Even though India crashed out of the world cup in the semifinals at the hands of hosts Australia, let us see how the road ahead looks for the Men in Blue. When the Indian team started their world cup campaign, not many fancied them to register such emphatic wins and outplay every opposition in every department. A loss in the semis stopped the Indian juggernaut and for obvious reasons upset the common Indian fan, but in the long run this side doesn’t require many chopping and changes in the long run.
With MS Dhoni at the helm of affairs in limited overs cricket, India have a proven leader to guide them through the tough assignments lined up for the next two years along with letting Virat Kohli slip in his role as the Test skipper by sharing the nuances of the job. The World T20 in 2016 is to be played in India and that could be another turning point in regard to how Indian cricket shapes up for the next 4-5 years. Going by past trends if selectors favor Kohli to lead the team in England for 2019 World cup, then the World T20 could well be an inflection point after which we can see Virat Kohli leading across all formats, because if Dhoni doesn’t to lead India in 2019 then he would like his successor to have a considerable time to shape up the team. But during these 4 months down under, there have been instances which show that Kohli lets his emotions get the better of him. Kohli must work on this aspect and has the opportunity to redeem himself till the time arrives for even bigger responsibilities. The test series at home against formidable oppositions like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka will be a litmus test for Kohli and the Indian team.
One must not forget that this side was beaten comprehensively during the lead up to the mega event but it performed exceedingly well as the tournament progressed. Taking a look at the batting line up, one can draw confidence as most of the players have 4-5 years of international experience and the bunch has the traits to let it become the envy of the world. The Indian bowling was a revelation during the cup, Shami, Umesh and Mohit all bowled with a purpose and a plan, and their performance is the biggest positive of the campaign. For India to continue their march towards the top, the fitness of their pacers is the key. Talking of spinners, Ashwin has rediscovered his guile and is at the top of his game, but Jadeja needs to go back to domestic circuit and find his form back. The fielding has evolved into a world class unit and getting better with every match. With average age of the squad in mid 20s the prospect of India’s surge towards reclaiming top spot in tests and ODIs look bright.
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