Ganguly's 2002 and Kohli's 2020: A tale of two similar whitewashes

India's 2-0 defeat in New Zealand was similar to the whitewash they suffered against the same opponents in 2002, not only in terms of the scoreline but many other things. Here are such similarities from the two series.


  • New Zealand won the toss in both Tests in both the series and put India in on all four occasions.

  • India were bowled out cheaply in their first innings all four times, making scores of 161, 99, 165 and 242, and went on to lose all the matches.


  • India were handed 10-wicket defeats in the first Test of both the series, asking the home side to chase only 36 and nine runs respectively in the fourth innings. Between these two series, India have lost only three Tests by a margin of ten wickets.

  • In the second Tests of both the series, India managed to gain a marginal first innings lead: a five-run lead in 2002 and seven-run lead in 2020. However, India could not capitalise on the leads and went on to lose the Tests by four wickets and seven wickets respectively.

Batting woes

  • No batsman from either side scored a century in either series. The highest individual score in both the series, in fact, was 89 - by Mark Richardson in 2002 and Kane Williamson in 2020 - and both came in New Zealand's first innings of the respective first Tests.

  • The last two instances of none of the India batsmen scoring centuries in an entire series have been these two series. Between these two, India have played 60 Test series and there was at least one century in every one of them. The highest scores among India batsmen in these two series were 76 by Rahul Dravid in 2002 and 58 by Mayank Agarwal in 2020.

  • Only three India batsmen could aggregate 100 or more runs in the two series - Sachin Tendulkar in 2002 and Cheteshwar Pujara and Agarwal this year.

  • India's runs per wicket in the series were 13.37 and 18.05 respectively, which are India's top-two lowest in any away series.

New low for Indian captains

  • Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli, who are among the most successful Indian captains away from home, suffered their captaincy career's first whitewash at the end of the series.

  • Both Ganguly and Kohli had forgettable series as batsmen. While Ganguly scored just 29 runs at an average of 7.25, Kohli scored 38 runs at 9.50. For both of them, these two series are their second-worst in terms of batting average. Their averages feature as the two lowest averages by visiting captains (who bat in the top-order) in a series in New Zealand (four or more innings).

Debutant allrounders stand tall

  • In 2002, New Zealand handed a Test cap to Jacob Oram, a 6ft 6in allrounder. In 2020, it was 6ft 8in Kyle Jamieson who made his debut in the series.

  • Oram picked up 11 wickets at an average of 11.81 in the series and scored unbeaten 26 runs in the fourth innings of the second Test to complete the whitewash. Oram had the second-best bowling average among New Zealand bowlers in the series after Daryl Tuffey, who was the Player of the Series.

  • Jamieson took nine wickets at 16.33 and played two crucial knocks of 44 and 49 in the first innings of the two Tests. He finished with the second-best bowling average among his team-mates after Tim Southee, who was the Player of the Series this time.