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Year Ender 2019: Team India: A year dotted by pace bowlers, Rohit Sharma

Year Ender 2019: Pacers dominate

Bengaluru, December 12: Team India under Virat Kohli scaled new heights in 2019 and the commanding lead they have achieved in the ICC World Test Championship table is a good enough indication. India played hard-nosed cricket home and away this year and have emerged the worthy leader in world cricket.

There are specks of disappointments too in a year largely dotted with happy colours. MyKhel looks at all these closely in this year-ender 2019 focusing on Kohli's band.

1. Overall picture

1. Overall picture

India maintained consistency across formats this year especially in Test cricket. It has been a wonderful sight to see Kohli and his colleagues giving utmost importance to red ball cricket. The year began when they held Australia to a draw in the fourth Test in early January to complete their maiden series triumph Down Under. Then they achieved series win away from home at West Indies and brushed aside South Africa and Bangladesh in 3-0 and 2-0 margin at home. They emerged victors in the ODIs and T20I bilateral series too. The only worry point is that they have not find a settled middle-order in white-ball formats and hopefully, Shreyas Iyer will add some meat in the days to come.

2. Big Factor: Pace bowlers

2. Big Factor: Pace bowlers

The year 2019 saw India taking a U-turn from their traditional strength - spin. In all the three Test series win, pacers - Jasprit Bumrah, who took a hat-trick against WI, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma - played a significant hand, often ahead of spinners - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Even at home against SA and Bangladesh, the pacers played a massive role. They took 26 wickets against SA, just five short of spinners' tally and against Bangladesh they took 33 wickets as against 5 by spinners. With India scheduled to play more cricket away from home, the accent on pace will increase in the year to come.

3. Moment of the Year: Pink Ball Test

3. Moment of the Year: Pink Ball Test

The BCCI had discussed the possibility of Day-Night Test in 2018 when the West Indies toured here. But lukewarm response from players prevented the move from taking a definite shape. But it took a serious turn with former skipper Sourav Ganguly taking over as the BCCI president. He ensured that Kohli and team management comply to the idea of Pink Ball Test. The second Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens became the first D/N Test in India's cricketing history. It was a roaring success too.

4. Man of the Year: Rohit Sharma

4. Man of the Year: Rohit Sharma

Rohit, as expected, was a big success in white ball format. He scored a record-breaking five hundreds in the ICC World Cup 2019 in England. But the cathartic moment was his elevation as Test opener in the series against South Africa. The elegant right-hander made upwards of 500 runs in that series to close the debate about Test opener at least for the foreseeable future. Mayank Agarwal too made a solid impression as Test opener and these two are set to walk out together for sometime now.

5. Big disappointment: Exit from the World Cup

5. Big disappointment: Exit from the World Cup

India played some brilliant cricket through the ICC World Cup 2019 held in England courtesy Rohit Sharma's smashing form and bowlers' lion-hearted effort. Shami took a hat-trick too. But India floundered in the semi-final against New Zealand, more precisely against Matt Henry's pace and swing in an ordinary hour. India were a genuine contender for the title but had to watch eventual winners England and Kiwis playing out a match for the ages in the final.

6. Focus 2020

6. Focus 2020

India will begin the New Year with a tour to New Zealand and that's the first step on the long road leading to the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia in October. Will 2020 be as successful as 2019? India certainly have the skill, determination and focus for that. Let's brace for a thrill-a-second ride.

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Story first published: Thursday, December 12, 2019, 16:54 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 12, 2019
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