The Indian tail also wags

Data as of 14 Oct 2019:

Having seen how batsmen of no 8 and below have fared against India, we see how India’s tailend batsmen have done in Tests:

Innings of 90 and above by Indian batsmen at No 8 and below:

Indian tail innings

Dhoni and Ashwin are among the main contributors here. It is often forgotten that Saha has scored centuries (also two more while batting at 7 or higher).

There are relatively few newcomers here. RH Shodhan is the only debutant here, while Ratra, Ashwin and Pandya made their centuries at the start of their career. J Yadav soon dropped out of the Test reckoning. Kumble and Harbhajan made their centuries at a late stage of their careers.

It should be noted that Kapil usually batted at 7 or higher.

We now look at averages of those batting at 8 and below, subject to a minimum of 10 innings:

India tail averages

Dhoni expectedly has the highest average, while Saha is surprisingly second and Prabhakar third. Prabhakar also played many of his matches higher in the order.

Sandhu seems to have been better as a batsman than a bowler during his brief career. He still holds the record of the highest score by a debutant (71) at no 9.

Dhoni, Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan all have two centuries here. The most 50+ scores are by Kapil (15), Harbhajan (11) and Jadeja (10). Harbhajan did make rapid progress as a batsman since his debut.

Kumble has over 2000 runs here, while Kapil and several others have over a thousand. Saha, Ashwin and Jadeja are among the current players here.

Finally we look at century partnerships for the 8th to 10th wicket:

Indian tail partnerships

There are some large partnerships here, some of which were in a losing cause (such as the one between Azhar and Kumble). One which was significant was the 122 by Prasanna and Sardesai, which helped India to impose the follow-on on the West Indies and gain a psychological advantage which lasted till the end of the series.

The partnership between Tendulkar (248*) and Zaheer Khan (75) was then the record for the 10th wicket, until Root and Anderson overtook it against India. Both Tendulkar and Zaheer made their highest scores here. Another useful 10th-wicket partnership was the one between B Kumar and Shami, in which both scored fifties.