Perth Test defeat equals India’s worst ever year, with seven losses
Virat Kohli has overseen seven Test losses in 2018. ©AFP

A crushing 146-run loss to hosts Australia on Tuesday in Perth has put Virat Kohli’s top-ranked India at level with the existing Indian record for most Test losses in a calendar year.

The loss on day five at Optus Stadium was India’s seventh of 2018, matching the number of losses that Indian teams led by Vinoo Mankad, Pankaj Roy and Gulabrai Ramchand suffered in 1959 and by Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev in 1983.

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The Perth loss took Kohli’s team past the mark of six losses in 2014, which spanned four losses in England and one in Australia under MS Dhoni and one under Kohli, who led India in the Adelaide Test when Dhoni was injured.

In 1959, India lost five Tests in England and one each to West Indies in Chennai and Australia in Delhi. In 1983, India were defeated in successive Tests in Pakistan and then blanked 0-5 in the West Indies, revenge for their upset win over the former one-day champions in the Prudential World Cup that summer.

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This year, Kohli’s team lost 1-2 in South Africa, 1-4 in England and now to Australia in Perth. Their record for the year now stands at six wins and seven losses from 13 Tests.

One Test remains, the Boxing Day fixture at the MCG from December 26.

The Perth defeat, against an Australian side whose last Test win came in March and which came into this game with five losses in its last six Tests, was a throwback to the 2000s, when India surrendered the initiative immediately after taking the lead overseas. In Zimbabwe in 2001, the West Indies in 2002, Australia the following year, Pakistan in 2004 and South Africa in 2006, India squandered 1-0 advantages to either lose or draw series, the 2-1 victory across the border in the Pakistan the sole instance when they pegged back home resurgence successfully.