India was one of the favourite teams to win the 50 over world cup, held last year in England. Men in Blue started their campaign on a high. They dominated in their group league matches. But Virat Kohli and Co. couldn’t clear the semi-final hurdle, as they conceded defeat at the hands of the Black Caps at Manchester.
Since then a lot happened inside Indian cricket system. Sourav Ganguly became the BCCI president. After the disappointing world cup, Ravi Shastri was retained as the head coach of Team India. India went to West Indies for limited over and Test series. They won the both series comprehensively, giving a major boost to team’s confidence. Followed by the Caribbean tour, India played home series against South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies and Australia. In all these series, India showed their sheer dominance in all formats of the game.
After finishing the home series, India went to New Zealand for a full series, which consist of 5 match T-20, three match ODI and two match Test series. This was the same team which ousted India from last year’s world cup. So Team India had a point to prove and so far they proved it comprehensively. India whitewashed New Zealand in the T20 series by 5-0 margins. This is a great achievement by the Indian team on foreign soil.
India won the first two matches comprehensively. The series decider third T20 was a close fight, with scores of both the team ending on a tie. The match went to Super Over and India won a thriller, beating Black Caps in this nail biting contest and taking an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the series. The fourth match of the series were almost a carbon copy of the first match. This match too went into the Super Over and Men in Blue had the last laugh. The last match of the T20 series were also won by India and for the first time they beat New Zealand in T20 series 5-0 on their own soil.
After the semi-final loss last year in England, a lot of talk were around Men in Blue’s consistency in knock out stage as they couldn’t hold on to their nerves in the match against New Zealand in Manchester. The big guns failed to score runs in the most important match and as a result, India’s world cup dreams were over.
Questions were raised about Virat Kohli’s captaincy and Ravi Shastri’s coaching. Even there were several media reports claiming that there was a rift between Captain Virat Kohli and Vice Captain Rohit Sharma. Some even suggested split captaincy, where Rohit will be leading the limited over side and the Virat Kholi will be leading the Test side. But ultimately nothing of that sort happened. BCCI gave a chance to Kohli and Shastri to prove their point. New Zealand series shows that Indian cricket are in good hands. And India is definitely treating this Kiwis tour as a revenge series.