Ashwin, Ojha create an unprecedented feat of three consecutive twin bowling hundreds at home

This is the first time two Indian spinners have combined to notch up three pairs of bowling hundreds in successive Test matches at home in the 79-year history of Test cricket in India © PTI

Amidst the abject surrender to England, Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha have achieved the unique feat of three consecutive twin bowling centuries. Arunabha Sengupta looks at records to find that this is a first by Indian spinners bowling at home.


 
In the midst of the despair of defeats, Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha have collaborated to etch their names in indelible, if somewhat dubious, characters in the glorious annals of Indian spin tradition. They have also set themselves up for an unbeatable record – provided they can carry on bowling in the same vein as they have done in the series till now.
 
This is the first time two Indian spinners have combined to notch up three pairs of bowling hundreds in successive Test matches at home in the 79-year history of Test cricket in India.
 
A pair of centuries against the name of spinners in the bowling analysis is not a rare feat as bowlers have often struggled against excellent visiting batsmen, or when wickets have not been that easy to obtain.
 
The first instance took place as far back as 1956 in Mumbai, when Jasu Patel, Vinoo Mankad and Subhash Gupte all registered hundreds while some tall scores were obtained by Neil Harvey, Jim Burke and Peter Burge.
 
Gupte and Mankad repeated the feat in 1959 against the rampaging John Holt, Joe Solomon and Collie Smith in Delhi.
 
Down the years, this has been repeated often enough – as many as 46 times. Various combinations of the famous spin quartet of the sixties and seventies have achieved it, followed by the likes of Shivlal Yadav and Dilip Doshi, Maninder Singh with Ravi Shastri and others. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, too, did it in on as many as 10 occasions, but generally they did have plenty to show in the wickets column for their efforts. Besides, never had the dubious twin tons been made with this amazing regularity.
 
Ashwin and Ojha have collaborated in five pairs of centuries in home Tests so far, the earlier twin hundreds coming against West Indies last year at Kolkata and Mumbai.

Hat-trick of twin centuries by Ashwin and Ojha

Bowler O M R W Venue Opposition Date
PP Ojha 55 16 120 4 Ahmedabad England Nov 15, 2012
R Ashwin 43 9 111 1
R Ashwin 42.3 6 145 2 Mumbai England Nov 23, 2012
PP Ojha 40 6 143 5
R Ashwin 52.3 9 183 3 Kolkata England Dec 5, 2012
PP Ojha 52 10 142 4

 
 If the current spin twins can carry on their ‘good’ work in the remaining Test, they will create the unbeatable record of bowling centuries in every match of a series.
 
With five such dubious effort in the eight Tests they have bowled together at home so far, the two seem well and truly on the way to the landmark.
 
Given below is the list of all the twin centuries achieved by Indian spinners at home:

Twin bowling centuries by Indian spinners at home

Venue Opposition Start Spinner O M R W
Mumbai (BS) Australia Oct 26, 56 JM Patel 39 10 111 2
SP Gupte 38 13 115 3
MH Mankad 46 9 118 1
Delhi West Indies Feb 6, 59 MH Mankad 55 12 167 0
SP Gupte 60 16 144 0
Kanpur England Feb 15, 64 BP Gupte 40 9 115 1
RG Nadkarni 57 22 121 2
Mumbai (BS) West Indies Dec 13,66 BS Chandrasekhar 61.5 17 157 7
S Venkataraghavan 52 17 120 2
Chennai West Indies Jan 13, 67 BS Chandrasekhar 46 15 130 4
EAS Prasanna 41 11 118 2
EAS Prasanna 37 9 106 3
Mumbai (BS) England Feb 6, 73 BS Bedi 69 20 138 3
BS Chandrasekhar 46.1 8 135 5
Delhi West Indies Dec 11, 74 BS Bedi 53 13 146 1
EAS Prasanna 34 7 147 4
 
Mumbai
 
West Indies
 
Jan 23, 75
S Venkataraghavan 34 6 107 1
EAS Prasanna 45 5 149 0
BS Chandrasekhar 35 3 135 1
Kanpur New Zealand Nov 18, 76 BS Chandrasekhar 36.5 6 102 3
S Venkataraghavan 48 9 120 3
Mumbai West Indies Dec 1, 78 BS Bedi 36 7 102 1
BS Chandrasekhar 43 7 116 5
Chennai Australia Sep 11, 79 S Venkataraghavan 46 16 101 1
DR Doshi 43 10 103 6
Bangalore Pakistan Nov 21, 79 DR Doshi 52.3 20 102 3
NS Yadav 39 5 116 2
Chennai England Jan 13, 85 L Sivaramakrishnan 44 6 145 1
RJ Shastri 42 7 143 2
Kanpur England Jan 31, 85 G Sharma 60 16 115 3
L Sivaramakrishnan 54 11 133 0
Chennai Australia Sep 18, 86 Maninder Singh 39 8 135 0
NS Yadav 49.5 9 142 4
 
