Selecting an All-Time Indian Test squad involves multiple variables — cricketing eras and habits of…
India remaining unbeaten at home for 12 Test matches must be a statistical delight for an average cricket fan. At the same time, it may well be the unfolding of a story of invincibility which Virat Kohli and his men are keen to script over the next few years.
With India playing 13 home Tests, against New Zealand, England, Australia and Bangladesh, in the 2016-17 season, the team — following Kohli’s ideology of trying to win each and every match — may end up rewriting record after record.
The Indian team has got the hunger and ability to achieve the high pedestal where the West Indies of 1970s and 80s and Australia of 1990s and 2000s had perched themselves.
The present Indian side believes in a process instead of getting carried away by a series win or reclaiming the world No. 1 status.
For a young leader like Kohli, consistency over a long period has a bigger appeal than minor gains.
As many beautiful flowers make a wonderful garland, congregation of minor gains make a dazzling legacy of cricketing glory. For Kohli, the team’s interest is bigger than personal and collective achievement is more fulfilling than individual accomplishments.
Kohli practices what he preaches. He is happier contributing a crucial 45 in the winning cause in the second Test here, far more precious than an individual glory.
Of course, he wishes to play big knocks but that is not his sole goal as a player.
As a true ambassador of the game, he understands the urgency of keeping alive spectators’ interest in Test cricket to enable the longer version live longer.
His team has got a golden opportunity to do so by playing well for a long time on home turf.
The Indian side is able on all fronts — batting, bowling (both pace and spin departments) and fielding.
It has shown character and skill and produced some fascinating duels in the first two Tests against New Zealand to attract good spectator response in Kanpur and Kolkata.
This should inspire fans to throng the grounds at smaller centres, where the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) wants to conduct Test matches, and connect to an interactive leader and his brigade.
But Kohli and his men are keen to break the barrier. Playing in England, Australia and South Africa has been perpetual issue for India.
It is an “emotional issue” for Kohli. But his team has the right approach to turn around India’s abysmal record as a touring side.
Overall, Kohli & Co. are doing a world of good to the game’s health when the BCCI is entangled in a legal mess because of issues surrounding administrative reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee.
If Kohli’s side continues on its pursuit of excellence, we may see the golden age of Indian cricket in the years to come.