Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team ended the decade on a high with a magnificent series win against the West Indies. (Photo Credit: PTI)
India ended 2019 and the decade in great fashion as they defeated the West Indies by four wickets in the Cuttack ODI to win their 10th consecutive series against the Windies. The victory summed up a great year for India in which they won bilateral series wins in Australia, New Zealand and West Indies. However, there were also some troughs in which they lost an ODI series for the first time at home against Australia in 10 years while the most devastating loss for them was the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in which they lost by 19 runs to crash out of the tournament. Speaking after the end of the match in the post-match press conference, Kohli said it had been a fantastic year but rued the top order collapse during the World Cup.
"2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket. Apart from the 30 minutes in the World Cup, it's been a great year. We'll keep chasing that ICC trophy. But apart from that, the way we've played has been satisfying," Kohli said.
India's bowlers had conceded 315 against a West Indies side who were determined to break their 13-year jinx. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul gave India a solid start but they were once again boosted by Virat Kohli's splendid 55th century. It looked like the Indian skipper would hit a century and once again guide India over the line. However, on 85, Kohli dragged a good length ball outside off back on to the stumps. With India needing 30 off 23 balls, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur ensured that India got over the line. Kohli admitted that he was feeling nervous.
"Having done (chasing successfully) it so many times, you obviously have a bit more calmness and you understand how the dew is playing and all you need is a short partnership. From there the opposition usually crumbles. It was outstanding to see others finishing the game. Honestly when I got out I had a nervous phase, but I looked back at Jaddu and he looked confident. They just changed the game in three overs. Watching from outside is way more difficult," Kohli said.
During the last one year, India's fast bowling has evolved leaps and bounds and have developed the capability to bowl out oppositions in any condition. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar make up a potent fast bowling attack while the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have gained immense success in the spin department. Kohli said having a great bowling line-up at his disposal was a blessing.
"Having a bunch of fast bowlers who can bowl out any opposition anywhere - them taking the attention away from the spinners in India is a huge achievement. We feel we have it in us to win series overseas, not just the odd game. We are in the process of trying out people, see how they react under pressure. Whether people want to accept it or not, the younger people will have to step up in a few years," Kohli said.