Legends have a Phase, Virat Kohli has a decade under his name. It’s time to Bid adieu to the 2010s Decade (2010-2019) which belonged to MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and the Men In Blues. MS Dhoni has achieved 2 ICC Trophies (limited-overs) and 2 Asia Cup (2010 & 2016), in the 2010s Decade. Virat Kohli & his team in Whites (Tests) have been consistently the No.1 ranked Test team, since October 2016. Team India is currently ranked No. 1 in Tests, No. 2 in ODI’s and No. 5 in T20I’s.
Let’s relive a few of the best moments provided to us by this outstanding Team in the 2010s Decade. Let’s start with….
The Highs of the 2010s Decade
Asia Cup 2010
The 2010 Asia Cup was the tenth edition of the Asia Cup which was held in Sri Lanka from 15–24 June 2010. The participating nations, as usual, were India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Team India defeated Sri Lanka by 81 runs in the final to win a record 5th Asia Cup title. Dinesh Karthik batted fantastically in the Finals while Ashish Nehra bowled Sri Lankans over, as they were off to chase the tricky target of 269.
2011 ICC ODI World Cup
Does it need any write-up? The best moment for me was when the Indian Boys were lifting in their shoulders a South African Man who was full of tears because Team India had clinched the World Cup after 28 years. That’s Sport, that’s Game all about, and this showcases the spirit of a Sportsperson, nationality doesn’t even matter, if the team you support wins, you are in the 7th Sky.
2013 ICC Champions Trophy
This made MS Dhoni the greatest ever modern ODI Captain of the World. Wanna argue?
England won the toss and elected to field. But, rain delayed the start of play and the match eventually got reduced to 20 overs per side. Finally, Team India won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy beating England by five runs in the final.
Virat Kohli turns Freak
‘The Run Machine’
Legends have a Phase, Virat Kohli has a decade under his name. That makes him a Freak, a Machine, The Run Machine of World Cricket, Virat ‘Freaking’ Kohli. We all can Geek Out about that. Virat Kohli has scored 5,775 more international runs than any other Batsmen in the 2010s Decade. 27 Tons in Tests since 24 January 2012 & 42 Tons in ODI’s since 11 January 2010, what else should one talk about. ‘Hail the King’ bow down, everyone. Currently ruling the charts in both Tests and ODI’s.
Team India is the No. 1 ranked team in the ICC Test Rankings since 2016. India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the second and final Test, which was a Historic first time Pink Ball Test, at Eden Gardens, to register its 12th consecutive series win at home, which is the longest streak for any side. The previous best was 10: Australia achieved it twice: 1994 to 2001 and then between 2004 and 2008.
The arrival of Ro-Hit Sharma
Rohit Sharma had a start-stop career till 2013, but a move by his captain MS Dhoni revived his career. MS Dhoni showed faith in him and decided to move him up the batting order to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Since then there has been no looking back for the Hit-man as the pair was a key success factor for Team India. As of now, he has 3 Double tons in ODI’s, a record most likely will never be broken. 28 overall ODI Tons since 28 May 2010. The second fiddle to Virat Kohli had overwhelmed the King this year and looks absolutely unstoppable, a great sign for Team India.
The Lows of the 2010s Decade
2012 Breach in the Fortress
India was whitewashed 4–0 in both England and Australia. The disastrous whitewashes saw the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman from Test cricket. This affected the team, then came the home season, and, first, it was England that beat Team India 2–1 in the Test series. This was the first time that Team India was beaten by England at home in the modern era. Then it was the arch-rivals Pakistan who beat Team India by a 2–1 margin in the ODI series in India.
2013 IPL Fixing
The 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and the betting case was the worst of them all. Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, the 2 times World Cup-winning Sreesanth, and the newbies Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of alleged spot-fixing. Later, the teams Rajasthan Royals and MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings got suspended.
With the surge of cricket in India, BCCI has become rather notorious for its monopoly and has suffered from corruption allegations. The Supreme Court on 30 January 2017 nominated a four-member panel Committee of Administrators (Vinod Rai, Ramachandra Guha, Vikaram Limaye and Diana Edulji) to look after the administration of the BCCI to implement Lodha Committee reforms. Vinod Rai, ex-CAG of India heads the four members panel to look after the administrative duties of the board until the fresh elections are called. Recently, the COA was disbanded and Finally, BCCI is back with Sourav Ganguly as its President.
3o mins Game Over
The Endgame for ‘THE ICON’ MS Dhoni
30 Minutes! Yes! That’s all it took for them (Selectors) to decide the fate of a Legend, a Man against whom these idiots would have never dared in their worst dreams, to talk even in his back, are currently back-biting against him. The selectors have gone on to length by stating ‘They have moved on from Ms Dhoni.’ only time will tell what beholds the future of MS Dhoni.
