By virtue of winning the series against Australia, India regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and consequently managed to complete the full set of Test trophies. Having emerged victorious in each of the last respective series that they played against every one of their nine Test opponents, they now hold all nine cups at the same time.
While three of those victories obtained away from home (in West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe), the other six came on Indian soil. Since the turn of the millennium, when Bangladesh joined the Test fold, only Australia (twice) and South Africa have managed to complete the full set of Test trophies before India.
The Aussies held all nine Test trophies at the same time when they conquered the ‘Final Frontier’ in 2004. Under Adam Gilchrist’s stand-in captaincy, they sealed a famous 2-1 series victory in India to acquire the set. Even as the 2005 away Ashes saw them concede one of those (1-2 defeat) to their arch-rivals England, they regained their collection by drubbing Andrew Flintoff’s side 5-0 in the 2006/07 home series.
On the other hand, South Africa were able to hold on to all nine Test trophies at the same time when they defeated Australia (1-0) away from home in the 2012 series. Unlike India and Australia, the Proteas’ collection included drawn series against India (2010/11 at home) and Pakistan (2010 in UAE). However, they had won the preceding result-producing series against both teams (2-1 versus India in 2006/07 at home and 1-0 versus Pakistan in 2007 away) and hence retained the respective cups.
India’s nine trophies include the 2007 one against Pakistan (1-0) and 2005 one against Zimbabwe (2-0). Due to political reasons, the two Asian powerhouses have not met each other in Tests since. Meanwhile, financial reasons and an unbalanced Future Tours Program (FTP) have resulted in a lack of recent fixtures for India against Zimbabwe.
As a result, India won two of the nine cups under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly and current head coach Anil Kumble. However, the other seven trophies have all come under the leadership of Virat Kohli (with Ajinkya Rahane sharing duties in the Australia series).
After taking over the captaincy from MS Dhoni, Kohli led India to series victories against Sri Lanka away (2-1), South Africa home (3-0) and West Indies away (2-0). The 2016/17 home season saw them defeat New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh (1-0) and finally Australia (2-1) to complete the entire set.
Currently ranked number one in the rankings, the prestigious Test mace should be the icing on their cake. India have been quite impressive in recent times and thus managed to open up a sizeable lead at the top of the table. The next challenge will see them seeking to defend their crown during tougher trips away from home.
Here’s how India were able to complete the full set of Test trophies.
|#||Indian Captain||Opponent||Venue||Number of Tests||Series Score line||Player of the Series||Year|
|1||Sourav Ganguly||Zimbabwe||Away||2||2-0||Irfan Pathan||2005|
|2||Anil Kumble||Pakistan||Home||3||1-0||Sourav Ganguly||2007|
|3||Virat Kohli||Sri Lanka||Away||3||2-1||Ravichandran Ashwin||2015|
|4||Virat Kohli||South Africa||Home||4||3-0||Ravichandran Ashwin||2015|
|5||Virat Kohli||West Indies||Away||4||2-0||Ravichandran Ashwin||2016|
|6||Virat Kohli||New Zealand||Home||3||3-0||Ravichandran Ashwin||2016|
|7||Virat Kohli||England||Home||5||4-0||Virat Kohli||2016|
|8||Virat Kohli||Bangladesh||Home||1||1-0||Virat Kohli||2017|
|9||Virat Kohli/Ajinkya Rahane||Australia||Home||4||2-1||Ravindra Jadeja||2017|