Chasing in cricket is always tough in any format, and it is more so in Tests. With the game played over 5 days, the surface endures a lot of wear and tear by the time a side gets to bat last.
This natural deterioration of the pitch makes it that much more difficult for the chasing team to be comfortable with any sort of target put forth in front of them. This holds particularly true when it comes to the sub-continent conditions where spin takes centre stage early in the piece and it becomes difficult for the side to bat, especially for the visiting sides.
Though there are instances where the pitch gets better as the game progresses, 4th innings chases are generally considered the most challenging. India is by far one of the toughest places for a visiting side to conquer, and this is because of the quality of the spinners and the nature of the surfaces.
Yet, some teams have played exceedingly well in the 4th innings of a Test. Here are the top 10 highest 4th innings totals posted by visiting teams in India in Tests.
Highest 4th Innings Total by a Visiting Team in India
|2 Dec 2017
|2 Feb 2024
|25 Nov 1987
|8 Oct 2003
|13 Jan 1967
|18 Nov 1994
|29 Oct 1999
|10 Oct 1999
|9 Feb 2017
|18 Dec 2005
24: Over 24 times, visiting teams have scored 200 or more in the 4th innings of a Test match in India. Only twice has it come in a winning cause. There have been over 90 instances of an away team making at least a single run in the last inning in India.
276 is the highest target ever chased down in the fourth innings of a Test in India by a visiting team. This was achieved by the West Indies in Delhi way back in 1987. The only other instance of a team successfully chasing a target of 200 or more belongs to England, which chased down 208 at the same venue in 1972.
17: The number of times a visiting team has chased down a target successfully in India, and 9 of them are by an English side. The lowest successful target chased down was 16 by England in the 1977 Test at Eden Gardens.
41: Over 41 times, India has bowled out opponents while defending a target. The lowest target India defended on home soil is 107, as they bundled out the Aussies for a mere 93 at Wankhede in 2004, and 292 is the most an opposition scored in a losing cause in India.
299: No visiting team has crossed the 300-run mark while batting 4th in India, and the highest total posted is 299 by Sri Lanka in 2017 at Delhi in a game that ended in a draw. The only time 300 was threatened was by England in a recent Test at Vizag, where they made 292.