For Indian cricket, this year has been nothing short of a voyage, there was a dream, there were elements, there was a story, there were characters, there was a crescendo, and yes, there was heartbreak. Shattered, plucked away, strewn away – there was a World Cup loss. There was a historic triumph against Australia in Australia – up and about, hope in the eye, purpose in the stride. These two were the two central characters, these two had two contrasting images, these two encapsulated, cricket, life, Indian psyche and everything else in between.
For Team India and for their coach, winning an ICC title is like a ‘bloody obsession’ and when Shastri thunders, you are bound to sit up and note it down – it will either be true and it will be all be a facade, but well, with this Indian team under Kohli and Shastri keep marching on, they have kept up the pace, have kept up the intensity. They have picked up the pieces of a shattered dream, for there was a dream, and it is better than having no dream at all.
India beat Australia in Australia
India beat Australia in Australia ( Getty Images )
So, before we talk about that dream and that heartbreak, we talk about the biggest talking point in world cricket – the resurgence, the dominance, the match-winners, the Indian pace attack. India’s home season comprised 5 matches and it was short, it was dominating. Across these five matches, India’s three spinners took 37 wickets between them and the fast bowlers bagged 59, that too in the absence of strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah. When history was made at the Eden Gardens, when the pacers had the pink ball under their control they took all the wickets – which is also a first at home. No one is debating about the best bowling attack now. So, Shastri can now chase that ‘bloody obsession’, he has a bloody good pace attack to dominate everywhere.
It has been a year of Rohit Sharma, it will be forever remembered as a synonym for prolificness. You know you have ticked all the right boxes when your biggest thrill comes when you have peeled off a century in Test cricket as an opener and this in many ways overshadows your performance in the World Cup. He has repaid the faith shown in him with big runs in an unfamiliar role in long-form cricket.