With the dust barely given an opportunity to settle form the Champions Trophy, Team India have already arrived in the West Indies, and less than 72 hours away from taking the field again in a 5 match ODI series and a one off T20.
Some would say no better way to get over the huge disappointment of losing such a mammoth final against your arch rivals Pakistan, however some questions that were debated for months prior to the start of CT17 still remain unanswered. So as we start a 2 year journey to find the right blend of youth and experience in preparation for the World Cup in 2019 some tuff decisions still need to made ahead of the showpiece tournament.
In the end without doubt, it was another successful ICC Tournament for Team India. Reaching the later stages of ICC tournaments is what we expected under the leadership of MS Dhoni, so to reach a final in his first tournament as captain for Virat Kohli is something we should be proud off and by no means should be understated.
India played fairly consistently throughout the tournament and the 2 games they lost should be credited to the opposition for playing outstanding cricket.
Our batsman on the whole shared the runs in the group stages with all the top order getting runs as you would want with the same being said for the bowlers with all the pacers chipping in with wickets.
One area for debate will be the value Ashwin brought to the starting XI. Without a doubt as one of the best spinners in the world he by right deserves a spot in the squad, however wickets have been tuff to come by for Ashwin in England and once again we witnessed an Ashwin who offered little value in English conditions – would Shami have made a difference in the final? Who knows?!
Prior to the tournament another major talking point was the selection of Yuvraj Singh. Once again you can not argue with his record in ICC Tournaments – he nearly always comes to the party and in the first group match against Pakistan we saw the Yuvraj of old, taking the young Pakistan pacers apart.
Kohli spoke a lot about the need for experience in the middle order and someone who had the ability to take the game long when the team needed it the most. Well both Yuvraj along with Dhoni had the perfect opportunity in the Final to set up what could have been another special chase from this duo who have history of pulling India out from the jaws of defeat. Allas! Not this time!
So Pakistan were well deserved winners and showed tremendous character after the beating they took from Team India in the group stage to bounce back and enforce the same type of overwhelming one sided performance they had received earlier on in the tournament. Congratulations to the Pakistan Team and their supporters.
So what can the Indian top table learn form their neighbours? Pakistan had 2 of their most experienced players retire before the start of the tournament and went with an energetic youthful side full of hunger and a determination to succeed – India in Pant and Kuldeep Yadav had options.
For Team India we look forward, maybe this exactly what we needed 2 years before the World Cup. With a full England series next year we have plenty of opportunity to find a balanced side of youth and experience in the right positions to ensure we are fully prepared to mount another successful campaign at the World Cup 2019.
As for The Bharat Army, this was our most successful tournaments in our history with almost 3000 members from 20 countries around the world attending each India match. We hope you all enjoyed the tournament experience with us and we look forward to you joining us in the future! As always wether we #WinLoseOrDraw we will always keep our flag flying.