5 instances when India's lower order rescued the team
India's Test team has had a great run in the recent times. They have maintained the number one spot in the ICC Test Rankings with a slew of consistent performances. Since September 2016, Virat Kohli's team has played 17 Tests and won a whopping 13 matches. While they lost only once, the other three games were drawn.
There have been vital contributions from several players on different occasions. One of the major contributing factors for the team's sparkling form has been the determination shown by the lower order (partnerships ranging from seventh to tenth wicket). Since the start of last year's home season with the 3-match series against New Zealand, here are the averages of the lower-order partnerships of India's Test side.
Averages of lower-order Partnerships
India's overall average of lower order partnerships stands at 34.75, which is comfortably the highest among all the nations during this period. A contributing lower order has enabled India to field five bowlers on a consistent basis. The partnerships produced by the lower order have rescued the team from tricky situations on numerous occasions. They have also scored quick runs helping the team to declare at precise moments. Here are five instances when the lower order rescued India from a state of trouble to a position of strength.
#5 Against New Zealand in Kolkata (2016)
On a seam-friendly surface at the Eden Gardens, India got a crucial lead of 112 runs in the first innings. The advantage of gaining the lead was minimised as New Zealand came back into the match with quick wickets to reduce India to 106/6 with the total lead at 218 runs. There was still a lot of time left in the match and India needed plenty more runs to reach a position of safety.
Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha combined well to stitch together a partnership of 103 runs to take the team's lead over 300. Rohit continued his form at the venue by scoring a vital knock of 82. Saha added another important partnership of 36 runs with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the ninth wicket and remained unbeaten on 58. This was his second unbeaten fifty of the match. The efforts of the lower order helped India set New Zealand a huge target of 376 runs. The visitors collapsed for 197 runs to hand India an emphatic victory.
Second Innings - From 106/6 to 263 all out
Percentage of runs scored by the lower order - 59.70