Less than two years ago, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Team India couldn’t win a tour game in England, leave alone an international fixture.
The side was bereft of form, luck and inspiration.
Yesterday, in chilly, wet Birmingham, Dhoni’s men lifted their maiden ICC Champions Trophy.
Indeed, the win warmed the cockles of the heart — a much needed boost to fans disappointed with the Indian Premier League match fixing controversy.
With due respects to the achievements of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan, the selectors’ youth policy (forced into operation through Tendulkar’s ODI retirement, Sehwag and Gambhir’s lack of form and Zaheer’s fitness issues) has paid off marvellously.
If India have received plaudits for their fielding in this tournament, it is due to the ultra enthusiastic young brigade led by a captain who has been astute in positioning his catchers. Hitherto mediocre fielders like Ravichandran Ashwin appear to have worked on their grey areas and now catch smartly.
And whoever was behind the decision to open the batting with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma deserves a special award.
Indian cricket is looking good again. Not because of their power-drunk officials but the players, support staff and not the least selectors who have done a splendid job after the home Test series loss to England.