The signs of an Indian domination of world cricket are evident. The Twenty-20 World Cup victory, the under-19 World Cup victory and the wonderful performance in Australia has convinced me that the future of Indian cricket is bright.
Sachin Tendulkar slamming his first one-day century on Australian soil and Virat Kohli and Co making history at Kuala Lumpur made it for an unforgettable Sunday. The seniors and juniors brought great joy to the nation and the icing on the cake was the fabulous knock by Tendulkar.
Follow in the footsteps of the seniors, the juniors are reminded at every step. They did it, and did it in a grand fashion. Not many would have backed this team to capture the under-19 title and now that they done it, I am sure Indian cricket will take a huge step forward in its effort to become the best team in the world.
I am now looking forward to some healthy competition in the team. Is it not an exciting development that we have more than two players fighting for a specific spot in the team? The juniors are learning fast and the seniors are performing knowing well that the pressure to excel is now greater than ever before.
Of course, Tendulkar has once again proved that experience has its own significance. The manner in which he handled the chase and finished the job should put an end to this debate over his place in the team. I have always maintained that Tendulkar should be left alone to take his decisions and he knows best when to say good-bye.
He was accused of not being a big-match player but he made a signal statement at Sydney. His motivation is a legendary aspect of his cricket and his commitment to serve the team and the hunger to make runs is really unmatched. It was this hunger that stood out. It was the hunger of a cricketer wanting to make a mark and coming as it did from someone who has been playing international cricket for 18 years is worth hundreds of salutations.
I can imagine the pressure Tendulkar must have felt when walking out to bat. The expectations are always high when Tendulkar bats. I am happy he silenced his critics and I am also happy for some one like Rohit Sharma, who made quality runs and gave a glimpse of what one can expect of him in the times to come. Tendulkar is a great example for generations to come and it was good that Rohit learnt some first-hand lessons from the master.
Indian cricket is moving in the right direction. There is an amazing wealth of talent and the young legs have demonstrated amply at Kuala Lumpur. But we should not forget the contributions of Tendulakr, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble. The youngsters have done well to grab the chances that have come their way and the seniors deserve all the credit for showing the way.
The team management, including MS Dhoni, took a brave decision by including leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in the eleven for the first final. It was a decision that spoke for the new attitude that marks Indian cricket.
We have all seen the dominance that West Indies, Pakistan, South Africa and Australia enjoyed at various times in world cricket. Australia losing to India at Sydney was thus a welcome result. It will be good for world cricket if India can repeat the performance in the next game, which I feel will be far bigger. This is time for India to show consistency and confirm that Australians are beatable.
I await the final punch in the next contest. Meanwhile, let us rejoice in the glory achieved by the young Indians in the under-19 World Cup.
Live Score, News & WC 2019 Updates