Virat Kohli’s men have been in stunning form over the last one year. The utter dominance in the home conditions has been a treat for the Indian cricket fans. The recent win against Bangladesh extended India’s impressive unbeaten run in test matches under Kohli to 19.
Virat Kohli has brought the aggression back in the Indian team, especially in the longer format of the game, which was missing ever since Sourav Ganguly was relieved of his captaincy duties. Under Kohli, team India doesn’t give an inch of breathing space to the opponents. This attitude has played a huge role behind their dominance over the last 12 months.
With a crucial series against Australia approaching, it is vital that the team stays focused and puts in another dominant performance. If the series turns out to be another success for India, it will surely be a huge step towards an era of utter dominance, especially at home.
Batting order looks impeccable
India’s batting order looks stronger than ever. Despite it looking stable, there is no single player who can take his place for granted, even experienced batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. The competition for places is very high. It is the reason why it is motivating all the batsmen to grab their chances with both hands and perform consistently. When Karun Nair, a player who scored a triple hundred isn’t selected in the playing XI the very next game, you can imagine the number of options Kohli has at his disposal.
One of India’s key reasons for success against England was the contributions from the lower order. R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav’s contributions as all-rounders has been vital. Their consistency is something that the team can rely on, and this is a huge factor for any team that aims of becoming the best.
The limited overs side is also full of talented power hitters. The experience of Yuvraj Singh and M.S. Dhoni in the ODIs and key contributions from a seasoned professional like Suresh Raina has given India’s batting order a lot of stability. Kedar Jadhav has been a revelation in the past few months. His understanding of the situation and execution of the game-plan is of a very high standard.
Spin department looks secure but pacers yet to be tested
India have arguably the two best spinners in the world. Ashwin has been in superb form. He recently became the fastest player to reach 250 test match wickets. It speaks volumes of his contribution to the recent success of the team. His partner in crime, Jadeja has also been nothing short of outstanding. Together they’ve made life hell for the batsmen on Indian conditions. With more options like Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra and the recently discovered gem, Yuzvendra Chahal, the spin department looks secure.
But when India tour abroad it’ll be unreasonable to expect Ashwin and Jadeja to pick majority of the wickets. They’ll need the likes Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to step up and be counted. In the home matches, Kohli doesn’t bowl them for longer spells. But he would need all the help he can get from the pace department when India tour places like Australia, South Africa, England and New Zealand.
Yadav and Shami are two bowlers who have impressed fans and pundits with their efforts recently, but if at all they do step up when needed remains to be seen.
How far is the era of Invincibility?
When we talk of invincibility in modern day cricket, there is only one team that comes to mind, the Australian team under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting. They dominated not just matches at home but also looked resolute away from it. They had champion batsmen, champion bowlers, but what made them almost unbeatable was personalities in the dressing room. That team was full of leaders on the pitch. The likes Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, etc. were dominating personalities who commanded respect. This was the key to their success.
This Indian team is very young and has a long way to go. They are surely showing signs of achieving great feats in the future. These players need to train very hard to make sure that they are good enough to perform in any type of conditions, home or abroad. But to be at the same level as that Australian team, they need to grow as personalities as well. Whether that happens or not in the future is something we cannot predict.
Australia will be difficult opponents. Although they are miles away from what they were in the past, it’s still going to be a huge challenge for Kohli’s men. The Aussies are going to come hard at India. The spinners definitely give India the advantage, but the Australians always find a way to get into their opponent’s heads. The outcome of this series and upcoming Champions Trophy will determine what this team is capable of achieving in the coming years.
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