Much has changed in Indian cricket, almost 10 years ago, when the team last lost a series of home ground trials. Former captain MS Dhoni has retired from the test, Virat Kohli took over the mantle to enter the top of the Indian standings before leaving this year and four different coaches have been in charge of the team. But India’s relentless domestic dominance continued. They have hosted 42 games since England’s famous 2-1 victory in 2012. The organizers lost two tests but won all the series – 15 in a row after Sri Lanka’s 2-0 result.
Several groups have arrived on the Indian coast with high hopes of conquering the “last frontier”. Australia, the Antilles, South Africa, New Zealand and England have been touring since 2012 and have lost all series.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan were also beaten, and Sri Lanka have played 22 games without a win in India, the most by any team in a country.
Many of India’s victories have been achieved emphatically, often without having to make a second one.
As a result, the competition for positions has been cut short and the number of batters, including Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, with 177 test caps, has been suspended.
Against Sri Lanka, they did not disappoint.
A fast-growing Shreyas Iyer settled in the middle order for two and a half centuries on the Bengaluru pitch, assisted the Lankaia spinners and showed promise to Hanuma Vihari in third place.
Dhoni’s shoes were probably the biggest to be filled, but the brave Rishabh Pant has taken over the job of the wicketkeeper.
Pant has proven his prowess abroad and in the last 14 months has turned the game-play down in order.
Lightning-fast gloves, strong verdicts to review decisions, and fireworks accompanied a series player against Sri Lanka.
Pant has been widely criticized for his tendency to throw his wick without making decisions.
But his boss Rohit believes he has learned to do a delicate balancing act to trust his instincts and stop them.
“You want to evolve as a cricketer. I’ve made some mistakes in the past, but I want to keep improving. My mindset isn’t the same,” Pant said. “I was thinking too much about what I might lose. Now I’m focusing on my process.”
As India plays games in all three formats throughout the year, the rotation of the teams has been crucial in keeping the players fresh, especially the fast bowlers.
Jasprit Bumrah has played 29 games for India, but the Bengals game – he received eight wickets – was only his fourth at home.
“We have to rotate these players considering the workload, so he has lost a lot of games,” Rohit said.
“He’s quite keen to make an impact on test cricket. From now on, you’ll see him playing Bumrah tests in India and abroad, but we have to take care of these guys.”
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