Kolkata: This team looks dangerous! This team looks invincible! And this team has respect for its opponents but when it comes to business, Virat Kohli’s boys care for none. The victory in the first ODI against England in Pune ushers in a new era in Indian cricket. It’s the era of Kohli and his team!
Chasing 351 wasn’t an easy task, but India despite losing four valuable wickets never gave up. It needed the skipper and local boy Kedar Jadhav to join hands and steer India to the winning spot. Now, why do we call this team invincible?
If you have seen the match today, you jolly well know that from some 63 for 4 after 11.5 overs, it was no easy job for Jadhav and Kohli to take India to 263 for 5 after 36.2 overs when the Indian captain departed with a score of 122 off 105 deliveries. And just spare a thought for the partnership between Kohli and Jadhav (120 off 76 balls). Both looked unperturbed and toyed with the English bowling attack. It was then left to Hardik Pandya (40 0ff 37 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin (15 off 10 balls) to take India home. But the momentum was set by Kohli and Jadhav whose partnership turned things around for India.
Good news for the fans of Indian cricket! The bench strength is strong enough and even in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane and dismal performances from Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, Team India has the tenacity to fight come what may. Kudos to this team, which shows great character and never buckles under pressure. The win against England may have come on the home soil and India has chased a bigger target in the past, but the way Kohli’s team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat only vindicates the fact that Team India is not short of talent.
Hard core critics might not be ready to praise the current Indian team, they could look for loopholes and get critical, but even if Team India loses the ongoing ODI series, this victory in Pune signals that here is a team which knows how to handle pressure. And with the Champions Trophy coming up in June, the rest of the world should stand up and take a note of the Kohli era that exhibits a never-say-die-attitude which opens a new chapter in Indian cricket. And it’s the attitude that stands the team apart. This victory also reminds us of the NatWest Trophy triumph on July 13, 2002 at Lord’s under Sourav Ganguly when the then Indian captain waved his India jersey to announce to the world that Team India had arrived. Kohli’s team too signalled the arrival of a new Team India on Sunday, that can take on the world.
Yes, Pakistan has beaten Australia in the second ODI in Melbourne on Sunday. Congratulations to the Pakistan side. A great Sunday for two teams in the sub-continent! Now, we look forward to Pakistan winning the ODI series Down Under and India getting the better of England in the three-match series.
On a positive note, if both India and Pakistan can maintain the winning run, then they send a strong message to their opponents: Beware of us! But from India’s point of view, here is a team which doesn’t shirk responsibilities no matter how inclement the circumstances are.
Yes, a new era in Indian cricket has started and it’s time to welcome it!