Indian cricket is getting ready for a new season with its tour to Bangladesh, comprising of a one off test match and three One Day Internationals. A lot of things have changed for team India since the last season, like Duncan Fletcher, who is no longer the head coach (Team India, for that matter, does not have anyone at that position currently), comeback of the Turbanator, Harbhajan Singh, in the test side (who last played a test in March 2013 against Australia at Hyderabad), Virat Kohli as the permanent skipper of the test side and no M.S. Dhoni behind the stumps in test matches. More importantly, major changes took place at the administrative level for the Indian Cricket, with the appointment of an advisory committee comprising of the trio of Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman & Sourav Ganguly , the appointment of Rahul Dravid as the coach of the India-A and under 19 teams and the comeback of Jagmohan Dalmiya as the BCCI president. Hence, the start of this season somewhat marks the beginning of a new era for Indian Cricket.
With all these changes being made in the setup, what does the future hold for Indian cricket? The appointment of Virat Kohli as full-time skipper may bring changes in the attitude of the Indian team; a more result-oriented approach, where the team will not mind a loss in order to secure a win out of difficult situations, an approach where the Indians fight overseas just like they did when Ganguly was at the helm. Kohli seems to be a person who is outspoken and straightforward; what one sees is what one gets out of him. He has a vision for the Indian test team in the coming years where they become equally competitive, both at home and away. He has said that he wants to build a unit where each individual contributes towards the success of the team in some way or the other keeping his personal benchmarks aside, a team environment where everybody is willing to play for each other and develop their test careers together, a team for which the opposition says, ” Damn, that’s a unit, we really have to play our bloody best to beat these guys”. With what we have seen over the years of Virat as a player and a sneak peek of him as the skipper in Australia, we can be assured of one thing, that he will try more than a hundred percent to turn his vision into a reality.
Apart from Virat, another aggressive personnel, who for the time being, is part of the team for only the Bangladesh tour, but if speculations are to be believed, he is here to stay, is Ravi Shashtri, the Director of the Indian cricket team. Ravi, who was a part of the team management on the Australian tour and the World Cup, is really aggressive in his thought process and does not shy away from speaking out his mind and accepting responsibilities. Kohli says that having him around the team gives assurance and confidence as there are no two ways about his thinking and that is the kind of approach that the team requires for moving forward. Ravi says that his vision is very clear: that he wants India to be a very competitive Test side in the years to come and in the next couple of years, to be a Test side that is ready to play hard and competitive Test match cricket in any part of the world. Definitely having somebody as experienced as him as part of the team management is a huge boost to the team and since both his and the skipper’s ideas about the intent with the which the team must play seem to be on the same page, they might make the duo that carries the team forward towards, given that Ravi stays with the team.
Next comes in the much talked about, the newly formed advisory committee of the BCCI, that has Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman to carry out the development of Indian cricket. There is no denying that the BCCI could not have asked for a better panel to advise them in cricketing matters, but it is up to them as to how they utilise the knowledge and experience these greats possess for the betterment of Indian cricket. It is believed that the primary role of the committee will be to prepare a plan to increase the talent pool of Indian cricketers and mentoring young Indian cricketers on technical as well as mental aspects ahead of major assignments. The committee has already given out its views on matters such as sending an A side a year prior to any major tour outside the subcontinent to get well versed with the conditions there and to develop a pool of about 30 bowlers who will be coached by specialists to sharpen their skills and keeping them ready for any opportunity that beckons them. It is of no doubt that if the suggestions made by the committee are well received and worked upon by the BCCI, then the future of Indian cricket looks quite good.
With everybody in the frame, from Kumble to Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman, we were expecting Rahul Dravid not to be far behind as well and he was appointed as the new coach for the A-team and the under-19 team. As a young batsman, nobody could ask for a better coach than Dravid, arguably one of the world’s most technically sound batsmen. Not only as a batsman but also the cricketer that Rahul has been for India, his selfless attitude, the hard yards that he puts in to perform his best, he simply is the best person to coach any young cricketer in India. And with his appointment as the coach for the younger sides, we hope to see a pool of batsmen, especially who can adjust to any sort of condition around the world and score runs just as Rahul did for India.
The plan is all set for India to come out as a cricketing nation having a large pool of young cricketers, who are as competitive anywhere in the world as they are in India. The outlines have been laid-out and now it is a team that requires everybody involved to put their heads down and work towards the future that every cricket fan in India aspires for as India cannot possibly have better people to carry their cricket forward.