The Indian cricket team showcased an extraordinary display of aggressive Test cricket on day four of the second Test against West Indies at Port of Spain, re-writing the record books and adopting a style that seemed to draw inspiration from England’s ‘Bazball’ school of cricket. Led by skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, India demonstrated what could be termed as the first exhibition of ‘Dravball’ – a style emphasizing positive and attacking gameplay with a focus on achieving clear results.
In an incredible second innings, the Indian team switched into white-ball cricket mode, piling up a remarkable 181 runs in just 24 overs before declaring the innings. This blistering run-rate of 7.54 surpassed the previous Test record set by Australia in 2017, when they scored 241/2 in 32 overs against Pakistan, achieving a run-rate of 7.53.
Notably, India also etched their name in history by smashing the fastest team hundred in Test cricket. The opening partnership between Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal set the tone for India’s aggressive approach, putting on 98 runs in a mere 11.5 overs. Following Rohit’s dismissal, India reached the 100-run mark in just 12.2 overs (total of 74 balls), breaking Sri Lanka’s 22-year-old record during the Asian Test Championship in 2001 when they reached the milestone in 13.2 overs (80 balls) against Bangladesh.
Mumbai stars Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma stood out as the most attacking players during this innings. Rohit Sharma, adopting his T20I avatar, registered the fastest half-century of his career, reaching the milestone in just 35 balls. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan matched the aggression, achieving his half-century in a blazing 33 balls – the second-fastest fifty by an Indian wicketkeeper, only behind Rishabh Pant’s record of 28 balls.
At the time of declaration, Ishan Kishan remained unbeaten on 52 runs from 34 balls, comprising four boundaries and two sixes, at a remarkable strike rate of 152.94. This feat placed him in the fourth-highest strike rate category for an Indian player in a Test inning of a minimum of 50 runs. The top spot in this category is held by legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, who smashed 89 runs in just 55 balls against England in 1982 at Lord’s.
Among designated wicketkeepers, Ishan Kishan’s innings ranked as the third-fastest of all time in Tests in terms of strike rate. Australia’s Adam Gilchrist leads this record with his 59-ball 102* against England at Perth in 2006/07, where he scored at an astonishing strike rate of 172.88. Rishabh Pant follows closely, achieving a strike rate of 161.29 during his 31-ball 50 against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru in 2022.
The Indian cricket team’s bold and attacking approach has certainly left a lasting impression on the cricketing world, signaling a departure from conventional Test cricket tactics. As they continue to push the boundaries and challenge traditional norms, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await more exciting displays of ‘Dravball’ in the future.