Pune: On Sunday, India recorded their 11th consecutive Test series at home when they beat South Africa by an innings and 137 runs in Pune on Day 4 of the 2nd Test of the ongoing Freedom Trophy. With an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series, India have regained control of the trophy after having surrendered it on their last visit to South Africa in early 2018, when they lost 1-2. Now, the win in Pune has propelled India to become the sole owner of the record for most consecutive Test series wins at home.
Before wrestling back the Freedom Trophy, India and Australia jointly held the record with 10 successive home Test series wins. In fact, Australia had two such streaks ending in 2000 and 2008. No other team has more than 8 home series victories in a row.
India’s current streak started in February 2013 when they blanked the visiting Australians 4-0. Here is a record of India’s record-breaking run of Test series wins at home, in reverse chronological order
India vs South Africa 2019: 2-0* (3)
India vs West Indies 2018: 2-0 (2)
India vs Afghanistan 2018: 1-0 (1)
India vs Sri Lanka 2017: 1-0 (3)
India vs Australia 2017: 2-1 (4)
India vs Bangladesh 2017: 1-0 (1)
India vs England 2016: 4-0 (5)
India vs New Zealand 2016: 3-0 (3)
India vs South Africa 2015: 3-0 (4)
India vs West Indies 2013: 2-0 (2)
India vs Australia 2013: 4-0 (4)
India have now won 25 out of their last 32 Tests at home while losing just one: vs Australia in 2017 in Pune itself! This makes for an astonishing win-loss ratio of 25 – easily the best in the world since 2013. Australia lie a distant 2nd to India on this list with a 23-4 win-loss record in the same period. No other major team than India has lost less than 3 Tests at home since the beginning of India’s fantastic home record.
Earlier, India for the first time ever in their history, forced South Africa to follow-on in Pune, having gained a heft 326-run 1st innings lead. The decision bore fruit early on Sunday as the home attack reduced the visitors to 74/4 at Lunch. In the 2nd session, India picked 3 more wickets courtesy Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami to send the tourists to Tea at 172/7.
However, as they did in the 1st innings, Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj frustrated the Indians with a 56-run partnership for the 8th wicket. The stand was finally broken by Umesh helping India wrap up an innings and 137 runs victory shortly thereafter.