The Men in Blue have maintained their grasp at the top of the ICC Test rankings and have ended the year behind only South Africa and Pakistan respectively in the ODI and T20I format.
Here, we take a look at the key talking points from a year which seen the Indian team scale new heights.
After seeing off England at home towards the end of 2016, India hosted Bangladesh for a one-off Test for the first time in their history and duly registered a 208-run victory.
Kohli’s men were then put under some intense pressure in the Test series against Australia. After losing the first Test in the four-match series, the hosts overcame stiff resistance from Steve Smith’s men to take the series 2-1.
They then created history in Sri Lanka by handing the islanders a 3-0 whitewash in their own backyard. This was the first time since 1967-68 that an Indian side had won three Test matches in an away series.
India then entertained Sri Lanka in a three-match series at home towards the end of the year and once again triumphed, albeit by a smaller margin of 1-0 this time.
ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY DISAPPOINTMENT
Kohli’s troops were on song in the ICC Champions Trophy held in England in the summer where they beat the likes of Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh to enter the final as heavy favourites.
Their opposition in the summit tie were arch-rivals Pakistan in an encounter which had the cricket world licking its lips in anticipation. However, the Men in Blue were dealt a crushing defeat by a resurgent Sarfraz Ahmed-led side in perhaps their only disappointment in an otherwise unblemished year.
VIRAT KOHLI’S YEAR TO REMEMBER
The Indian skipper might have led his side to some excellent wins in 2017 but it was his personal form with the bat which caught the eye.
The recently hitched 29-year-old performed admirably across all formats clocking in 2,818 international runs for the year, which is the third highest by any batsman in history. In the ODI format, the right-handed batsman went past Ricky Ponting’s record of 30 tons and is now only behind Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 hundreds.
He ended the year with two back-to-back double tons against Sri Lanka, making him the first skipper to score six double hundreds. The superstar cricketer registered 11 tons in 2017 – six in ODIs and five in Tests, another world record.
That he ended the year as the top ranked ODI batsman and behind only Steve Smith in Tests is a testament to the brilliant 2017 Kohli has had.
WRIST-SPIN THE NEW MANTRA FOR INDIA IN LIMITED-OVERS CRICKET
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been instrumental in India’s rise to the top of the Test rankings and the spin-twins have had stellar individual years. In the five-day format, Ashwin and Jadeja are the second and fourth highest wicket-takers respectively in the calendar year underlining their importance to the Indian side.
However, the Indian think tank has opted for a new direction in the limited-overs format since their Champions Trophy defeat to Pakistan. The senior spin pair has been sidelined in favour of the wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. The two spinners have been heavily amongst the wickets in ODIs and T20Is for India this year with Chahal capturing 44 wickets and Yadav scalping 34.
INDIA’S RECORD YEAR
India’s victory over Sri Lanka in the final T20I at Mumbai meant that the hosts finished 2017 with 37 wins across all formats out of a total of 57 matches. This is the highest India have achieved in any year and only the second best in history behind Australia’s record of 38 wins in 2003.
India’s win/loss ratio of 3.1 is also the second best in history behind the same Aussie side of 2003 which had a staggering ratio of 4.8.
Overall, India won 37, losing 12 along with four matches with no result.
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