India’s success Mantra : Road to Championship Glory
Now its official, India has been crowned as the Undisputed Champions in ODI Cricket. India are the current World Cup Champions, ICC Champions Trophy winners and the number 1 team in ODI’s. The journey to the top has not been a smooth one. There were many chaos back home in India. The selectors were criticized on their decisions to drop senior players and inject young and inexperienced players into the team. The skipper were under severe pressure among the media regarding the Spot Fixing Scandal. Before leaving for the Champions Trophy, media questioned Dhoni on the Spot Fixing controversy. He remained silent during the final Press Conference and just quoted “I will speak at the right time.” And 3 weeks later, he prevailed in doing so. He silenced the critics by bringing home the ICC Champions Trophy. Lets take a look at India’s success Mantra and the factors that helped the Men in Blue to conquer the World.
India’s success Mantra
First and foremost, India’s success Mantra was simple: Keep Calm under Pressure and you will succeed in the long run. Amidst controversy back home, the Indian team in England decided to just focus on their game rather than concentrating on unnecessary issues that led to their downfall in 2009 and 2010 T20 World Cups.
The team opted for a Young and relatively Inexperienced squad ahead of some experienced campaigners like Gambhir, Sehwag, Zaheer, Harbhajan Singh and the man who won us the 2011 WC, Yuvraj Singh. The team was well marshaled by their skipper MS Dhoni who is the senior-most player in the side be it the number of matches played or the age. One can say that at present, India has the team to become a dominant force in Cricket.
The credit must be extended to the Indian selection committee led by Sandeep Patil that has been unafraid of taking a few tough decisions. The important thing is that the selectors had faith in their skipper and trusted the players’ ability.This young team had the hunger to do well and that paid off.
Penultimately, the skipper should also be thanked for keeping the things so simple. When India came out to defend 129 in the finals, he told his teammates “Let us first get rid of the feeling that it is a 50-over format. It is a 20-over game. We have seen in IPL that 130-runs can be very difficult to achieve.” He also asked his teammates not to look for the rain to act a saviour. “God is not coming to save us, If you want to win this trophy we will have to fight it out. We are the number one-ranked side so let us show it that they will have to fight for these 130-odd runs. So let us not look for any outside help.”
Lastly, India’s success Mantra is their Fielding that stood out throughout the tournament. It is evident that India have improved a lot over the last one year. Often The Indian fielding standards were criticized by both the media and their skipper. In the Tour of Australia in early 2012, Dhoni even went on to say that the team has many “Slow Fielders”. But there was a complete turnaround in a matter of just 15 months. The fielding alone would have saved almost 100 runs in the tournament. The Indians threw themselves to stop the ball and save some runs. The slowest fielder in the team, Ashwin has been a revelation in the Slip Cordon. Dhoni praised India’s development in the field. With the likes of Kohli, Raina, Rohit, Shikhar, Karthick and Jadeja in the Playing XI, no wonder India’s fielding stood out in the tournament. Indian fielding has raised a new ray of hope for the future.
India’s success Mantra- The Architects behind the Triumph
Be it Karthick’s one man show in the Warm up matches or Virat’s fighting knock in the finals, each and every individual in the team contributed towards the team’s success. Lets take a look at the architects behind India’s Victory.
Shikhar Dhawan, the macho man was the Player of the Tournament. The leading run scorer of the tournament has been vital cog-wheel in India’s success. He has scored over 350 runs in 5 outings at an average of 90.75 runs per innings with a healthy strike-rate of 101.31. He was consistent throughout the tournament. He also shared some match-winning partnerships with Rohit Sharma. He along with Sharma was instrumental in building a solid platform for the batsmen to follow. He later dedicated his Golden Bat award to the victims of Uttrakhand Calamity.
If Shikhar Dhawan topped the batting charts, his fellow macho man Ravindra Jadeja owned the bowling charts. He was the leading wicket taker in the tournament with a tally of 12 wickets under his belt at an average of 12.83 per wicket with a scintillating economy of 3.75. He also demonstrated his worth with the bat when he was needed to so by scoring 80 runs in 2 innings at a brisk strike-rate of 148.14. He also proved his mettle in the field by saving some crucial runs.
Rohit Sharma was an uncertainty in the middle order after his consistent failures. But once he was promoted to open the innings, there was no turning back for him as he utilised the opportunity with both hands. But he fails to cash in on the hardwork he put in to see-off the new ball. That was the difference between him and his opening partner Dhawan. Rohit occupies the fifth spot in the leading run scorers list with a total of 177 runs in 5 innings at an average of 35.40 per innings with a decent strike rate of 77. He along with Dhawan provided a solid partnership at the top of the order that proved to be the platform for the batsmen to follow. Rohit was also exceptional on the field.
If the job of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma was to give a solid start at the top with the bat, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was responsible for providing some crucial breakthroughs with the new ball. He succeeded by picking wickets with the new ball consistently. Unlike Jadeja and Ishant, he took just 6 wickets at an average of 22.83. But the trait that stood out is his economy of 3.90 in the tournament where he bowled most of his overs in field restriction overs. He swung the ball both ways and created doubts in batsmen’s mind before sending them back to the pavilion. In particular, he was exceptional against left-handers.
Ishant Sharma was the unsung hero in the Champions Trophy. He was not as economical as Kumar but picked up wickets at regular intervals. He picked up 10 wickets at an average of 21.80 per wicket with an economy of 5.73. He exploited the conditions well against Sri Lanka and took India into the finals. Even though he went for runs in the finals, he tilted the match towards India’s favour by dismissing both Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara in successive balls at a stage where they threatened to take the game away from India. He consistently provided crucial breakthrough for the team.
With India winning all the ICC tournaments under MS Dhoni, the team is expected to carry on India’s Success Formula in the future to vanquish some new heights.