Indian Cricket in 2019: Kohli's brilliance, World Cup heartbreak and Indian pace revolution

Indian cricket started 2019 on a high by winning its first ever Test series in Australia, while the World Cup semifinal exit left several hearts broken.

Rohit Sharma was the performer of the year amassing 2442 runs across all three formats – three centuries in Tests and seven in ODIs establishing him as the batsman to fear.

Rohit Sharma was the performer of the year amassing 2442 runs across all three formats – three centuries in Tests and seven in ODIs establishing him as the batsman to fear.   -  Getty Images

Virat Kohli’s figure continued to loom large in the Indian dressing room. His consistency and exacting fitness regime kept the team war-ready through the year. India, as asserted by coach Ravi Shastri, played some “fantastic” cricket to justify its new-found reputation as the combination to “beat.”

India’s performance in Tests – seven wins in eight matches – highlighted the focus on the importance of workload management that has propelled the team into a zone of perfect returns for the effort put in. “We are now playing to win every Test. The players have realized that only performance and nothing else is going to take them forward. There is no place for reputation. This is a different team from what you have known in the past. The fitness levels and the commitment have created a terrific work culture in the team,” Shastri told Sportstar.

READ: ICC Test rankings: Kohli ends 2019 on top, Pujara drops to fifth

The India `A’ pipeline has delivered results with some smaller decisions taken in the background cementing the faith of the players in the national selectors. Shreyas Iyer making a strong comeback in the ODIs and Shivam Dube gaining the tag of an all-rounder prove the excellent rapport between the selectors and the team management.

The struggle for the No 4 slot in ODI was settled with Iyer excelling in the new role. Iyer was seen as the best batsman by the team management to adapt to the challenge. So was Dube, who went through a rigorous strength training for six months in the run-up to his international debut. The workload management is a complex process but aims at keeping the players fresh for the contests.

“There is not a player who can be found wanting in any format. International cricket demands intense training and this was evident in the way we played in 2019. We ought to have won the Sydney Test (at the beginning of the year) but rain took away the last day’s play. In all other matches India played dominating cricket. Critics said it was a second-string South Africa that we beat but the same team hurt England,” asserted Shastri.

The workload management meant the Test fast bowling force of Mohammad Shami (33 wickets), Ishant Sharma (25 wkts) and Umesh Yadav (23) was at peak fitness for the critical matches. “They were amazing,” said Shastri. The team also gained from the consistency of Mayank Agarwal, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma in Tersts and KL Rahul in ODIs.

The struggle for the No 4 slot in ODI was settled with Iyer excelling in the new role   -  BCCI

 


Top Indian bowlers in Tests in 2019


Mts

Wkts

Best

Avg

Econ

5W

Mohammed Shami

8

33

5/35

16.66

2.83

1

Ishant Sharma

6

25

5/22

15.56

2.86

2

Umesh Yadav

4

23

5/53

13.65

3.54

1

 

Top Indian bowlers in ODIs in 2019


Mts

Wkts

Best

Avg

Econ

5W

Mohammed Shami

21

42

5/69

22.64

5.36

3

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

19

33

4/31

23.75

5.23

2

Kuldeep Yadav

23

32

4/39

34.68

5.33

2

 

Top Indian bowlers in T20Is in 2019


Mts

Wkts

Best

Avg

Econ

5W

Deepak Chahar

9

16

6/7

13.00

6.53

1

Yuzvendra Chahal

9

8

2/28

39.25

8.97

0

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

9

8

2/19

33.87

8.21

0

Krunal Pandya

12

8

3/28

42.87

8.10

0

Rohit was the performer of the year amassing 2442 runs across all three formats – three centuries in Tests and seven in ODIs establishing him as the batsman to fear. He has to be battle-ready even though he has been rested for the ODI series against Sri Lanka with strengthening coach Nick Webb putting through a punishing training block.

Top Indian batsmen in Tests in 2019


Mts

Runs

Hs

Avg

SR

100s

50s

Mayank Agarwal

8

754

243

68.54

59.04

3

2

Ajinkya Rahane

8

642

115

71.33

49.96

2

5

Virat Kohli

8

612

254*

68.00

63.28

2

2

Top Indian batsmen in ODIs in 2019


Mts

Runs

Hs

Avg

SR

100s

50s

Rohit Sharma

28

1490

159

57.30

89.92

7

6

Virat Kohli

26

1377

123

59.86

96.36

5

7

MS Dhoni

18

600

87*

60.00

82.30

0

6

Top Indian batsmen in T20Is in 2019


Mts

Runs

Hs

Avg

SR

100s

50s

Virat Kohli

10

466

94*

77.66

147.93

0

5

Rohit Sharma

14

396

85

28.28

138.46

0

4

KL Rahul

9

356

91

44.50

142.40

0

4

The year 2019 was marked by key Indian players maintaining top fitness due to the “professionalism” seen in the way the team management, selectors, physios and the strengthening coaches functioned. Each player was monitored closely and it reflected in the approach of the team – unbeaten run in Tests; 19 wins in 28 ODIs and 9 in 16 T20s. “We had a wonderful World Cup but for those 15 painful minutes. There was little to complain even though I wold say we have to push ourselves in the T20 format,” noted Shastri.

India's performance during the year across the three formats:


Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn / NR

Win%

Tests

8

7

0

1

87.50

One-Day Internationals

28

19

8

1

67.86

Twenty20 Internationals

16

9

7

0

56.25

As Shastri insisted, the team was focused on a taxing 2022 with Tests in New Zealand and Australia and the T20 World Cup. “We are ready for all challenges. There is some outstanding talent waiting to conquer the world of cricket,” the India coach concluded.

Statistics by Rajneesh Gupta

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