Back in 2008 when Ricky Ponting’s Australia equalled the feat of 10 Test series win, cricket fraternity had hailed it as legendary stuff. Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor had combined to register Australia’s first-ever record-scripting streak before Ponting emulated the same. The world had hailed the achievement as an unbreakable feat. 11 years hence, India surpassed the previous record to script their own fairytale run on home soil, one that may only be considered godly. But what were the factors that stood out for India when compared to the previous two Australian runs?
In terms of win percentage…
India's unbeaten run at home includes only a solitary defeat in 31 Tests spread across the 11 contests. They won 25, which also includes a 19-match streak (under Kohli's captaincy), while the remaining five ended in a draw. Out of these 25 matches, India were led by three different captains - MS Dhoni, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane. Dhoni had led India to six straight wins at home between February 2013 until his retirement, before Kohli carried the momentum guiding his young team to 17 wins in 23 matches as skipper with only one defeat while Rahane, who played as stand-in skipper in two Tests, led India to victory in both. Also, out of these 31 matches, India won 12 out of 16 matches while chasing, while losing only once and won nine out of 12 matches after declaring an innings, with three others ending in a draw.
In comparison to Australia's first run of 10 straight Test series win, which was achieved between 1994 and to 2001, the team won 28 Test matches at home out of the total 38 with five defeats and five draws. The period saw Australia being led by two primary skippers - Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh. While the former guided the Aussies to 17 wins in 27 matches with five losses and five draws between 1994 to 1999, his successor led the nation to 10 consecutive Test match victories on home soil. Meanwhile, Adam Gilchrist had the opportunity to captain Australia in only one Test match, in 2000, in the absence of Waugh and the hosts emerged victoriously against West Indies in Adelaide. Out of those 38 matches, Australia won 13 out 18 games while chasing with three ending in defeats and registered an unbeaten record (15 wins and two draws) when an innings was declared.
In Australia's second run of 10 straight Test series win at home which came almost entirely under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting, as hosts the home nation managed 22 wins in 28 games with three defeats and three draws. Gilchrist had once again got the opportunity to captain Australia in one game, the one before Ponting took over the reins of captaincy from Waugh, and he successfully guided the team to a win. This Australian team also managed an 83.33 win percentage (10 out of 12 with one defeat) while chasing and had a similar record when the team had declared an innings (10 out of 12 but with two draws).
In terms of batting…
Ponting's Australia (45.41) and the present Indian lot (45.07) managed to register almost a similar batting average during their indomitable run on their respective home turf while Waugh and Taylor's Australia combined to average only 38.45 with the willow. However, the contribution of runs from India's two mainstay batters stood a little over those during Ponting's reign and far above the two who scored the most runs in Australia from 1994 to 2001.
During Australia's first run, the Waugh brothers contributed the most -- Mark scored 2809 runs while Steve scored 2644 runs -- with 27.47 per cent of the total runs scored during the period while the remainder of the top-order batters combined to score 63.42 per cent of the runs. The Waugh brothers averaged 51.44 with 16 centuries and 29 fifties while their support crew managed to register a combined average of 40.30 with 29 centuries and 60 half-centuries.
The numbers had drastically altered during Australia's second success story with Ponting (2875 runs) and Matthew Hayden (2492 runs) emerging as top contributors – 30.88 per cent of the total runs while the support crew managed 58.13 per cent of the runs. Ponting and Hayden together averaged 60.30 with 20 centuries between themselves and 23 fifties while the remaining batters averaged 47.87 with 29 centuries among themselves and 48 half-centuries.
During India’s present run, skipper Kohli (2895 runs) and Cheteshwar Pujara (2632 runs) have emerged as top run-getters who comprised 33.04 per cent of the runs while the remaining top-order batters contributed 56.18 per cent of the runs. Pujara and Kohli combined to average 65.79 with 17 centuries between themselves and 21 half-centuries while the remaining top-order lineup averaged 45.65 with a combined 27 centuries and 43 fifties.
In terms of bowling…
The bowling unit from India's present run of 11 Test series win have enjoyed a better bowling average at home (24.4) than their Aussie counterparts from Waugh's (24.69) and Ponting's captaincy (27.57).
For India, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja emerged as highest wicket-takers during the period with a combined tally of 345 wickets in 117 innings at an average of 20.86 and a strike rate of 50.32. Undoubtedly, the spinners dominated in home conditions, picking 406 wickets in all at an average of 22.40 and strike rate of 51.68 while the pacers managed 169 wickets at 27.88 an average and a strike rate of 56.72.
During Australia's first success story, the spin-pace combination of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath proved to be wonders for the two skippers - Taylor and Waugh. The two picked 297 wickets between themselves at an average of 22.37 and a strike rate of 54.50. On the bouncier tracks of Down Under, the pacers picked 438 wickets among themselves at an average of 24.28 at a strike rate of 52.28, but the spinners were equally dominant with Warne and his men bagging 209 wickets at 24.90 an average and at a strike rate of 58.05.
Ponting's era saw Warne combining with Brett Lee pick 200 wickets between themselves at an average of 27.13 and a strike rate of 53.63. The pacers were more dominant on home track during this period with a combined wicket tally of 357 at an average of 25.48 and strike rate of 53.81 while the spinners managed 170 wickets only at an average of 28.34 and strike rate of 55.98.