Let us look at all the important cogs in the wheel which propelled India into becoming one of the most dominant ODI teams in the previous decade.
India became a formidable force in one-day international cricket under the brilliant leadership and astute captaincy of ‘Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni and their fiery but passionate leader Virat Kohli. Winning their second World Cup title after a 28-year long gap in 2011, the ‘Men In Blue’ rose from strength to strength and became the most consistent team in the 50-over format all through the decade. While they continued to assert their dominance on home soil, they also pulled off some notable series wins against formidable opponents in their backyard.
After the retirements of cricket greats in Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan early in the decade, India benefited from a good succession plan in place which saw superstars like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Jasprit Bumrah churn out spectacular performances with a great deal of consistency to catapult the team into a world-beating unit.
A mouth-watering batting lineup with world class strokemakers, potent spin armoury and a revamped and bolstered pace attack shaped the team into a well rounded fighting force in all facets of the game. India were also arguably the best all-round fielding unit courtesy a regimented fitness and training regime envisaged, preached and followed to the hilt by all players under their supremely fit skipper Virat Kohli.
So let us look at all the important cogs in the wheel which propelled India into becoming one of the most dominant ODI teams in the previous decade
Rohit And Shikhar Provide The Initial Assault With Fireworks Up The Order
India’s ODI team had one of the most formidable and destructive opening pairs in Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who were instrumental in providing the opening burst with their free flowing and belligerent strokeplay. Rohit ‘Hitman’ Sharma was arguably the most destructive strokemaker when he got his eye in and had the penchant to score some daddy tons.The attacking left handed Dhawan was as prolific as his opening partner and raised the bar of his game at the ICC tournaments. Meanwhile, the lethal Delhi duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir enjoyed a lot of success opening the batting for 2-3 seasons in the early part of the decade.
‘King’ Kohli Excels At Fortfing An Innings And Chasing Down Targets
At the coveted No.3 slot, India had the services of their batting spearhead Virat Kohli, the most prolific and consistent run scorer of the decade. ‘King Kohli’ was the lynchpin of the middle order who excelled at the art of fortifying the innings and providing the late flourish. ‘Chase Master’ Kohli was at his clinical best while chasing down those herculean totals and taking India across the finishing line with superlative consistency..
Many Claimants At No.4 But ‘Yuvi’ Edges Out Others With His Match Winning Ability
The No.4 position was India’s achilles heel in the batting order and a pretty fluid slot after the retirement of Yuvraj Singh, one of India’s greatest match winners.There were many claimants to the spot and each batsman in their brief stint brought in their own distinct style to cement their position. While fine technicians like Ajinkya Rahane excelled at playing the sheet anchor’s role, the likes of KL Rahul and Ambati Rayadu were more of the aggressors who dished out some eye catching knocks.
Explosive Power hitters in Raina, Dhoni And Pandya Provide The Late Flourish
Suresh Raina would be India’s best bet at Number .5 for the period taken into consideration. The hard hitting southpaw engineered and pulled off many nerve wrecking chases with Yuvraj Singh and later on Dhoni.Raina had one too many power packed shots in his batting armoury to provide the timely acceleration and late flourish to the innings. Meanwhile, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer also exhibited some scintillating stroke play in their brief stints batting at 5.
‘Captain Cool’ Dhoni would come into bat at No 6., lending his silken touches in finishing off games.. One would lose count of how many matches ‘Mahi’ won for India with his trademark calm demeanor and ability to soak in pressure in big encounters. Dhoni’s impeccable knack of taking the game deep and then exploding at the right time made him India’s most dependable finisher. Meanwhile big hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Kedhar Jadhav and Yusuf Pathan played some absolute blinders to seal some nail biting finishes.
The Number 7. spot could be a toss up between two of the finest allrounders in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja.Skilled with the willow and red cherry, ‘Jaddu’ and Pandya lent balance and depth to the team. While the medium pacer Pandya would be the more suited choice on seam friendly decks, Jadeja would get the nod as a tweaker on turning pitches in the sub continent. Both the supremely fit and athletic cricketers were gun fielders too..
Kuldeep Yadav Spearheads a lethal spin armoury
India would be spoilt for choices in their spin armoury but in my opinion left arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s meteoric rise as an outright match winning spinner makes him seal the front-line spinner’s spot just ahead of his noteworthy spin partners Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin. Harbhajan Singh went out of favour with the rise of Ashwin and the ‘Kulcha’ spin twins. Meanwhile one of Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel or Suresh Raina could play the container spinner’s role in the team.
Bhuvi, Bumrah and Shami Form A Formidable Pace Battery
The most impactful weapon added to Indian team’s bowling arsenal was the addition of a well rounded seam attack which proved to be their game changing weapon on seaming and swinging conditions abroad.. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar could make the new ball swing like a banana, Mohammed Shami was menacing with reverse swinging the old ball .. Add to that the tormenting pace of tearway speedster Umesh Yadav. Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah’s addition to the already formidable pace attack made the attack fearsome and world class.
Last but not the least, the contributions of some unsung heroes – Ambati Rayadu, Kedhar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma and Munaf Patel, who played their part in making India a dominant force in one day cricket is noteworthy.
India’s Best ODI XI (2010-2019) – Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Captain), Hardik Pandya / Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah
Notable Mentions: Gautam Gambhir, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Harbhajan Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedhar Jadhav, Ambati Rayadu, Rishabh Pant
Indian Team’s Record In ODIs (2010-2019)
Played – 249
Won – 157
Win% – 63.05%
(Best Success Rate Among All ODI Teams)
India Record At ICC World Cups (2010-2019)
(Most Consistent Record At The World Cups)