Current Indian team’s back-to-back Test series wins in Australia has led to its comparison with world-conquering West Indian and Australian teams of past even though Virat Kohli’s men are yet to prove themselves dominant on foreign soil.
Apart from the fact that they are yet to win a Test series in South Africa, New Zealand and England, where they suffered humiliating series loss in 2018, India won series in Australia in 2018-19 and 2020-21 only after close contests. Those wins can’t be termed one-sided like the wins scored by West Indies of 1980s and Australia of 1990s and 2000s.
While West Indies swept two series against England 5-0, in England in 1984 and in the Caribbean in 1985-86, they remained unbeaten between 1980 and 1985-86 in 10 out of 11 Test series with the 1981-82 series in Australia as the only draw (1-1).
They also hammered Australia twice during that phase — 3-0 win in 1983-84 at home and 3-1 win away from home in 1985-86. They also won a Test series 3-1 in Australia in 1988-89.
During the decade 1979-80 to 1988-89, West Indies played 20 series winning 14 and drawing five. Their only series loss came in New Zealand in 1979-80.
Earlier, in the 1970s, they won seven out of 14 series they played during the decade (1970-71 to 1979-80) and drew three series.
The Aussies of 1990s and early 2000s were dominant too.
In the 1990s, though Australia failed to score series wins in India, they were otherwise winning almost everywhere. Out the 31 Tests series they played from 1989-90 till 1999-00, the Aussies won 20 including a few overseas.
In 2000s (2000-01 to 2009-10), Australia played 35 series, winning 28 series in what is termed as the one of the most dominant phases of any team in history of Test cricket.
No wonder former India captain Sunil Gavaskar isn’t happy by the comparison. He says India won’t be able to dominate as the West Indians or the Aussies of the past did since they are inconsistent.
“I am not too sure they will be able to dominate like West Indies did. They were winning all five Test matches, even Australian were, winning four out of five. I am not too sure if this Indian team can do that because of the fact that while they are actually a supremely talented team, there are at times inconsistencies that you see,” said Gavaskar on The Cricket Analyst Show on YouTube.
He, however, said that this team can become unbeatable if it weeds out inconsistencies.
“That is the only thing that makes me hold my breath a little bit. But as far as the potential of this team is concerned, I think sky is the limit,” Gavaskar said.