Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 | Last Update : 07:12 PM IST
The opportunity to prepare the batsmen in English conditions next summer on a long tour would be ideal preparation for the World Cup in 2019.
Team India has worked its way back to the cusp of greatness once again. The defeat against Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy appears to be a distant memory now as Virat Kohli’s men have subsequently climbed the rungs to the top of the ODI rankings and are now the leaders in two formats of three in cricket. Having beaten the Australians 3-0 and taken an unassailable lead in the series at home even without having to avail the services of a couple of its top spin bowling utility players in Jadeja and Ashwin, Team India seems to have found a formula to utilise the best resources available. Having won nine ODIs on the trot between June and now, besides a T20 international, Kohli’s men might wish the World Cup would come sooner. Sustaining the performances and fixing all the slots available are the challenges ahead.
The most pleasing aspect of the victories was the team came through several situations in which the opposition was all set to dominate. Also, the team has discovered the match-winning abilities of a major talent in Hardik Pandya, who has shown admirable adaptability in different game situations. His rise from the relative cricketing obscurity of Baroda via the Mumbai Indians in the IPL is another major cricketing success story. The pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have excelled with the new balls (they use one at each end in ODIs) as well as in the end overs. The wiles of the Chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, have enhanced the capabilities of the team. The opportunity to prepare the batsmen in English conditions next summer on a long tour would be ideal preparation for the World Cup in 2019. Kohli and his team are on cloud nine at the moment.