The Indian team created history in Australia as they won back to back series Down Under. The last time India toured Australia for a Test series the result was in their favor as they defeated the Aussies 2-1. This time once again, India with a depleted side and without their main captain managed to defeat a strong Australian team with a margin of 2-1. But historically India has struggled outside the subcontinent in the longest format.
The Indian team has not performed well in the SENA countries i.e., South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia. When India travels to these countries the Indian victories are few and far in between as most of the times the Indian team ends up on the losing side. There have been some captains who have managed to lead India to Test victories in SENA countries, so let’s have a look at six captains with the most Test wins in these countries.
6. Ajinkya Rahane – 2
Ajinkya Rahane who is India’s Test vice-captain had to lead the Indian side in the absence of their main captain Virat Kohli in the 2020/21 Australian tour. Kohli was available in the first game but India lost that game as they were bowled out for 36 in the second innings at Adelaide. India missed many first-choice players and most people thought it will go downhill for India from here but Rahane and his team had different plans.
They came out in the next Test at MCG and dominated the Aussies as they won the game by 8 wickets. If that was not enough, they came back in SCG and drew a game in which they had to bat 131 overs in the 2nd innings. For the fourth Test, India missed 6-7 of their first-choice players at the Gabba in Brisbane where Australia hadn’t lost for 32 years but Rahane’s team created history as they defeated Australia by 3 wickets. Ajinkya Rahane as captain managed to lead a depleted Indian side to two victories down under.
5. Rahul Dravid – 2
Rahul Dravid captained India in 25 Test matches and led India to victory on two occasions in the SENA countries. The first win came in South Africa where S Sreesanth was terrific with the ball as he picked up eight wickets in the game which helped India win the game by 123 runs at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in 2006.
In 2007, India had a memorable tour to England as they defeated them in the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Zaheer Khan picked up nine wickets most of the batsmen scored runs as India won the game by seven wickets. The first and third Test match of the series ended in a draw and as a result, India won a Test series in England.
4. Bishan Singh Bedi – 2
Bishan Singh Bedi led India in 22 Test matches and just like Rahul Dravid two wins out of his overall wins as captain came outside the subcontinent in Australia. Both these wins are famous ones as it was the first time India won a Test in Australia. India didn’t start the tour well in 1977/78 as they lost the first two Tests.
But they made a strong comeback in the third one at MCG as they defeated Australia by 222 runs. It was a huge achievement for India as they had defeated Australia in Australia for the first time. India continued their winning momentum as they won the next Test at Sydney by an innings and two runs. India came close in the fifth Test but lost by 47 runs and eventually lost the series 3-2.
3. Nawab Pataudi Jr. – 3
Nawab Pataudi Jr. led India in 40 Test matches and helped India win three Tests in New Zealand. In 1967/68 when India was touring New Zealand for a Test series, India started on the right note as they defeated the Kiwis by five wickets. India lost the second Test but came storming back in the third one.
India won the third Test quite easily by a margin of eight wickets. India was 2-1 up in the four-match series and they went to win the fourth Test as well by 272 runs which meant that they won the series by a margin of 3-1.
2. MS Dhoni – 3
MS Dhoni has led India in the most number of Tests (60) but under his captaincy, India could only win thrice in the SENA countries. The first of those three victories came in Hamilton in New Zealand as India defeated the Kiwis by ten wickets.
India also won in Kingsmead in South Africa in 2010. It was a tight game as India won it by 87 runs with the help of the bowlers and come crucial runs by VVS Laxman. The most famous victory came in 2014 in Lords when India defeated England by 95 runs. Ishant Sharma bowled a terrific spell in the fourth innings which helped India win at the Home of Cricket. The series didn’t go well after that game as India lost by a margin of 3-1.
1. Virat Kohli – 4
Virat Kohli is the most successful Indian Test captain as India has won 33 Tests under him. He has led India to four Test victories in the SENA countries. In 2018, in South Africa, India won the third Test after losing the first two. India won that Test on a spicy wicket as there was an awkward bounce in Johannesburg. In the same year, India won another Test in England at Trent Bridge but they lost the series 4-1. They came close in two out of those four losses but ended up on the wrong side.
In December 2018, India won a Test at Adelaide and MCG in the India-Australia series which was a huge achievement as the Indian team had won a test series in Australia for the first time. Kohli has a couple of more years as Test captain so it would be interesting to see if he can build on these Test wins.