With team India’s yesterday’s win against Australia in the fifth and final ODI of the series, India went on to seal the series 4-1 and with that also cement their place at the top of the International ODI rankings. The recent demolition of West Indies, Sri Lanka and now the mighty Australia have long put behind the turmoil the Indian side found themselves in after their defeat to Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy.
Facing immense backlash after a disappointing performance against Pakistan, the Indian team seemed to have hit an all time low with the Kumble-Kohli saga making things even worse. Appointed coach under controversial circumstances, Ravi Shastri has now silenced all his critics as India defeated the Australians comfortably, dominating in all three formats of the game, throughout the series.
Despite having an impeccable record, Anil Kumble was removed as the head coach of the Indian team after he fell apart with Captain Virat Kohli during the Champions Trophy. The move by BCCI resulted in a lot of negative publicity for the team, with local and international media houses blasting the BCCI’s decision to side with Kohli.
With Kohli clearly interested in bringing Shastri on board as the head coach, the selection process was seen as a shambles. To add more to it, former opener Virender Sehwag recently came out in public to claim that he was not picked as the chief coach of the Men in Blues because he lacked patronage from the powers that be in the Indian cricket’s governing body.
Having had a good relationship with the board and having lead India to a successful period when he was the team director, the BCCI put their faith in Shastri as they appointed him as the coach. And now combining with Kohli, the strong bond between the two has ensured that together they have built a strong, young and talented side that has been dominating world cricket for the past four months.
Also, the emergence of young players like Kuldeep Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane and Axar Patel paired with the tactical nuance of Shastri and Kohli has seen India rapidly climb the ladder to the top of the international rankings.
Yesterday’s win against Australia by 7 wickets was another powerhouse performance by India. Dominating with the ball to restrict the Aussie batting line-up to 242, India dominated with the bat too as they sailed to victory. The win showed that India have come a long way from the champions trophy and are in perfect hands under Shastri and Kohli who will surely take them to even greater heights.
By Gautam Kapoor