Amit Mishra's match haul of seven wickets is the third-highest by an Indian on debut © AFP
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.
Biggest difference between Australian and opposition run-rates since 1990
Opposition Run-rate Aus run-rate Difference Venue & year
India 3.98 2.32 1.66 Kolkata, 1998
India 4.03 2.78 1.25 Mohali, 2008
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.
Singles and dot balls for both teams
Team Total balls faced Singles Percentage Dot balls Percentage
India 1164 300 25.77 737 63.31
Australia 998 113 11.32 799 80.06
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.
Biggest difference between Australian and opposition runs per wicket since 1990
Opposition Runs per wkt Aus runs per wkt Difference Venue & year
India 126.60 20.70 105.90 Kolkata, 1998
India 101.78 51.94 49.84 Sydney, 2004
South Africa 86.00 48.86 37.14 Melbourne, 1993
India 60.23 23.15 37.08 Mohali, 2008
West Indies 60.00 29.80 30.20 Georgetown, 1991

More stats

  • 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