Ind vs Eng – Is Virat Kohli’s Indian team ‘best ever Indian team’? West Indies legend Clive Lloyd is highly impressed by team India’s performance in Australia, so much so that he has called the current-gen as ‘best ever Indian team’. He believes that India fought tough situations to emerge victoriously. The cricketing great also feels that the current India team-led by MS Dhoni has set a high level of fitness standards than the previous generations.
“They are a much better side because they have variety, the players are fitter and more professional… Yeah, I would think so… Don’t forget they came from behind most times in Australia and that was excellent. Judging by their performances from that series you can say that this is the best Indian team ever,” Lloyd told The Telegraph.
Clive Lloyd hailed India’s historic triumph in Australia. India-led by Ajinkya Rahane despite suffering an embarrassing defeat in the first Test, made an inspiring comeback, to only beat the Men Down Under at their Gabba fortress.
But is this really the best team ever? Is this Indian crop better than that of Kapil Dev’s 1983 World Cup team or Sourav Ganguly’s revolutionising 2003 team or even MS Dhoni’s dominant 2011 World Cup squad?
Ind vs Eng: Kapil Dev’s 83 WC team
Former India captain Kapil Dev won the first World Cup title for India. India team were underdogs entering into the competition. On their way to glory, India defeated West Indies— who had won the previous two World Cup titles. Kapil Dev led India in 34 Tests, he won 4 matches while 7 matches ended in a draw. In the ODIs, Kapil Dev captained India in 74 matches and emerged victorious in 39 matches. But it was this team, that gave Indian cricket the imagination that anything is possible with a positive approach.
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Ind vs Eng: Sourav Ganguly’s 2003 WC team
Sourav Ganguly was appointed as India captain in 1999. He took the reign when India was in shambles and looked for a leader to pull it out of it. Ganguly changed it by backing the youngsters and giving them the belief to perform at the biggest stage. India’s historic win against England in the Natwest Trophy final in 2002 bears testament to it. Furthermore, under his captaincy, India had dominated the 2003 World Cup, before losing to defending champions Australia in the final.
Besides this, India also won the Test series against Australia in their backyard in the 2003-04 series after their win over the Aussies at home in 2000-01. Sourav Ganguly led Men in Blues in 146 ODIs and won 76 matches. India played 49 Tests under his leadership and won 21 matches.
MS Dhoni’s 2011 WC team
MS Dhoni’s became India skipper in 2007 and taught them how to win big trophies. He first won the T20 World Cup trophy that included a squad filled with youngsters. Later, he went on to win the CB Series against Australia, helped India achieve the No.1 rankings in Test.
One thing which made Dhoni stand out of the rest of his predecessors was his calm and composed approach during pressure situations. Also, he was someone who could win games with a mediocre team too, something which was and has been rarely seen. He knew how to bring out the best from his players.
The World up 2011 squad, which had ageing yet big names like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh shined throughout the tournament.
The players during MS Dhoni’s captaincy were known for their fitness. It was evident from the fielding performances by Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and others.
MS Dhoni has led India in 60 Tests and won 27 Test matches. In ODIs, Dhoni took charge as captain in 200 matches and won 110 games.
d) Virat Kohli’s current Indian team
Virat Kohli began his captaincy in the Test format before taking ODI reigns from MS Dhoni in 2016-17. Kohli brought a different level of intent and aggression among players to win for the India team.
His first big breakthrough came when India defeated Australia away from home in the 2018 Test series. The players under skipper Kohli are known for their high-fitness standards.
Virat Kohli has led India in 93 ODIs and won 64 matches with a winning per cent of 70.87. He has also won the most number of Test matches for India (36) out of 60 Tests that India has so far played under his captaincy.