India’s dominance in Test cricket continued as they wrapped up their 14th consecutive series win at home. They achieved this feat by defeating New Zealand 1-0 in a two match series.
While questions about India’s middle-order batting remain unresolved, there is no questioning the strength or depth of their bowling reserves. The spinners didn’t just pick up wickets aplenty but also contributed with the bat. KS Bharat made a spectacular pseudo debut in the first test. Wriddhiman Saha looked assured with the bat in the second test. Things look good for the Indian side before embarking on the tour of South Africa.
India’s win in the second test match was their highest ever victory margin in Tests (by runs). They annihilated the Kiwis by 372 runs. It was a monumental win by any stretch of the imagination.
Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India has seen a lot of huge victories, especially in home conditions. In this article, we revisit three of the biggest victories (in terms of runs) for the Indian Test team under Kohli.
#1 By 372 Runs: vs NZ – 3rd Dec 2021 (Mumbai)
This match had a bit of everything. It started with Ajaz Patel’s magical 10-for in an innings. Mayank Agarwal returned to form with a commandeering 150. New Zealand was dismissed for the lowest ever innings total in India (62). Ravichandran Ashwin went past 300 Test wickets at home. Axar Patel’s all-round brilliance was in full flow. And finally, Ashwin won his 9th 'Player of the Series' award.
After New Zealand’s great escape at Kanpur, India needed this win to build up the confidence for tougher challenges in South Africa. They did so in style with their biggest ever win in Test Cricket.
#2 By 337 Runs: vs SA – 3rd Dec 2015 (Delhi)
December 3rd is a good day for Indian Test Cricket. Two of their biggest victories under Kohli as captain came on this day. Ajinkya Rahane was in exquisite form in this match, scoring centuries in both innings (127 and 100*).
However, this match is better known for the South African batters digging deep in the 4th innings.They went on one of the greatest blockathons seen in Test cricket history.
Chasing 481 in close to five sessions was going to be an impossible task against the Indian spinners. They chose to go for the draw and defended everything thrown at them. South Africa took zero risks in their 143 over vigil.
They played out 89 maiden overs in all, but eventually, their luck ran out. Ashwin picked up a 5-for as India dismissed SA for 143, wrapping up a 337 run victory.
Fun Fact - South Africa’s run-rate of 0.99 was the second slowest in any test innings of 50+ overs.
#3. By 321 Runs – vs NZ – 8th Oct 2016 (Indore)
It was the only time in Test cricket when the Indian middle order of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane scored centuries in the same match. Kohli scored a double and Rahane scored 188 in the first innings. Pujara scored an unbeaten 101 in the second innings.
But even with these splendid performances, this match belonged to Ravi Ashwin.
Ashwin picked up a 6-for in the first innings and a 7-for in the second. His 13/140 is his best performance in a match ever.
New Zealand was set a target of 475 to win but could muster only 153 in 44.5 overs. Ashwin was awarded player-of-the-match for his brilliance across two innings.
Fun Fact – The 365 run partnership between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings is the highest 4th wicket partnership for India in Test Cricket.