In recent times, the away Test wins have come along fairly regularly for India but an entire series has proved to be that tad bit more elusive. It was the challenge that Virat Kohli had set up his captaincy for, when he took over and one that he has spoken about almost incessantly since. He wanted to win away from home and he wanted to win not just the random match, he wanted to win the series.
On Tuesday, India pulled off a record run-chase in a thrilling final session of the Border Gavaskar Trophy to hand Australia their first defeat at Brisbane’s Gabba since 1988 and clinch the four-Test series 2-1.
Rishabh Pant starred with a swashbuckling 89 not out as the injury-depleted visitors overhauled the 328-run target with three overs to go, winning by three wickets.
Australia had not been beaten at the Gabba since falling to Viv Richards’ all-conquering West Indies side by nine wickets in November 1988.
India’s 329/7 also smashed the 69-year-old record for the biggest run-chase at the ground, set by Australia who scored 236/7 to beat the West Indies in 1951.
India has played 84 away Test series in its history. They have lost 48 series, and there have been 15 drawn ones but the record is slowly but surely, starting to change.
And this was India’s 13th Test series in Australia and only their second win. Perhaps, more importantly, it was their second successive series win.
India's away Test series record
|England||1971, 1986, 2007||3|
|New Zealand||1967-68, 2008-09||2|
|West Indies||1970-71, 2005-06, 2010-11, 2016-17, 2019-20||5|
|Sri Lanka||1993-94, 2015-16, 2017-18||3|
|Bangladesh||2000-01, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2009-10,||4|
It is interesting to note that out of the 21 away series wins, 16 have come after the turn of the century.
India are touring more at every level. It starts with the youth teams and the India A squad. And then there is the IPL. More matches equal more experience, more experience equals better performance, better performance equals more wins, more wins equal more series wins.
The financial might of the BCCI has helped no doubt as has the IPL but still it is the players who have found ways to raise their games often when it matters most.
The two tables below look at performances still the turn of the century and since January 1, 2010:
Away record since Jan 1, 2000
|ICC World XI||1||0||1||0||0||0|
Away record since Jan 1, 2010
And finally, the list below shows just how long and hard a slog it has been. From 1967 (when the first ever away series victory was achieved) to 1999 – India won just five away series.
Since 2000, though, things have changed significantly. The times they-are-a-changin’ indeed.
Here’s a look at every overseas Test series win for India (X-Y scoreline / Z total no of matches):
1. 1967-1968: New Zealand vs India (3-1/4 matches)
2. 1970-1971: West Indies vs India (1-0/5)
3. 1971: England vs India (1-0/3)
4. 1986: England vs India (2-0/3)
5. 1993-1994: Sri Lanka vs India (1-0/3)
6. 2000-2001: Bangladesh vs India (1-0/ one-off)
7. 2003-2004: Pakistan vs India (2-1/3)
8. 2004-2005: Bangladesh vs India (2-0/3)
9. 2005-2006: Zimbabwe vs India (2-0/2)
10. 2005-2006: West Indies vs India (1-0/4)
11. 2006-2007: Bangladesh vs India (1-0/2)
12. 2007: England vs India (1-0/3)
13. 2008-2009: New Zealand vs India (1-0/3)
14. 2009-2010: Bangladesh vs India (2-0/2)
15. 2010-2011: West Indies vs India (1-0/3)
16. 2015-2016: Sri Lanka vs India (2-1/3)
17. 2016-2017: West Indies vs India (2-0/4)
18. 2017-2018: Sri Lanka vs India (3-0/3)
19. 2018-2019: Australia vs India (2-1/4)
20. 2019-2020: West Indies vs India (2-0/2)
21. 2020-2021: Australia vs India (2-1/4)
Stats courtesy: ESPNCricinfo Statsguru