India faced little qualms ending the year on a positive note, having clinched the series against West Indies in the final ODI in Cuttack. Both skipper and Vice Captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, however, acknowledged their failure in the World Cup which stuck out as the lone sore spot in what was an otherwise amazing year for Indian cricket that saw a lot of positives.
“A World Cup victory would have been nice,” said Rohit, “But as a team, throughout the year, whether red ball or white-ball cricket, the team came together really well.”
The vice-captain of the side ended the year with ten centuries to his name across all formats and finished with 1490 ODI runs which have placed him eighth in the all-time list of cricketers with most runs in ODI cricket. “Extremely grateful for the year I’ve had,” he said and added that he understood his game better than before. “I’ve enjoyed batting, but there’s no way I’m stopping. There’s an exciting year coming up. I understand my batting well. I want to play within my limits, knowing the gameplan you want to execute is very, very important.”
Virat Kohli, who also had a great year and became the first batsman to accumulate 2000-plus runs for four years consecutively sang the same tune as Rohit did.
“2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket,” said Virat Kohli.
“Apart from the 30 minutes [in the semifinal] in the World Cup, it’s been a great year. We’ll keep chasing that ICC trophy, this group deserves it for the amount of hard work we have put in. We have a vision in place,” he said.
When asked about the biggest takeaway from 2019, Kohli highlighted the astounding emergence of the fast bowling crop mostly consisting of up-and-coming players and also the regaining of the form of the more senior ones. “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.”
Rohit also addressed the need to win away games as one of the important to-dos on his wishlist. “Once we start traveling, we want to win games and stay on top of the table.”
Kohli, however also stressed on the need to identify youngsters, experiment with them and give them ample opportunities to prove themselves.
“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,” said Kohli.
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