Over the years, if there is one thing the greatest teams in the history of our sport have had in common is that they have had a bunch of great players to choose from. At any given moment, that team has had more than just 11 players itching to get onto the field and perform to the best of their abilities. The enviable availability of resources is the key factor for the building of the greatest of all time. When a captain has a pool of 20-25 players to choose from, it is then that he can lead his side to unparalleled achievements.
And this Indian team has all the ingredients in place to go on to become one of the greatest sides international cricket has ever witnessed. While transition can, at times, be severely painful, it would be only fair to say that India has had a smoother transition than a lot of people would have expected. With the brand of cricket that has been on display from this Indian team in the past year or so, puts it a level above than any other international team, particularly in sub-continental conditions. While one could argue, India have had the advantage of playing in familiar conditions, this victorious run puts them in the right frame of mind for upcoming overseas challenges, expected to be tougher ones as well. This Indian team just seems to have more bases covered than any other international side at present.
When was it last that India had a bunch of pacers to choose from. Yadav, Shami, Ishant and Bhuvi were terrific whenever given an opportunity in the home season, in conditions not tailor made for fast bowling. Bumrah has been exceptional with his white ball performances and whatever little we saw of Shardul Thakur was exciting. The spin talents are as strong as ever. The captain has an off spinner, leg spinner, left arm orthodox and a chinaman bowler as options. I don’t think there are any other ways to bowl for spinners. India’s bowling unit count not have been in a better shape.
Traditionally India is loaded with talent in the batting department. While Dhawan, Kohli, Rohit and MSD seem to be settled with their respective positions, there are a couple of spots that are up for grabs in the ODI side. A player like KL Rahul who is just too good to be left out of the side and is being tried at no.4, has kept likes of Yuvraj and Raina waiting. And then there is Manish Pandey amidst that chaos around the no. 4 position, doing whatever he has been asked of, always finding ways to score runs. And to top it off you have an all rounder like Hardik Pandya who has been heavily invested upon by the team management. Pandya certainly has improved as a player over the last year and he should only get better with more games under his belt and now with Kohli giving him a go at test cricket.
This Indian team has greater challenges ahead though. Overseas tours to Africa, England and Australia are going to test the bench strength, the character, physical and mental toughness of the unit as a whole on a different level altogether. While Kohli has enviable resources at his disposal, it will be a challenging task to put the right player at the right position and more importantly, at the right occasion. While the problem of plenty is a good one to have but it will be interesting to see how he manages his resources. If he does them as well as he bats, this Indian team is on the path to becoming one of the best teams to have played the sport. This could turn out to be a golden era for Indian cricket. If India get their combinations right and make the best use of the resources available, there is no reason why this team can not be compared to the Australian teams of Waugh and Ponting. While there are some serious challenges for them to get to that level, this Indian team has the potential and the resources to be Invincible.
This is a guest post by Nischal Garg who is a teenager preparing for his 12th exams . Cricket makes him forget his exam dates because love for the sport is paramount.
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