The Indian cricket team has done magnificently well with their resounding win over England in all formats of the game. The Test series was important since a convincing series win was required for India to qualify for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June.
India, having lost the first Test match, came back forcefully to win the series. To win both the T20 and the ODI series after that against the strong England limited-overs side was a remarkable feat.
The heroes involved in this success were the young Indian brigade. The most destructive and devastating of all was Rishabh Pant. The wicketkeeper-batsman, having done an incredible task of taking India to one of their most enthralling wins against Australia, proved to be England’s nemesis.
His batting controlled the middle-order and in both the Test and the limited overs series, the English bowlers were clobbered by him.
One marvelled at how Pant left them in complete disarray and were amazed with his 360 degrees stroke-play along with his gang-buster approach. He was similar to a Bollywood film hero, who took on a gang of villains by the swash-buckling swing of his bat and acrobatic body and leg movements to dispatch the English bowlers to all corners of the field.
The success stories of Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, T. Natrajan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna and Krunal Pandya are a result of the situation that the Covid-19 pandemic caused.
These Indian cricketers have proved that India is now blessed with a talented pool of cricketers who, on a given day, are ready to rub shoulders with the best. The BCCI needs to be congratulated for creating this structure. The India ‘A’ and India U19’s frequent visits to play overseas and most importantly the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been the prime reason for this success.
The IPL will be important for India’s established cricketers to cement their place in the Indian side and for the aspiring ones to claim a spot.
The foreign players and the support staff will use this opportunity to get acclimatized to the conditions. Their input will be crucial for their national teams in the planning, preparation and strategising for the T20 World Cup.
The 2021 IPL will also provide much-needed entertainment to the fans in these times of Covid-19 pandemic. For millions of viewers saddled with curfews and lockdowns, cricket will be the April showers which one is looking forward to.