India, under Virat Kohli, has become a test powerhouse. Up until 2014-15, India was languishing in the lower half of the ICC Test Rankings. At this point, MS Dhoni had announced his retirement in 2014.
A new young fiery captain steps in and vows to conquer the world in test cricket. He has built a team that no one wants to face. He and his team have defeated teams almost everywhere. But how did this era of dominance begin under Kohli?
When Kohli was handed over the captaincy, he had many questions to answer and a lot of boxes to tick off. The first and foremost, to make a bowling line-up that everyone fears. The current fast bowling unit of India is unparalleled, and each bowler offers something different. Shami, Bumrah, and Ishant are among the best three fast bowlers, and each one can do the job for his team as and when required. Spin bowling has never been a problem for India, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja doing the job almost all the time. They even have more than fair few replacements for nearly all the bowling positions.
Coming to the batting side of the team, the thing that is a problem for Team India would be the second opener slot. Finally, they made the right choice by playing Rohit Sharma as an opener in tests. Sharma’s class and temperament as an opener are unmatched and can indeed lead the opening assault when required. India has chopped and changed a lot over the years in the opening slot but still finds the right piece of the jigsaw. They have the options of youngsters like Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, and Mayank Agarwal. They have KL Rahul as well waiting in the wings. They would be hoping to solve this puzzle soon.
India’s middle-order is as sorted as it comes. Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane are the three top-quality middle-order batsmen that one can ask for. They can frustrate the batsman by their exquisite defense or lead the charge if required. They have been doing so for more than seven to eight years now.
The wicketkeeper slot was also one problem in 2018-19 for India. They were confused as to whether Saha can be the right future long-term replacement for Dhoni. They tried and tested a few things, and we feel they have finally concluded that Rishabh Pant is the right choice for that role. He indeed proved his worth repeatedly over the last two series with bat and with gloves. His wicketkeeping technique is something that he has improved on over the years.
This is how Kohli has developed a team that can launch a battle anywhere in the world. This can be proven through the last three to four-away series that India has played. Winning a test match in Australia was considered difficult, but Kohli and his army have done something unthinkable. They completed two consecutive series wins down under and have been applauded for it across the world. Indeed, this team is capable of winning the WTC final.