Sunday, December 6, 2009

India is no.1 in test cricket

So, finally India is no. 1 in the ICC test ranking. Any Indian cricket fan would be proud of this achievement. It all started after India beat mighty Aussies (the best team I have ever seen play till date) 2-1 at home. That was the time when under Sourav Ganguly we started our journey to become a powerhouse. I remember the problems plaguing the team then.

Anil Kumble was ineffective outside sub continent. He changed that in 2003-04 Australia tour. India always lacked genuine pace attack to rattle opposition on green tops. They have not found a great seam bowler yet but likes of Ishant Sharma, Sreeshanth, Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel did well after Srinath retired. Not all of them have been consistently delivered performance in last decade. Perhaps only Zaheer Khan is consistent. But we always had one or the other pacer coming in and doing well. Add to it the performances of Irfan Pathan, R P Singh and L Balaji. Our opening woes were partially ended by Virendra Sehwag in 2002 while opening became our strength with resurgence of Gautam Gambhir. Adam Gilchrist's advent meant that a wicket keeper had to bat as well as a middle order batsman if not better. That problem was taken care by M S Dhoni in 2005. Batsmen struggled in 90's to do well outside the sub continent except for Sachin Tendulkar. Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman in their unique way of batting ensured that Indian team became TEAM INDIA from ONE-MAN-ARMY.

Much has been done but much more remains. With India playing only two tests in next 10 months this stay at top wont be long. It would be interesting to see how India copes with retirements of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman. Signing off on positive note I believe that it is much easier to replace batting greats rather than bowling greats.