Year that was for team India
Opening Statement by Prime Minister of India at 15th ASEAN-India Summit, Manila Your Excellency President …
Year that was 2016.
ICC names Ashwin as cricketer of the year and India’s 2 leading cricketers set the golden standards. This automatically reflected on the team performance, India ended 2016 with an unparallel unbeaten streak in Test cricket and their performance will be looked back with pride for variety of reasons.
All of India’s win at home came on good test match cricket pitches. In Virat’s leadership India have once again regained test glory. Ashwin was not only the best spinner but also grew as a trustworthy all rounder. The lower batting for India was a revelation and turned many matches around for India while the pacers spewed venom in bursts. Shami and Yadav bowled with lot of venom.
The Indian openers went through an injury turnstile, and it caught up with rest of the team and India never played the same 11 in any consecutive test. This did provide a test for the bench and the replacements stepped in, none better than Karun Nair, who became India’s second triple centurion. Purja regained his mojo and Virat, what can you say, he time and again stole the show with his exciting batsmanship, producing match innings, and leading team with vigor off a golden phase.
Despite Ashwin brilliance with bowl all through the year, it has been Virat Kohli who has turned games around in all formats of the game. . In January he was flawing the Australians in Australia. He had his first double hundred against West Indies, and added two more by the end of the year. 2016 saw Kohli dominate and consistently turn games around.
Jasprit Bumrah came into his own in the shorter formats of the game. So much so that he soon became the first bowler added to any team sheet. Showed his skills with a booming yorkers, a difficult to pick up action and variations of pace, enabled him to be an asset for the Indian team in limited overs.
Looking ahead for 2017, the first half of it will see India play Five more test matches at home after a limited over series with England. They will want to make sure that their impressive streak continues in all the games. With the Champions trophy being their next big assignment , they don’t have enough time as a one day group, something that will be on the back of Kumble and Dhoni’s minds.
The injury list is still a big worry. The team will be under pressure now to maintain the standards that they have set themselves. Time will tell us if 2016 was the peak or just a start to this young and dynamic TEAM INDIA.