The Mohali result was a remarkable one for many reasons: it was India's biggest Test win and Australia's heaviest defeat against India (both in terms of runs), but almost as significant as the margin of the result was the manner in which the two teams played.
The Australian template has always been to play attacking cricket, score quickly, and then strangle the opponents with accurate bowling and tight fielding. Before the series started, Ricky Ponting talked up Australia's new-age cricket, and said India played the old-fashioned way. He was, quite justifiably, upbeat about Australia's ability to take quick singles, put pressure on opposition fielders, and deny the opposition batsmen the same luxury with a ring of agile in-fielders.
In this Test, though, the role reversal was complete. India scored 783 runs in 1164 balls, a scoring rate of 4.03 per over, while Australia's run-rate was a poor 2.78. The difference of 1.25 runs per over is the second-highest for a Test involving Australia since 1990. The only occasion the margin was greater was more than ten years back, also against India, in Kolkata, when Australia lost by an innings and 219 runs.
|Opposition||Run-rate||Aus run-rate||Difference||Venue & year|
|West Indies||3.64||2.57||1.07||Adelaide, 1993|
|Sri Lanka||3.52||2.57||0.95||Kandy, 1999|
|West Indies||3.71||2.78||0.93||Georgetown, 1991|
On the singles and dot-balls stakes too, Australia were well behind the home team. India ran 300 singles in the 1164 balls they played, while Australia managed just 113 in their two innings, and the percentage of deliveries off which they took singles was less than half the corresponding number for India.
|Team||Total balls faced||Singles||Percentage||Dot balls||Percentage|
Another statistic that reflects the gulf between the two teams in this match is the runs-per-wicket number. Not only did India score 320 more runs than Australia, they also did it losing seven fewer wickets. Their average of 60.23 runs per dismissal was significantly higher than Australia's 23.15. In fact, since 1990, only three times has the difference been higher for Australia, but one of those instances - versus South Africa in 1993 - was in a rain-interrupted game in which the numbers were skewed as the visitors didn't even complete their first innings. Exclude that game, and the top three instances all involve India.
|Opposition||Runs per wkt||Aus runs per wkt||Difference||Venue & year|
|South Africa||86.00||48.86||37.14||Melbourne, 1993|
|West Indies||60.00||29.80||30.20||Georgetown, 1991|
- This was Australia's heaviest Test defeat since April 1991, when West Indies had beaten them by 343 runs in Barbados. It was also only the tenth time in 96 matches since 2000 that Australia were bowled out for less than 200.
- Amit Mishra's match haul of seven wickets is the third-highest for an Indian debutant. Only Narendra Hirwani and Dilip Doshi have had more success on debut.
- Zaheer Khan has taken ten wickets in the series so far, which equals his highest tally in a home series - he took ten in four Tests against Australia in 2004-05.
With inputs from Siddhartha Talya.
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo