on their side. The first Test didn't start well for Team India.

On a turning track, the batting unit, sans Murali Vijay (75 off 136), capitulated in stunning fashion, getting knocked over for 201 inside 70 overs. However, with part-time spinner Dean Elgar claiming four wickets, it was pretty evident Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja would prove to be too hot to handle for the Proteas.

As expected, the spin trio wreaked havoc, dismissing South Africa for 184. Ashwin claimed another five-wicket-haul (5/51), while Jadeja (3/55) and Mishra (2/35) shared the other five wickets.

India once again struggled with the bat in their second essay, as only four batters reached double digits. Vijay backed up his fine 75 in the first innings with a brilliant 47 ,while Pujara top-scored with a 153-ball 77.

India managed just 200 runs, setting South Africa a fourth-innings target of 218. That proved to be more than enough as Ashwin (3/39) and Jadeja (5/21) once again ran riot, steamrolling the visitors for 109 in just 39.5 overs. Jadeja was awarded the Man of the Match.

It was a memorable win for Kohli, as it was his first at home as India's Test captain.

1-0 up in the series, Kohli's first win as Test captain at home #IndvsSA

As it turned out, it would certainly not be his last.

#4 India beat England by an innings and 178 runs - Chennai 2016

Virat Kohli's India had an emphatic win in the 2016 Chennai Test.
Virat Kohli's India had an emphatic win in the 2016 Chennai Test.

India's victories over England in Mumbai and Chennai during the 2016 series were quite special. The major reason was the fact that on both occasions, the visitors batted first and posted 400+ totals.

In both cases, India responded with 600+ scores before knocking over England in the third innings to claim innings victories. It was Virat Kohli's 235 in Mumbai that paved way for England's demise. In Chennai, it was the duo of KL Rahul (199) and Karun Nair (303) and the left-arm spinner Jadeja, who plotted an unlikely win.

After England amassed 477 in their first innings, an innings defeat was far from their thoughts. But Team India responded with their highest Test total of 759-7.

Rahul missed out on his maiden Test 200 by one run. But Nair cashed in big time, becoming only the second Indian batter to smash a triple ton in the format. Despite conceding a lead of almost 300 runs, with surface showing little sign of deterioration, England would have fancied their chances of a draw.

The visitors started on a positive note, as Alastair Cook (49) and Keeton Jennings (54) notched up a 103-run stand. However, the dismissal of Cook opened the floodgates for Kohli and co. Jadeja proceeded to scythe past their batting unit in the final session.

England lost their ten wickets for only 104 runs, with Jadeja accounting for seven for them. He finished with figures of 7-48 in 25 overs as India won the series 4-0.

These are the moments u cherish all your life. So proud of these guys for putting in all they had.This is more than a team.This is a family

The first Test was a drawn affair, which denied Kohli's men a 5-0 series whitewash.

#3 India beat England by 317 runs - Chennai 2021

India won the second Test by 321 runs to level the series [Image- BCCI]
India won the second Test by 321 runs to level the series [Image- BCCI]

India were riding high after a fairy-tale series win in Australia. Despite Kohli's return, the hosts were handed a rude shock by the visiting English team in the first Test at the Chepauk.

Riding on Joe Root's masterclass with the bat and brilliant bowling by Jack Leach and James Anderson, England hammered India by 227 runs to claim a surprise 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

However, just like the previous series where India stormed back after losing the Adelaide Test, the home side responded strongly. On a raging turner at the same venue, a Rohit Sharma masterclass powered Kohli's men to a resounding win.

Batting first, India found themselves in huge trouble in the morning session. They lost three crucial wickets for just 86 runs, including captain Kohli for a five-ball duck.

However, Sharma (161 off 231 balls) took the innings by the scruff off its neck. Along with Ajinkya Rahane (67 off 149 balls), the duo stitched together a match-winning stand of 168 runs.

The Indian innings eventually folded for 329, but it proved to be more than enough. Ashwin (5/43), debutant Axar Patel (2/40) and Ishant Sharma (2/22) knocked over England for a mere 134.

India slipped to 106-6 in their second innings, but Ashwin proceeded to smash his fifth Test ton to add salt to England's wounds. He hammered a 148-ball 106 to swell India's lead to a daunting 481 runs.

The trio of Axar Patel (5-60), Ashwin (3-53) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-25) ran past England for a second time as India levelled the series with a 317-run-win.

STAT ALERT: This is the first time England have been bowled out twice in a Test for an aggregate of fewer than 300 runs since 1995 (147 & 89 v WI, Edgbaston). First time away from home since Feb 1984 (82 & 93 v NZ, Christchurch). Full list:…#INDvENG

Virat Kohli and co would go on to win the next three Tests comfortably to take the series 3-1.

#2 India beat New Zealand by 372 runs - Mumbai, 2021

The Mumbai Test will be remembered for Ajaz Patel's heroics, albeit in a losing cause.
The Mumbai Test will be remembered for Ajaz Patel's heroics, albeit in a losing cause.

Virat Kohli and co's most recent Test win on home soil was memorable for multiple reasons.

It came against the reigning world Test champions, New Zealand. India's proud home record was at stake after the Black Caps escaped with a draw in the first Test in Kanpur. Moreover, 12 key World Test Championship points (WTC) points were at stake in this game.

On a surface that aided pace, bounce and turn, India batted first, riding an imperious 150 by Mayank Agarwal to post 325. The daddy hundred from the opener masked another poor showing from the middle order, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli departing for ducks.

Ajaz Patel ran past India's batting line-up to notch up the rarest of rare feats, claiming all ten wickets in an innings. That marked only the third such instance (Jim Laker and Anil Kumble being the others) in Test history, and the first this century.

However, Patel's magnificent effort wasn't backed up his teammates as New Zealand capitulated for a mere 62. Mohammed Siraj (3-19) and Ashwin (4-8) were the wreckers-in-chief as New Zealand registered the lowest-ever total in India.

India piled on the agony in the second innings, racking up 276/7 declared. Agarwal smashed another 50 to cap off a memorable outing. Facing an improbable target, New Zealand showed a bit more fight in their second innings.

However, they folded for 167 on the fourth morning as India registered their biggest Test win in terms of run. It was also India's 14th consecutive Test series win at home.

CHAMPIONS 👏👏This is #TeamIndia's 14th consecutive Test series win at home.#INDvNZ @Paytm

Jayant Yadav (4-49) and Ashwin (4-34) shared eight wickets between them as India registered their fourth straight series win to regain the top spot in the Test rankings.

#1 India beat Australia by 75 runs - Bengaluru 2017

India won the 2017 Bengaluru Test.
India won the 2017 Bengaluru Test.

It was arguably one of the greatest Tests played on Indian soil. The win in the 2017 Bengaluru Test against Australia in early 2017 is one of India's greatest wins in the format under Virat Kohli.

India were given a rude shock by the Aussies in the first Test in Pune, thanks to a 12-wicket-haul by Steve O'Keefe and a hundred for the ages by Steve Smith.

That was their first Test win on Indian soil after 13 years. When Nathan Lyon (8-50) consigned the home team to 189 on the first day of the second Test, India's unbeaten streak at home was under threat.

KL Rahul scored a classy 90 off 205 balls, with the next best score coming from Karun Nair (26). The Indian bowlers did a stellar job in restricting Australia to 276. Ishant Sharma may have claimed just one wicket. But his disciplined bowling ensured Australian batters were never allowed to get off the hook.

Sharma and Umesh Yadav kept things dry from one end, while Jadeja (6-63) and Ashwin (2-84) did the damage from the other. India kept the first-innings deficit to 87 runs. But given the way the track was behaving, they knew they needed a huge second-innings effort to give themselves any chance of squaring the series.

Rahul backed his 90 with yet another half-century. But Josh Hazlewood's brilliant spell meant India were just 33 runs ahead when they lost their first four wickets.

That's when Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane came to the party and stitched a much-needed 118-run-stand. Pujara (92 off 221 balls) played one of his greatest knocks on a turning track, while Rahane, for all his struggles against spin, scored a match-winning 134-ball 52.

Once Rahane was dismissed, Australia polished off the lower order cheaply. However, with the pitch getting progressively more difficult for batting, India knew they were well and truly in the game despite having only 187 runs to defend.

Yadav dismissed the dangerous-looking Smith (28) with a ball that kept low and thudded into the Aussie batters' pads. The umpire had no hesitation in raising his finger. In what was a 'brain fade' moment from Smith, he proceeded to point towards the dressing room as if to ask if he should go for a review.

Winning moments of a stellar comeback! Let’s keep the momentum going in the coming games. #IndvAus @BCCI

Nevertheless, Smith eventually headed back to the dressing room. After his dismissal, Ashwin knocked over the rest of the line-up to notch up yet another five-for, leading Team India to a memorable 75-run win.

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