Ever since India’s tour of England in 2011 kicked off, they have failed to get off to solid starts, which has been the key India’s disastrous showing in Tests away from home. Here’s a closer look at India’s opening woes.
In the opening Test at Lord’s, Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund added 63 in the first innings. Mukund opened the innings with Rahul Dravid in the second innings, and the partnership lasted 19 runs. Mukund and Dravid opened again at Trent Bridge, but Mukund was dismissed first ball. They added only six in the second innings before Dravid was out. Gambhir and Sehwag opened at Birmingham, but Sehwag was out first ball. Sehwag got a golden duck in the second innings too. Sehwag and Dravid opened at the Kennington Oval, and was Sehwag was out for 8. In the second innings, the partnership managed 49.
Gambhir and Sehwag added only 22 in the first Test at Melbourne. In the second innings, their partnership scored only 17. In the second Test at Sydney, Gambhir was out third ball. In the second innings, Sehwag was out for 4. The same opening partnership lasted only 4 runs in the first innings at Perth. In the second innings, the duo was separated after adding 24. At Adelaide, the opening stand was worth 26 in the first innings, and a mere 14 in the second.
South Africa 2013/14
Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings in the first Test at Johannesburg. The pair managed only 17 runs in the first innings. In the second innings, they added 23 before Dhawan was sent back. Dhawan and Vijay opened again at Durban. This time, they added 41 in the first innings. In the second innings, Vijay was dismissed for six, as the partnership ended on 8.
New Zealand 2014
The Dhawan-Vijay partnership added only 1 run at Auckland in the first innings. In the second innings, the alliance lasted 36 runs. In the first innings at Wellington, the opening partnership lasted two overs. In the second innings, the duo added 10.
The story has been no different in England in the first four Tests. At Nottingham, Vijay and Dhawan added 33 in the first innings. The partnership fell one short of 50 in the second innings. In the first innings at Lord’s, Dhawan was dismissed with the score at 11. In the second innings, they added 40. In the first innings at Southampton, Dhawan was dismissed with the score at 17, and in the second innings, Vijay was dismissed with the total at 26. In the fourth Test at Manchester, Gambhir and Vijay added only eight in the first innings, and 26 in the second.
The numbers prove that India haven’t had a 50-run opening stand since Lord’s back in 2011.
--By A Cricket Analyst