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Continuing an unbeaten run

With a 4-0 Test series triumph against England, India have finished 2016 as the No. 1 Test team in the ICC rankings with 120 points, 15 more than second-placed Australia

Continuing an unbeaten run

After winning the Test and ODI series against New Zealand, it was very much on the cards that hosts India will beat England in the Test series too, but the way the tourists lost was nothing but shocking.

With a 4-0 Test series triumph against England, India have finished 2016 as the No. 1 Test team in the ICC rankings with 120 points, 15 more than second-placed Australia. England on the other hand slipped to fifth place in the rankings. They are now placed just a point behind Pakistan and South Africa, who have been ranked third and fourth, respectively

India won nine Tests in 2016, the most by them in any year. The previous best was eight wins in 2010. India ended the year unbeaten, in 12 Tests. Only England (11 wins) in 2004 and Australia (10 wins) in 2006 have more Tests in a year without losing any.

This Indian team last lost a Test in August 2015, to Sri Lanka in Galle by 63 runs. After that India have won five consecutive Test series that started with the 2-1 win in Sri Lanka last year. During that period they beat South Africa 3-0 at home, West Indies 2-0 away and New Zealand 3-0 at home and now against England 4-0.

On the other hand, the defeat was England’s eighth in 17 Tests in 2016, equalling their record number of losses for a calendar year.

Alistair Cook has now lost 22 Tests, the most by an England captain, he has overtaken Michael Atherton’s 21 matches as England’s most defeated captain in Test history. Although Cook has led the side more times than any other player. His overall record is 24 wins and 22 defeats from 59 matches.

Indian Test captain Virat Kohli equalled Sunil Gavaskar’s streak between 1977 and 1979, which incidentally were his first 18 games as skipper. Kohli has 14 wins in comparison to Gavaskar’s six wins.

After an outstanding batting display in Test series against England, Kohli is close to an exclusive record to become the number 1 batsman in all three formats of International Cricket Council rankings. At the end of the third India versus England Test in Mohali on Tuesday, Kohli has climbed one spot to number 3 in the ICC Test batting rankings.

Kohli is already the number 1 Twenty20 batsman in the world and number 2 in One-day Internationals behind AB de Villiers. Kohli is within 14 points of No. 2 Joe Root of England. Australia’s captain Steve Smith leads the Test batting rankings.

India is fortunate to find another solid batsman Karun Nair in their camp. Young Karun scored 303 not out in the final Test is the third highest individual score for India in Test matches. Before him only Virender Sehwag twice scored 319 and 309 set highest individual score by an Indian in Test matches.

Karun became the third player to convert his maiden Test century to a triple hundred after Gary Sobers (365*) and Bob Simpson (311).

Kohli was the highest run-getter with 655 runs, averaging 60.87 with the help of two centuries and two fifties. Joe Root scored most 491 runs for England including one hundred and four half-centuries at an average of 54.49.

On the bowling side, Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin remains the most successful bowler with 28 wickets, averaging 30.25 while Adil Rashid claimed 23 wickets at an average of 37.43 for England in the series

Ravindra Jadeja with 26 wickets in the series averaging 25.83 jumped to second position in the ICC Test bowling rankings after Ravichandran Ashiwn who is leading the list. This is the first time since 1974 that two India bowlers occupy the top spots in the bowling rankings.

Khurram Mahmood

Sports Khurram Mahmood

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