Impactful 30 minutes of the 2010s Decade
The worst phase of this decade lasted for 30 mins, but although the impact will last come 30 more years. In the first semi-final where New Zealand defeated India which was pushed over to the reserve day after rain made the match unable to be completed on the originally scheduled day. The Run-out of MS Dhoni could be marked as the turning point against him and the Men In Blues’ fortune. The Likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have themselves quoted how deeply hurt they were for those 30 minutes, even stating it as their worst 30 minutes of their career.
Yearwise look at the 2010s Decade of Team India
2010- No. 1 in Tests
India became the No. 1 Test team in the world after beating New Zealand in their turf in 41 years and then beating Sri Lanka 2–0 in December 2009. They retained the ranking by drawing series against South Africa and Sri Lanka. In October 2010, India whitewashed Australia 2–0 in the home test series, giving them back-to-back series wins against them. Later that year, India managed to draw the Test series in South Africa at 1–1. Ms Dhoni & team won the Asia Cup.
2011- The Epic year
India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup by defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final, on 2nd April, at Wankhede, Mumbai, thus becoming the third team after West Indies and Australia to win the World Cup twice, the previous win being in 1983. India also became the first team to win the World Cup on home soil. That was a moment.
Later, India was whitewashed 4–0 in away Test series by England in August due to which England replaced India as the No. 1 Test team in the rankings.
2012- The Sad year
The series against England was followed by another 4–0 whitewash of India in January 2012 in Australia. The disastrous whitewashes saw the retirement of Dravid and VVS Laxman from Test cricket in 2012. With Ganguly having retired in 2008, this period signalled the end of the fabled middle-order batting line-up India had for a decade. 2012 signalled a rough period for Indian cricket as they were beaten 2–1 by England at home in the Test series. This was the first Indian Team to have been beaten by England at home in the modern era. This was followed by a 2–1 loss in the ODI series against Pakistan, India’s arch-rivals, at home. Team India was then knocked out in the second round of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. Team India also failed to qualify for the 2012 Asia Cup final which closed out a disappointing 2012 for the Indian cricket team.
2013- The resurgence of the Men In Blues
2013 saw a resurgence in Indian cricket. In early 2013, India returned the favour to Australia and whitewashed them 4–0 at home in a Test series. India then beat the Aussies 3–2 in the 7-match ODI series and won the one-off T20I. However, India lost against New Zealand and South Africa away from home and led to heavy criticism of Indian cricketers for not being able to perform overseas. India defeated England in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy final and MS Dhoni became the first captain in history to win three major ICC trophies, namely- ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Champions Trophy. This was followed by a victory in the West Indies Triangular Series in 2013 consisting of India, West Indies and Sri Lanka.
Later, in November, ‘The God’ Sachin Tendulkar retired from international Cricket after his 200th Test match. That farewell speech.
2014- A bitter-sweet year
India toured Bangladesh and beat them 2–0 in 3 One Day Internationals. India toured England and was beaten 3–1 in 5 Test matches. This series included a famous win for the Indian team in the first match of the series at Lord’s. The Test series was followed by a 3–1 win for the Team India in a 5-match ODI series and a loss in a one-off T20 against England.
India failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup yet again in 2014. In the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 hosted in Bangladesh, Team India narrowly missed out on another ICC trophy by losing to Sri Lanka in the final. This tournament saw the rise of Virat Kohli as one of the best limited-overs batsmen in world cricket, as he was adjudged the man of the series. India soon comprehensively beat Sri Lanka and West Indies in ODI series to cement their position at the top of the ODI rankings.
India toured Australia towards the end of 2014 for a 4-match Test series, which is remembered for MS Dhoni’s sudden retirement from Test cricket after the end of the second Test. Virat Kohli was appointed as the captain of Team India in Test matches but he was unable to turn the series around and India lost 2–0. Kohli’s first series win as captain came away from home in a 3-match Test series vs Sri Lanka, which signalled the beginning of an unbeaten Test series run for India.
2015- The resurgence in Tests
2015 saw the beginning of India’s dominance at home in Test matches under new captain Virat Kohli when they comprehensively beat South Africa. This series was the beginning of an unbeaten streak of 19 Test matches for India which was brought to an end by Australia in early 2017. This series also saw the emergence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as two of the best spinners and all-rounders. They spun webs around touring batsmen, much like the spinning quartet of the 1970s. This was followed by limited-overs victories over Australia and Sri Lanka away from home. India was knocked out of the 2015 World Cup in the semi-final stage, to eventual winners Australia.
