India Test level XI: Lions at home, cubs abroad

By ZRG | Updated: Nov 12, 2013, 11:39 AM IST

Siddharth Tak /Zee Research Group

There is a high probability that India may win the ongoing Test match series against West Indies. If history is to be believed, in test match format, Indian team has performed well on home grounds as against the poor performance delivered on foreign pitches.

The trend got endorsed earlier this year when India trounced Australia 4-0 in the home series.

But if you peel away the excitement a rather grim picture emerges of the overall efficiency level of Indian cricket team, especially in the most credible format of the game, the test match tournament.

A Zee Research Group (ZRG) analysis reveals that during the last 81 years (1932-2013), Indian team has played 229 matches on overseas pitches out of which Indian team has won only 37 matches while it lost 97 matches and 95 matches ended in a draw. The Indian test team win percentage thus comes to a mere 16 percent as against a 42.36 loss percentage overseas. It clearly shows that the Indian team performance has been quite poor abroad.

In contrast, Indian team has played 243 matches on home ground out of which it has won 82 matches and lost 52 matches. Indian team started its test cricket journey pre-independence in 1932. History holds the mirror upfront. The reversal of fortunes abroad stays unabated.

India played first Test match on 25 June 1932 under the captaincy of Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu. This match was played at Lord’s against England. England won by 158 runs (England 259 and 275/8 (declared); India 189 and 187).

India did not register any win in the pre-independence era. During the period under review, India played 10 test matches against the only team England. England won 6 matches and 4 were draw.

The first ever test match win in India was registered in 1952 under the captaincy of Vijay Hazare. India won by an innings and eight runs against England at Madras in Tamil Nadu.

The first overseas win after 36 years since 1932 came on 15 February, 1968 (since India’s test cricket history) under the captaincy of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. India`s first ever Test match win overseas was registered against New Zealand in 1968. India went on to win that series, making it India`s first ever Test series win overseas.

While the overall performance overseas has been lackluster, best decadal performance abroad was during 2001 to 2010. India won the maximum 22 matches abroad during 2001 to 2010. Interestingly, this is about 60 percent of the total matches won by the Indian team abroad. The only win post 2011 was in 2011 against West Indies.

Earlier, India won six test matches abroad during the period 1971 to 1980, followed by three matches each in 1961 to 1970 and 1981 to 1990. During 1991 to 2000, India won only two matches overseas.

Post the last victory at home against Australia; India is set to tour South Africa later this year. The crop of current stars has had a mixed performance abroad. Virat Kohli, and M S Dhoni have performed well abroad. While the new sensations Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay have limited global exposure, Shikar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Bhuvanesh Kumar have yet to play a test match abroad.