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Top Five Tests Wins of India in 2021

The ongoing calendar year, 2021, has been a tale of two halves for the Indian cricket team. Indian fans experienced the highest of highs when Rishabh Pant struck the winning runs to hoist the tricolour at the dreaded Gabba in Brisbane, and also the lowest of lows when Pakistan and New Zealand thoroughly outfoxed the Men in Blue in the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup.

A fantastic first three months with plentiful highs, a horrific October and a consoling November – the year was anything but uneventful in purely cricketing terms, while there was continuous action outside the 22 yards as well.

We witnessed the end of Ravi Shastri’s reign as the Indian head coach and also Virat Kohli’s tenure as India’s limited-overs skipper, while the conclusions also paved way for inceptions – that of the Rahul Dravid era as the gaffer, with Rohit Sharma leading the team in T20Is and ODIs.

Despite the agony in T20I cricket, the Men in Blue did quite well whenever they donned the classic whites in 2021. India played a total of 13 Test matches in 2021, in which they emerged victoriously on seven occasions.

Let us have a look at the top five Test wins of India in 2021:

 

1. The Gabbatoir Breach

The first mention on our list refers not only to India’s best Test win in 2021, but also the best cricketing moment of the nation in this calendar year. Before we go into the details of the match itself, it is important to provide context.

India might have come to the last Test of the four-match Test series with a 1-1 scoreline, but they still had their backs to the wall for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this match was being played at the Gabba, where Australia had not lost in over three decades. To add to India’s woes, they lost some of their key players to injuries.

Australia had a good start, posting 369 runs in the first innings, but India responded well by scoring 336 runs. The baggy greens’ second inning score of 294 meant India needed 328 runs in the fourth innings, and while the target did not look too daunting in itself, odds were inclined in Australia’s favour when Rohit Sharma departed for 7.

What we witnessed from there onwards will be remembered and reminisced for ages. A 91 from Shubman Gill and a 56 from Cheteshwar Pujara gave India a glimmer of hope, but it would have remained a glimmer had it not been for a match-defining 89 off 138 deliveries by Rishabh Pant.

 

2. The Lord of the Lord’s

The Men in Blue performed well in Ravi Shastri’s last chapter as the Indian head coach, as besides the Gabbatoir, they conquered the home of cricket as well. India arrived in this second match of the five-match series after drawing the first Test at Nottingham.

Virat Kohli’s boys batted first here and did well to score 364, but England displayed better execution of the game-plan and could accumulate 391. In the second innings, Kohli took a gamble by declaring at 298/8, with the target being 272.

However, the number one Test team in the world did the unthinkable again, with their bowlers being the heroes this time around. A Mohammed Siraj four-fer, supported by a three-wicket haul by Jasprit Bumrah helped India wrap up England’s innings at 120, thereby registering a 151-run triumph.

 

3. Shar-manhandling Three Lions at the Oval

India could not celebrate the Lord’s triumph for long, as the Three Lions won the third Test at Leeds by a significantly big margin. With their series levelled at 1-1, Shastri needed his boys to produce another scintillating performance in the fourth Test at the Oval, and they obliged.

Kohli & Co. were all out for just 191 runs in the first innings while England scored 290. It seemed inconceivable to win after conceding a 99-run lead, but Rohit Sharma’s 127 helped India put up 466 runs on the scoreboard in their second innings.

Having enjoyed the driver’s seat for major parts of the Test match, England were under the pump for the first time chasing a target of 368, and all they could manage was a meagre 210. Umesh Yadav starred with the ball this time around, picking up three crucial wickets.

 

4. Spinning webs around the Englishmen at Ahmedabad

Whilst the conditions did not suit India in our first three mentions, they were invariably the favourites to win this particular Test match at the spin-haven in Ahmedabad. In four innings combined, only 387 runs were scored in this February game.

England batted first and had no answers to Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin’s trickery. They were bundled out for 112, while India also toiled hard to get off the blocks and 145 was all they could muster.

Had England been a bit more resilient and somehow reached the 150-run mark in their second innings, we would have had a game at our hands. However, they scored only 81, and India chased the target of 49 runs down without losing any wicket.

 

5. With a new era beckoning, India prove too hot the Kiwi at Wankhede

This match between India and New Zealand was held at the Wankhede Stadium only three weeks ago. It was a historic clash, not only because of Ajaz Patel’s ten-fer or Mayank Agarwal’s 150, but also because it was India’s first Test win under the tutelage of newly-appointed head coach, Rahul Dravid.

Kohli’s boys scored 235 runs in the first innings and the Kiwis replied with only 62. They were then asked to chase down 540 after India declared at 276/7 in the second innings, but thanks to four-fers from Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav, all New Zealand could manage was 167, handing the hosts a resounding 372-run triumph.

 

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