Stats: England's 6th consecutive Test win in Asia, Root and Anderson the heroes
Led by Joe Root's majestic stroke play and James Anderson's hooping reverse swing, England broke several records en route to their historic victory against India in Chennai.
6th consecutive victory in Asia
England's 227-run win against India in the first test match of the 4-match series came on the back of the team's recent clean sweep in Sri Lanka. Root's boys had earlier won 3-0 on their trip to Sri Lanka in 2018-19. This puts them on a 6-match winning streak in Asia.
The only other visiting nation to win more test matches in a row in Asia is Australia who achieved the feat between 2002 and 2004. In fact, England and Australia are the only two visiting teams to win more than three test matches in Asia on the trot.
Joe Root, England's most successful captain
With the win, Joe Root equalled Michael Vaughan's record of 26 victories in test cricket, the most by any England captain. Root's win percentage of 55.3 is better than that of Vaughan's 51.0.
No better way to mark your 100th Test. Couldn’t be more proud of the team! On to the next one ?????? pic.twitter.com/oCufss4ZLy— Joe Root (@root66) February 9, 2021
While Michael Vaughan registered 9 victories away from home, Joe Root has already won 10 test matches as skipper away from home and this is when he seems just to be at the halfway stage of his career, both as a batsman and as captain.
Joe Root has now led England in 47 test matches, out of which, the team has won 26, lost 15 and drawn 6. The other successful England captains include Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss who won 24 matches each from 59 and 50 fixtures respectively. While Cook had a win percentage of 40.7, Strauss won 48% of the test matches in which he captained England.
Root has also won 6 test matches as captain in Asia. Only two other visiting captains have registered more victories in Asia. The list is led by Graeme Smith who won 8 of the 21 test matches that South Africa played in Asia. Clive Lloyd sits at the second place with 7 wins from 17 test matches as captain in Asia.
Root's captaincy was right on target from ball one in the first test match of the 4-match series between India and England. What's better is that luck also seems to be favouring him as he won the all-important toss at Chepauk. One can only imagine what the situation could have been had England lost the toss.
That said, the significant part was how England and Root utilised the luck. They had the best of the conditions, yes, but they exploited it to the fullest, putting a mammoth target of 578 on the board in the first innings. This helped the team to keep India under pressure throughout the match, which ultimately led them to a well-earned victory.
Joe Root, the batsman
In his last 6 test innings, Root has scores of 40, 218, 11, 186, 1 and 228. If he was criticized for not converting 50s into 100s, he has taken a totally opposite direction in the recent past, scoring daddy hundreds and even doubles every time he gets past 50.
On a Chennai pitch that had a little bit in it for the bowlers, Root looked a class apart. The range of his strokes, particularly his sweep shots left the Indian bowlers bewildered. The fact that he could sweep behind square on the leg side, reverse sweep, paddle sweep, sweep through square leg and even through mid wicket meant that the Indian bowlers struggled to keep him quiet.
Even in the second innings, when almost no England batsman could make a mark, Root seemed to be batting on a totally different surface as he struck a quick-fire 40.
Age, just a number for Jimmy Anderson
As the 38-year-old Anderson said after the match, stumps cartwheeling at his age is a rare sight and he must cherish every bit of it. It was Anderson's brilliant reverse swinging spell during which he dismissed both Shubman Gill and Ajinkya Rahane in three deliveries and later accounted for Rishabh Pant, which broke the back of the Indian batting line-up.
Anderson has now picked up 81 wickets in the fourth innings, which is the highest by any England bowler.
© Cricket World 2021