Australia's unfortunate dozen, and India's favourite venue
A few key stats from the Mohali Test, which India won by one wicket to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Jinxed by a wicket
India's stunning come-from-behind win in Mohali means they finally have a one-wicket win in Tests, a feat that all other top Test-playing sides have achieved. England are the only ones to have done it three times, all of them before 1925. For Australia, on the other hand, it's the fifth occasion they've been at the wrong end of a one-wicket verdict, which is quite surprising considering there have only been 12 such results in the history of Test cricket. Two of those heartbreakers came in the 1900s - at The Oval in 1902 and in Melbourne in 1908 - but the other three have all come after 1990 - in Karachi in 1994, Barbados in 1999 and here in Mohali.
|Team||No. of one-wkt wins||No. of one-wicket losses|
That also makes Ricky Ponting the 12th player to have twice suffered one-wicket defeats in Tests: there were five who were in both teams in the losses in the 1900s, while six - Michael Slater, the Waugh brothers, Ian Healy, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath - featured in the defeats in 1994 and 1999.
And another proof of how exciting Test cricket has become since 2000 lies in the number of such one-wicket verdicts: there have been four during this period. In comparison, there were two in the 1990s, one in the 1980s, and none in the 1960s and '70s.
For the second time in successive tough run-chases, Laxman remained standing till the end. In fact, his run of scores in the second innings over the last year-and-a-half has been stunning. It reads thus: 124 not out, 61, 51 not out, 69 not out, 69, 103 not out, and 73 not out. No wonder, then, that he is one of only eight batsmen in Test history to score more than 2500 second-innings runs at a 50-plus average.
|Jacques Kallis||97||4086||58.37||8/ 26|
|Garry Sobers||67||2923||55.15||8/ 15|
|Allan Border||111||4371||54.63||11/ 24|
|Kumar Sangakkara||61||2894||53.59||9/ 12|
|Matthew Hayden||81||3472||51.82||11/ 13|
|Sunil Gavaskar||90||3963||51.46||11/ 22|
|Geoff Boycott||85||3319||51.06||9/ 17|
|VVS Laxman||74||2877||50.47||5/ 17|
Mohali remains India's favourite venue, but only just. Coming into this match they'd won three times and lost once; a loss would have brought down the win-loss ratio to 1.50, but the narrow win ensures that Mohali is the venue with the best win-loss ratio for India, among grounds where they've played at least ten Tests. The sobering thought for India, though, is that the venue for the second Test, Bangalore, is the ground where they've been at their worst. That's something Australia can heart from, after a defeat that will rankle for a while.
|Venue||Tests||W/ L/ D||W/L ratio|
|Mohali||10||4/ 1/ 5||4.00|
|Brabourne, Mumbai||18||5/ 2/ 11||2.50|
|Kanpur||21||6/ 3/ 12||2.00|
|Chennai||30||12/ 6/ 11||2.00|
|Delhi||30||10/ 6/ 14||1.67|
|Ahmedabad||10||3/ 2/ 5||1.50|
|Mumbai||21||9/ 6/ 6||1.50|
|Kolkata||36||9/ 8/ 19||1.12|
|Bangalore||18||4/ 6/ 8||0.67|
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo