Making history: India's top Test run of form

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The Indian team, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, are currently on a 19-match unbeaten run in Test cricket and that ranks among the best of all time.

This is now India’s longest unbeaten streak in Test cricket, having bettered their previous best – 17 matches between 1985 and 1987 – during the Test series against England.

Only three teams – West Indies, England and Australia (twice) – have gone more matches unbeaten in Test cricket.

West Indies are on top of the list, having gone 27 matches unbeaten from January 1982 to December 1984.

England, on the other hand, did not lose even once in 26 Tests between June 1968 and August 1971.

Australia went 25 matches unbeaten between March 1946 and February 1951, which included Don Bradman’s Invincibles who visited England in 1948. Under Ricky Ponting’s captaincy, Australia went unbeaten for 22 Tests after their Ashes loss in 2005.

With four Test matches lined up against Australia at home, India will be confident of climbing further up the list in the near future.

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India on verge of qualifying for ICC Women's World Cup

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Mithali Raj with her Player of the Match award.

Mona Meshram and captain Mithali Raj both scored half-centuries as India registered their fifth successive win at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier at the P Sara Oval, Colombo on Wednesday.

Taking on South Africa, the Indian team were put into bat first having lost the toss. South Africa struck early, Deepti Sharma falling for just nine before Meshram and Raj put on a 96-run partnership for the second wicket.

Some lower order contributions from Veda Krishnamurthy, Devika Vaidya and Shikha Pandey helped India past the 200-run mark, eventually ending their innings on 205-8 from 50 overs.

In response, South Africa were reduced to 8-2 after losing both their openers early on. Trisha Chetty scored a half-century for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough as they were bowled out for 156.

Fast bowler Shikha Pandey was the pick of the India bowlers, taking 4-34. Left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht was also impressive in her spell of 3-22.

With this win, India now has six points with two games still to play in the Super Six stage, which is likely to be enough for them to make it into the top four by the end of the round.

The top four teams at the end of the Super Six stage qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup to be held in England in June and July this year.

BRIEF SCORES

India 205-8, 50 overs [Raj 64, Meshram 55, Marizanne Kapp 2-23] beat South Africa 156 all out, 46.4 overs [Chetty 52, Pandey 4-34, Bisht 3-22] by 49 runs.

Player of the Match – Mithali Raj

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Hussey confident Starc will test Kohli

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Can Starc stop Kohli?

Former Australia international Michael Hussey feels fast bowler Mitchell Starc will be able to challenge Indian captain Virat Kohli in the upcoming Test series between the two sides.

Kohli has been in incredible form recently, having scored four double centuries in his last four Test series. Just last week, the 28-year-old scored 204 against Bangladesh, leading India to a big win.

Starc, on the other hand, was by far Australia’s best bowler on their previous tour to the sub-continent. The left-arm pacer took 24 wickets in three matches at an average of 15.16 in a series that the Aussies lost 3-0.

“I think Starc is a brilliant bowler for the sub-continental conditions. He bowls at a genuine pace, can swing the new ball and is an excellent exponent of reverse swing,” said Hussey.

“I am sure he will challenge Kohli throughout the series. It will, however, take a collective effort to stop Kohli, who has been phenomenal of late.”

Kohli and Starc should know each other well as they play for the same franchise – Royal Challengers Bangalore – in the Indian Premier League.

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