How Virat Kohli's India have become a dominant force at home
India's day-night victory over Bangladesh was their 12th home Test series win in a row
Last Updated: 26/11/19 3:50pm
It's been seven years since Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann inspired England to a memorable victory in India.
If that defeat - England's first in the country since 1985 - stung India, then they have recovered in perfect fashion, by winning every Test series at home since.
Their latest victory over Bangladesh made it 12 home series wins in a row, but how have they become such a dominant force? And who have been the key players? We take a look…
Kohli leads the way
Any assessment of India over the last decade centres on Virat Kohli.
As a 24-year-old he only managed 188 runs over four Tests when England won in India in 2012.
But in the 32 home matches since that tour, his average sits at 72.45, with 11 centuries and six double centuries. While others have shone around him over the last seven years, Kohli has been the bedrock to India's batting.
Unlike Joe Root, his form hasn't dipped since taking over the captaincy. He averages 63.8 as Test captain and, in the recent day-night win over Bangladesh, equalled Ricky Ponting's record of 41 international centuries as captain. It took Ponting 324 matches and 376 innings to reach that mark; it has taken Kohli just 160 matches and 188 innings.
Spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who made his India debut against South Africa in October, explained how Kohli has taken India to "another level".
"Virat is an amazing captain. I must say he is the best captain in the world," he told Times of India. "He leads by example. He is a born leader. Not just on the field, but he also keeps the dressing room atmosphere alive. He helps every bowler on the field. With his aggression and batting prowess, he has taken Indian cricket to another level. This Indian team is the best in the world."
Cheteshwar Pujara has also enjoyed batting at home over the last seven years. His total of 2741 runs doesn't sit far behind Kohli's 3043.
India's winning streak
|West Indies||2013||2-0 (2)|
|South Africa||2015||3-0 (4)|
|New Zealand||2016||3-0 (3)|
|Sri Lanka||2017||1-0 (3)|
|West Indies||2018||2-0 (2)|
|South Africa||2019||3-0 (3)|
Rohit Sharma has featured less than Pujara and Kohli but has scored an impressive 1325 runs from 14 matches at home, with an average of 88.33.
Kohli has also been credited with playing a part in the improvement in India's fielding over the last few years. Under the guidance of the captain and fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar, who has been in the role since 2014, India's fielding has gone from one of the most unreliable units among the top-ranked teams to one of the best.
India haven't just won 12 series in a row at home, they have done so in convincing style.
They have only lost one home Test match (against Australia in February 2017) since losing to England in 2012 and have swept a four-Test series against Australia (2013), three-Test series against New Zealand (2016) and South Africa (2019), and avenged their loss to England by beating them 4-0 in a five-Test series in 2016.
Yes, the dry, spinner-friendly conditions have played a part, but India have been ruthless in making the most of their home advantage.
They have regularly put pressure on the opposition by racking up big first-innings scores.
Against Australia in early 2013 - their first series after losing to England - they scored 572, 503 and 499 in the first innings of the four-Test series. In the next series against the West Indies they scored 453 and 495.
When England visited again in 2016 they could only keep India under 450 in one of their first innings, and in the final two matches of the series the hosts scored 631 and 759 - after England posted reasonable totals of 400 and 477 - to firmly seize control of the game.
South Africa also struggled to keep up with India's scoring when they visited in October, with the hosts declaring in all four of their innings over three Tests.
Losing the toss in all three matches did not help South Africa, as a frustrated Faf du Plessis explained.
"Every Test match, they bat first, they score 500, they declare when it's dark, they get three wickets when it's dark and when day three starts, you're under pressure. It was like copy and paste in every Test match."
India's 'tremendous' pace attack
While India batted long to beat South Africa this year, it was a different story in 2015.
The Proteas' previous visit was a series that was dominated by spin, with no side managing to score over 215 on turning tracks in the first three matches of the series.
However, in their latest win, India showed they have another weapon in their armoury - a strong pace attack.
Even without Jasprit Bumrah, India's highest-ranked Test bowler, the fast bowlers picked up 26 wickets in the three Tests, with the spinners accounting for 32 (compared to a whopping 61 in 2015).
Mohammed Shami (13 wickets) and Umesh Yadav (11 wickets) did most of the damage - and impressed South Africa captain Du Plessis.
"Obviously we spoke about this before the series, the mindset coming here, especially after 2015 was, prepare yourself for a lot of spinning tracks," he said. "And it's been the opposite, it's actually been really good cricket wickets. A lot in it for the bowlers, a lot in it for the batters, so fantastic test cricket to be played.
"And the Indian seam attack was tremendous. Right through the series, relentless and they showed us how to consistently bowl line and length."
In the pink-ball win over Bangladesh all the wickets were taken by fast bowlers, the first time that has happened in a home Test win for India.
In 2019 their fast bowlers averaged 15.16, which, according to Cricinfo, is the second-best ever for a team's quick bowlers in a calendar year while picking up 50-plus wickets.
Who will end India's winning run?
India's home dominance won't be ended anytime soon, as they don't play a home Test match until 2021.
The next visitors? England.
Will Joe Root's side be able to follow in the footsteps of the 2012 team and pull off a surprise win in India? At the moment it looks like it will be a tough ask.
Watch day one of the second Test between New Zealand and England from 9.30pm, Thursday on Sky Sports Cricket.