After winning the Asia Cup, the Indian team is set to return to Test cricket with a two-match series against the West Indies at home. India, which now is the world’s top ranked Test side, presently has an incredible record against their opponents, but that wasn’t always the case. For decades, West Indies dominated over India.
Since 1948, India have played 94 Tests against West Indies, of which they won 18. West Indies have won 30 matches. The remaining 46 Tests ended in a draw. Of the 45 Tests played on Indian shores, West Indies won 14, while India have won 11. The remaining 20 Tests ended in a draw.
Here is how the two teams have performed against each other over the decades:
1948-1960: India unable to beat West Indies at home or away
The first Test series between India and West Indies was played on Indian shores back in 1948-49. Lala Amarnath led India while John Goodard was the West Indies skipper. The five-match series went in the visitors’ favour, after they won the fourth Test by an innings and 193 runs in Chennai (Madras, back then). The remaining Tests in Delhi, Mumbai (2 Tests), and Kolkata ended in draws.
Five years later, India travelled to Caribbean shores, for a five-Test series. The result remained the same. West Indies clinched the series after winning the second Test by 142 runs, while the other matches ended inconclusively.
It wasn’t until 1958 that the two teams clashed again. West Indies – this time led by Gerry Alexander – travelled to India hoping to winning their third consecutive Test series. India suffered a 3-0 defeat in the five-match series, after losing in three consecutive Tests in Kanpur, Kolkata, and Chennai.
1960-1970: West Indies’ sweeping dominance
In 1962, India was led by opening batsman Nari Contractor to its worst Test series defeat till then against West Indies. Led by the legendary Sir Frank Worrell, West Indies hosted India for a five-match series. India were eager to register their first victory against their opponents. But it didn’t quite go as planned. India lost all the matches, giving West Indies their first series clean sweep against the visitors.
Five years later, a Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi-led India hosted West Indies. However, the result remained the same. Apart from the third Test in Chennai, which ended in a draw, West Indies won two matches to clinch the series 2-0.
1970-1980: Finally a victory for India
In 1971, Ajit Wadekar led India to its first win over West Indies in a Test match. In the second Test of the five-match series, the duo of E Prasanna and Bishen Singh Bedi made quick work of the West Indies batting, bowling them out for 214. With Dilip Sardesai scoring a ton, India went on to score 352 runs in the innings, taking a lead of 138.
In the second innings, S Venkataraghavan picked up five wickets to bowl out the opponents for 261, and gave India a target of 124 for victory. Sunil Gavaskar scored an unbeaten 67 to take India to its first ever Test victory over West Indies. The remaining matches were draws, giving the visitors their first series win (1-0) in the West Indies.
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However, India lost the next two series 3-2 in 1974 at home, and then 2-1 in 1976 in the Caribbean.
India then won a six-Test match series against West Indies at home in 1978. Winning the fourth Test in Chennai by 3 wickets, India won the series 1-0.
1980-1990: West Indies continue to dominate
For the next decade, West Indies completely dominated over India in Tests, registering four series victories in the 1980s.
In 1982, a year before the World Cup, West Indies defeated India 2-0 in a five-match series at home. After the World Cup, India suffered another 3-0 series loss in a six-match series at home against the Clive Lloyd-led side.
The four-match Test series in 1987 gave India some relief, as the two teams shared the trophy, both winning a match each. But the joy was short-lived, as India suffered another 3-0 loss at home in a four-match series a year later.
1990-2002: End of an era
In 1994, India, led by Mohammad Azharuddin, hosted West Indies for a three-match Test series. The two teams shared the trophy with both teams winning a match each, while the third match ended in a draw.
In 1996, under Sachin Tendulkar, India travelled to West Indies for a five-match Test series. After the first two Tests ended in a draw, West Indies came from the brink of defeat to pull off a miraculous victory by 38 runs in the third Test. It gave them a 1-0 lead in the series. The two remaining Tests ended in a draw, giving the hosts a 1-0 series win.
In 2002, in a five-match Test series at home, West Indies – led by Carl Hooper – bounced back after going 1-0 down, to win the series 2-1. It was the last Test series West Indies would win against India.
2002-2018: India’s dominance begins as West Indies fades
Over the last 16 years, India have won six Test series against West Indies, the first of which came in 2002. Hosting the Carl Hooper-led side at home for a three-match series, a Sourav Ganguly-led India easily won two Tests to pick up India’s first Test series win against West Indies in 24 years.
Four years later, Rahul Dravid travelled as India captain to West Indies for a four-match series and won the second consecutive series. After the first three Tests ended in a draw, India won the fourth Test by 49 runs to win the series 1-0.
Then Mahendra Singh Dhoni led the 2011 World Champions to the Caribbean for a three-Test series. India won the first Test by 63 runs, while the two other matches ended in a draw, giving India another 1-0 series win. The same year India hosted West Indies for a three-match series, in which it won the first two Tests.
In 2013, India beat West Indies 2-0 in a two-match series at home. The last Test series between the two was played back in 2016, with Virat Kohli in-charge of the Indian team. India defeated West Indies 2-0 in four-Test series in the Caribbean to extend its series-winning streak to six.
And it’s not just that. Since 2002, India haven’t lost a single Test to West Indies. Of the 19 matches played, India have won 10, while the remaining have ended in draws.
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