Evolution of Indian Cricket
If you want to know how Indian Cricket has progressed, better get your insights from a 90’s born fan. He has literally seen all the phases of Indian Cricket right from humiliation to domination. Let’s read about the evolution of Indian Cricket
As a 90s kid the first thing that I got to know was till the time Sachin is at the crease, millions Indian watching had some hopes. Once he was dismissed people didnt bother to watch the game.
We have seen Indian Cricket going through various ups and downs. Let me shade a light on its journey from the 90s to what it is now.
We all know how dependent Indian Cricket was on Sachin Tendulkar. 1996 World Cup was a prime example. He carried on the burden of the whole nation on his shoulders but when he was dismissed in the semis, the others fell like a house of cards who were waiting for others to touch them. Indian fans burnt the posters, threw bottles and then the match was discontinued. We saw the rage of Indian fans and the limit to which it can go.
Indian fans are like a double edged sword. They can take you on their shoulders and then at the very next minute they can drop you from the top if you do not fulfill their expectations.
1998 was the best year as an Indian Cricket fan followed it up by a dismal showing in 1999 World Cup. It was still bearable to an extent but what hit Indian Cricket was the match fixing saga which took Indian Cricket by storm.
The colossal of Indian Cricket Mohammad Azharuddin was one of the 5 cricketers who were caught in the match fixing scandal. This was pretty hard to digest. As Azharuddin was one of those who was a fashion icon back then with his “bade bhai” and the “collar” which was always kept up. Tendulkar was asked to lead the team. But that impacted his batting where he failed miserably down under and India lost the series 3-0 to Australia. Tendulkar stepped down and Indian Cricket was in tatters.
Renaissance of Indian Cricket
The decade changed, century changed, it was the new millennium and so did the fortunes of Indian Cricket. It needed someone to lift them up from the mess that it found themselves into. There came a man who took charge of the Indian Cricket Team and that was the renaissance of Indian Cricket. The prince of Kolkata took the reigns in his hands and changed the perception of how Indian Cricket was looked upon. It was a crucial stage in evolution of Indian Cricket.
He created a team which had veterans who played alongside youngsters. There was a perfect blend of aggression and calmness to go with Ganguly’s bold captaincy. Indians achieved a great deal under his captaincy.. Indians reached the finals of 2000 CT in Nairobi, Won 2002 CT and the Natwest Trophy in England, Finals in 2003 World Cup. Those were few great years you would see as an Indian fan.
Indian Cricket was hit by a storm once again when they appointed Greg Chappell as their coach. Ganguly and Greg never got along well and Chappell didn’t want Ganguly. There were rifts in the team just months before the mega event in the Caribbean which is not at all an ideal preparation going into the big event. Indians lost to Bangladesh and were knocked out in the opening round.
T20 Cricket World Cup was introduced in 2007 and Indians had nothing to lose. They sent in a team with all the youngsters to the World Cup in the rainbow nation led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This move took everyone by surprise. Indians won that World Cup. More than anything it was Dhoni’s captaincy which impressed everyone. This was a sign of something big to come.
Reigns in M.S Dhoni’s hands
Indian Cricket reached an altogether new level when they announced franchise based T20 competition known as the IPL where you would see the best in the world coming together and have a blast.
Indians won a tri-series down under. MS Dhoni’s leadership again impressed everyone and now we knew who was going to lead the nation in 2011 World Cup. Indians won that World Cup. Renaissance which was started by Ganguly was now complete. Indians were at the summit of World Cricket.
Indians got a new gem in Virat Kohli during that World Cup. We all know what Virat has achieved and what he is going to achieve in the coming years. Indian Cricket was in safe hands after Tendulkar’s departure.
India won the CT in 2013, lost the finals of the 2014 T20 World Cup. Didn’t lose a single game in the 2015 WC before going down to the Aussies in the semis, Lost another semis in 2016 T20 WC.
New Era of Indian Cricket
Indian Cricket had found a face. Virat Kohli ruled the batting charts. Indians had the team that was going to be known as the World Beaters. Dhawan and Rohit would lay the foundation with Kohli to follow. It spelled doom for the opposition with the ever reliable MS Dhoni to follow. The team was ready for the 2019 World Cup. The Evolution of Indian Cricket is dynamic and much more bigger now.
Rohit Sharma dictated terms throughout the 2019 World Cup with 5 centuries and ending up as the highest run scorer of the tournament. Indian team topped the group and faced a resurgent NZ in the semis. This choked Indian team out and Indians fell very short of another final. Nobody saw that coming.
We have seen Indian Cricket get humiliated, fail, grow and then rule the World Cricket. Fans have come a long way too. Earlier there used to be a heavy backlash when one failed but now due to so many games which are played in a short span of time, fans tend to forget these things. None the less, Indian Cricket is going through its golden phase with Virat leading the side.