Chennai
 
Pakistan
 
Feb 3, 87
RJ Shastri 47 8 161 1
Maninder Singh 59 16 135 5
NS Yadav 41 3 127 1
 
Ahmedabad
 
Pakistan
 
Mar 4, 87
RJ Shastri 38 8 105 1
Maninder Singh 54 21 106 1
NS Yadav 48.3 13 109 4
Kolkata West Indies Dec 26, 87 Maninder Singh 36.5 5 111 1
Arshad Ayub 46 5 146 0
Nagpur West Indies Dec 1, 94 SLV Raju 50 11 127 5
A Kumble 51 15 131 3
Bangalore Australia Mar 25, 98 SLV Raju 37 7 118 1
Harbhajan Singh 23 1 112 2
Bangalore South Africa Mar 2, 00 A Kumble 68.4 15 143 6
M Kartik 50 11 123 3
Nagpur Zimbabwe Nov 25,00 Sarandeep Singh 49 10 136 4
SB Joshi 41 5 153 1
Kolkata West Indies Oct 30, 02 Harbhajan Singh 57.3 15 115 5
A Kumble 54 9 169 3
Mohali New Zealand Oct 16, 03 A Kumble 66 18 181 3
Harbhajan Singh 48 7 149 2
Bangalore Australia Oct 6, 04 Harbhajan Singh 41 7 146 5
A Kumble 39 4 157 3
Chennai Australia Oct 14, 04 Harbhajan Singh 46.5 12 108 3
A Kumble 47 8 133 6
Kanpur South Africa Nov 20,04 A Kumble 54 13 131 6
Harbhajan Singh 44.4 9 127 2
Bangalore Pakistan Mar 24, 05 A Kumble 46 8 159 0
Harbhajan Singh 51.5 9 152 6
Kolkata Pakistan Nov 30, 07 Harbhajan Singh 45.5 9 122 5
A Kumble 47 14 122 3
Bangalore Pakistan Dec 8, 07 A Kumble 44 12 116 1
Harbhajan Singh 38 7 131 2
Chennai South Africa Mar 26, 08 A Kumble 45 11 106 2
Harbhajan Singh 44.5 4 164 5
Bangalore Australia Oct 9, 08 Harbhajan Singh 41 8 103 1
A Kumble 43 6 129 0
Delhi Australia Oct 29, 08 A Kumble 43.3 9 112 3
A Mishra 47 12 144 2
 
Ahmedabad
 
Sri Lanka
 
Nov 16, 09
V Sehwag 40 9 104 5
Harbhajan Singh 48.4 4 189 2
A Mishra 58 6 203 1
Mumbai (BS) Sri Lanka Dec 2, 09 Harbhajan Singh 32 3 112 4
PP Ojha 23.4 1 101 3
Nagpur South Africa Feb 6, 10 Harbhajan Singh 46 1 166 2
A Mishra 53 5 140 0
Mohali Australia Oct 1, 10 PP Ojha 51.4 16 113 1
Harbhajan Singh 49 12 114 3
Bangalore Australia Oct 9, 10 PP Ojha 42 7 120 3
Harbhajan Singh 43 3 148 4
Ahmedabad New Zealand Nov 4, 10 PP Ojha 53 14 107 4
Harbhajan Singh 43 7 112 1
Hyderabad (Deccan) New Zealand Nov 12, 10 PP Ojha 47.3 14 137 2
Harbhajan Singh 38 3 117 1
Kolkata West Indies Nov 14, 11 PP Ojha 32 5 104 2
R Ashwin 40 4 137 2
Mumbai West Indies Nov 22, 11 PP Ojha 48 10 126 1
R Ashwin 52.1 6 156 5
Ahmedabad England Nov 15, 12 PP Ojha 55 16 120 4
R Ashwin 43 9 111 1
Mumbai England Nov 23, 12 R Ashwin 42.3 6 145 2
PP Ojha 40 6 143 5
Kolkata England Dec-12, 12 R Ashwin 52.3 9 183 3
PP Ojha 52 10 142 4

 
(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)