In cricket, there have been certain decades that have seen sides dominate. The decade of the 80s saw West Indies decimate oppositions while the 90s and the starting of the millennium saw Australia clinically dismantle oppositions. However, another team has taken over the mantle in the second decade of the 21st century. The journey was rocky to begin with. Then, they achieved world glory and established home dominance in a manner not seen even by Australia and West Indies. Their overseas fortunes fluctuated, but they had their moments of glory. In the last part of the decade, world tournament trophies eluded them at the final hurdle. However, this does not hide the fact that the second decade in cricket has belonged totally to the Indian cricket team.
In many ways, this could be the epoch-defining decade for Indian cricket. It witnessed the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest batsman the world has ever seen. The void was taken by Virat Kohli, who became the supreme run-making machine across all formats and established a level of consistency which was envious. This decade saw the cementing of MS Dhoni's legacy as the greatest captain India has ever produced and it also saw Kohli take forward the dominance in his batting also in his captaincy. As the decade neared an end, the side saw the development of a pace bowling unit that rivalled all the great pace bowling arsenals of great sides.
This decade saw India becoming the total package by dominating at home and also registering some wins overseas. But, when it comes to current talent, the Indian cricket team have batsmen and bowlers who have already made a mark in world cricket and have laid down the path for domination entering the new decade.
India Comfortably Team Of The Decade
When one looks at dominance across all formats, India have dominated in this decade. Out of 462 combined matches played, India have won 281 games at a win-loss ratio of 1.95 which is the best for all teams in this decade. In Tests, they are joint-second with Australia on 56 wins but they have played the least as compared to England and Australia thus they end up with a superior winning percentage. In ODIs, they are comfortably ahead of the pack with 157 wins in 249 games. They are the only team to have won over 150 ODIs in this decade. In Twenty20 Internationals, they are second only behind Pakistan for most wins with 68 from 106 games while Pakistan has 69 wins from 122 games. The common trend is that India have played lesser than the other teams but they have won more.
The journey to dominance has been filled with ups and downs. In 2010, at the start of the decade, they lost a tri-series in Bangladesh but they salvaged themselves by winning the Asia Cup. They lost the Test and ODI series in South Africa but they achieved glory when MS Dhoni helped India end a 28-year wait by winning the World Cup in front of their home fans in 2011. However, the World Cup win was soured by 4-0 thrashings away to England and Australia. The low point was reached in 2012. India lost a series at home to Pakistan, which was to remain their only bilateral series in the decade. They also failed to reach the knock-out stages of the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka. India lost a Test series at home against England for the first time in 28 years.
|Team||T20I Matches||Won||Lost||Tied||W/L Ratio|
From the Ashes of that low point, India rose like a phoenix and started winning again. They whitewashed Australia 4-0 and went on to win the ICC Champions Trophy in England. Thus, Dhoni etched his name in the history books as he became the first and only captain to win all three ICC tournaments. India started winning at home but overseas success continued to elude them with losses in England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Their only significant win in that period was the Lord's Test. They suffered heartbreak in the 2015 World Cup when they lost to Australia in the semi-final and surrendered their title.
|Teams||Test Matches||Won||Lost||Drawn||W/L Ratio|
* All stats are before the Boxing Day Tests between Australia vs New Zealand and England vs South Africa
Dhoni's time was up and in stepped Kohli to lead the side to a new era. Kohli started off with a win in Sri Lanka and in 2016 right till 2017, they won series against New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia at home. With every passing year, India's home domination continued to grow ominous while they had mixed success outside. They lost yet again to South Africa and England but Kohli's side created history when they became the first Indian team to win a Test series Down Under.
|Team||ODI Matches||Won||Lost||Tied||N/R||W/L Ratio|
It is during Kohli's period that the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav formed a potent bowling unit. The Australia Test series win could not mask the anguish of continued ICC tournament defeats in the knock-outs. They lost in the 2016 ICC World T20 to West Indies in the semi-final, the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final to Pakistan while they lost yet again in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to New Zealand.
The pain of losing the ICC events might take the shine of India's dominance, considering how they won in 2011 and 2013. However, in this decade, India completed an elite set as they became one of the few nations in cricketing history to win an ODI series in every country while they became only the second side after South Africa to win a series in every format in Australia.