2016- The Grand Home Season, Virat Kohli nearing perfection
India began by winning the 2016 Asia Cup, remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament, beating Pakistan along the way. India were favourites to win the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 which was being held at home, but they lost in the semi-final to eventual champions West Indies. Virat Kohli was again named the man of the Tournament.
Then, “The Grand Home Season” began for India, including series at home against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. India whitewashed New Zealand to regain the number one ranking in Test cricket. Before the series against England in November 2016, MS Dhoni resigned as captain of India in limited-overs, thus handing the captaincy to Virat Kohli across all formats. India beat England across all three formats, with a notable 4–0 win in the Test series. This was followed by Test series wins against Bangladesh and Australia, which meant India reclaimed the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest cricketer of all time to reach 250 wickets; he and Ravindra Jadeja occupied the top two spots in both the ICC Bowlers and All-Rounders rankings at the time. In the process, India became the third team (after South Africa and Australia) to have won their most recent Test series against all the other Test-playing nations. India held an unbeaten streak of 8 consecutive Test series wins as of 19 August 2017.
2017- Arrogance or Overconfidence, or, just blame Bad Luck
India was defeated by Pakistan the arch-rivals in the final, an anti-climax, considering India were the clear favourites. Pakistan defeated India comfortably by 180 runs in the final, outclassing them across all three departments.
India beat the West Indies 3–1 in a 5-match ODI series in the Caribbean in July 2017 but lost to the same opposition in a one-off T20I. India then toured Sri Lanka and comprehensively defeated them 3-0 in a three-match Test series, the first time India had whitewashed a team away from home in a Test series with at least three games.
2018- What could have been the Best Year of Indian Cricket!
The year saw mixed results in Tests for India as they lost away series in both South Africa and England, but won their away series against Australia, the first time they had won a series there. In-home Tests, they defeated West Indies. They won the ODI leg of the South African tour, followed by the tri-series with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. They lost 2–1 in the ODI series in England, followed by a win at home to West Indies and away to both Australia and New Zealand.
2019- Few minutes of bad cricket (luck) ruins the year
At the start of 2019, Australia won a T20I series 2–0, handing Virat Kohli his first home defeat in a T20I series, as a captain.
The 2019 Cricket World Cup was hosted by England and Wales. India were clear favourites to lift their 3rd Magnum Opus Trophy. The first semi-final where New Zealand defeated India was pushed over to the reserve day after rain made the match unable to be completed on the original scheduled day. This broke many hearts, actually, we are still mourning.
India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the second and final Test at Eden Gardens to register its 12th consecutive series win at home, which is the longest streak for any side. The previous best was 10: Australia achieved it twice: 1994 to 2001 and then between 2004 and 2008
Virat Kohli has scored 5,775 more international runs than any other Batsmen in the 2010s Decade.
Most 100’s in Tests in the 2010s Decade- 27- Virat Kohli
Most runs, Tons, 50’s, & Not Outs in ODI’S in the 2010s Decade- Virat Kohli
Runs- 11125, Notouts-37, 100s- 42, 50’s- 52
Most 6’s in ODI in the 2010s Decade- Rohit Sharma- 233
Most 4’s in ODI in the 2010s Decade- Virat Kohli- 1038
Most dismissals by a WK in ODI’S in the 2010s Decade- MS Dhoni
Dismissals -242, Ct- 170, St -72, Max Dis Inns- 5 (4-ct 1-st) Dis/Inn 1.247
Most T20I’s Runs in the 2010s Decade- Virat Kohli- 2633
Most T20I’s 6’s in the 2010s Decade- Rohit Sharma- 112
Most T20I’s 4’s in the 2010s Decade- Virat Kohli- 247
Most international wickets in the 2010s Decade- 564- Ravi Ashwin
Most Wins as Captain in the 2010s Decade- Tests- Virat Kohli- 33 (53)
Most Wins as Captain in the 2010s Decade- ODI- MS Dhoni- 71
Most Wins as Captain in the 2010s Decade- T20I’S- MS Dhoni-32
What to expect, come 2020s decade?
Maybe… an ICC Trophy, as a Justice for the sacrifice, passion and dedication this Team India has shown for the past few years. Abroad Test wins, ICC Test Championship, are we asking too much? Maybe, but why? Because this team can. This team has every ingredient to achieve, everything a Cricket Game has to offer.
Look at the fitness level, Batsmen, Spinners, Youths, the fast bowlers, the best of the lot in the current scenario of World Cricket. 19 wickets in a Test Match, yes! In India, that good these fasties are. So, the expectations are many, but whatever the Team India achieves, if achieved fairly, within the spirit of the Game, a win or loss, we will forever support them.
Ya all.. Get ready for a hell of a ride to yet another fascinating decade of Indian Cricket, the decade of the 2020s. Happy New Year, till next time… Cheers…