The year started on a propitious note, with India winning their second successive Test series in Australia. Virat Kohli and Co then followed it up by schooling England at home 3-1 in the four-Test series.
They were tested to the core in the return series in England, but they have their noses ahead at 2-1 with the fate of the series likely to be decided next year. The series had to be called off abruptly after a few members of the Indian support staff had tested positive for Covid-19. Before shutting shop for this year at home, India spanked World Test Champions New Zealand by 372 runs to become the No. 1 Test side.
What makes this year so special is the fact that India managed to achieve all this despite little contribution by their chief run-getters, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
A pleased Kohli was quick to recap India’s memorable year under him after the record win on Monday.
“The year has been very good for us; we have played very good cricket. There were two setbacks in T20 World Cup and World Test Championship,” he said. “Victories in England and in Australia gave us a lot of confidence. See, the Indian team is expected to win everything but that’s not realistic,.”
May have to make some tough decisions: Dravid
India’s next assignment is South Africa, a box which they still have to tick. With the bench strength proving itself, the team management is in a happy space when they pencil in the names of the players for the tour.
From 1 to 11, every spot in the squad has a strong back up and it’ll be a lengthy selection meeting if the number of members they carry is fewer than the intended 20.
“It’s a good (selection) headache to have and to see young boys perform well. There’s a great desire to do well and everyone’s pushing each other. I hope we have more headaches. We may have to make some tough decisions, but as long as we have clear communication and we explain to the players why, I don’t see it to be a problem,” coach Dravid said after the match.
“It’s a good situation to be in. We had some injuries in the lead-up to this game. That’s something which will challenge us. We need to manage the workload. But everyone is challenging for places. It’s good to see with the amount of cricket coming up. It’s a good headache to have.” Dravid said while speaking to the official broadcasters.
Kohli, however, treaded cautiously. “That’s a discussion that needs to take place. Who are the specialists for certain positions will be covered there. These aren’t things I can answer in a press conference, we need to take collective decisions,” he reeled off.