India in the 7th heaven of delight

mahendra-singh-dhoni-5835730_1280India has now won 7 global level tournaments…

1. ODI World Cup–1983. (Captain: Kapil Dev)
2. Benson & Hedges World Series Championship–1985. (Sunil Gavaskar)
3. ICC Champions Trophy–2002. (Sourav Ganguly)
4. T20 World Cup–2007. (MS Dhoni)
5. ODI World Cup–2011. (MS Dhoni)
6. ICC Champions Trophy–2013. (MS Dhoni)
7. T20 World Cup–2024. (Rohit Sharma)

We have won these tournaments in Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies-USA, Sri Lanka and India. We are definitely not poor travelers or paper tigers abroad.

In first place is Australia with 10 ICC titles. 3rd is West Indies with 5 such titles. That’s followed by Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England (all 3 ICC titles). Then New Zealand with 2 and South Africa with 1.

Rohit is hot on the trail of Dhoni in terms of winning tournaments with many teams…

MS Dhoni
T20 World Cup–2007.
ODI World Cup–2011.
ICC Champions Trophy–2013.
2 Asia Cups–2010, 2016.
5 IPLs–2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, 2023.
2 Champions League Twenty20–2010, 2014.
Total=12.

Rohit Sharma
T20 World Cup–2024.
2 Asia Cups–2018, 2023.
5 IPLs–2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020.
Champions League Twenty20–2013.
Total=9.

India’s knockout performance versus its cricketing rivals

international-2693204_1280In large tournaments that have been called World Cups or mini World Cups, we have won the following knockout matches and finals against the following countries…

Australia (4)
1. 1998 ICC Knockout Quarter Final
2. 2000 ICC Knockout Quarter Final
3. 2007 T20 World Cup Semi Final
4. 2011 ODI World Cup Quarter Final

Pakistan (4)
1. 1985 Benson & Hedges World Series Final
2. 1996 ODI World Cup Quarter Final
3. 2007 T20 World Cup Final
4. 2011 ODI World Cup Semi Final

South Africa (4)
1. 2000 ICC Knockout Semi Final
2. 2002 Champions Trophy Semi Final
3. 2014 T20 World Cup Semi Final
4. 2024 T20 World Cup Final

England (3)
1. 1983 ODI World Cup Semi Final
2. 2013 Champions Trophy Final
3. 2024 T20 World Cup Semi Final

Sri Lanka (2)
1. 2011 ODI World Cup Final
2. 2013 Champions Trophy Semi Final

Bangladesh (2)
1. 2015 ODI World Cup Quarter Final
2. 2017 Champions Trophy Semi Final

West Indies (1)
1983 ODI World Cup Final

New Zealand (1)
2023 ODI World Cup Semi Final

Kenya (1)
2003 ODI World Cup Semi Final

Why Indian cricketers aren’t poor travellers and ace foreign tours

plane-841441_960_720England is yet to win a major multi-nation ODI tournament outside England. South Africa and New Zealand have not won a World Cup anywhere. Forget a Test series—Sri Lanka has never even won a single Test in India. Pakistan won their first Test series in West Indies quite late in 2017 as against India way back in 1971.

The truth is that when you combine all three formats of the game, then only Australia and India are the best travellers. These two teams have won maximum multi-nation tournaments in maximum countries. It’s a myth that Indians are poor travellers in international cricket overall.

We have won in…

united-kingdom-1043062_1280England.
1 ODI World Cup—1983.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2013.
3 Test series—1971, 1986, 2007.
1 ODI Tri-series—2002.
4 ODI series—1986, 1990, 2014, 2022.
2 T20 series—2018, 2022.
Total = 12.

sydney-3680862_960_720Australia.
1 Mini World Cup—Benson & Hedges World Series 1985.
2 Test series—2019, 2021.
1 ODI Tri-series—2008.
1 ODI series—2019.
2 T20 series—2016*, 2020.
Total = 7.
India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Aus by tying the Test series in 2004.
*Australia’s only whitewash in any format on home soil ever since 1877.

South Africa.
1 T20 World Cup—2007.
2 ODI series—2018, 2023.
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 4.

Lanka-2099225_1280Sri Lanka.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2002.
2 Asia Cups—2010, 2023.
3 Test series—1993, 2015, 2017.
3 ODI Tri-series—1998, 2009, 2018.
5 ODI series—2008, 2009, 2012, 2017, 2021.
Total = 14.

West Indies.
1 T20 World Cup, 2023. (Joint hosts US)
6 Test series—1971, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2019, 2023.
1 ODI Tri-series—2013.
7 ODI series—2002, 2009, 2011, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023.
2 T20 series—2019, 2022.
Total = 17.

pakistan-641446_960_720Pakistan.
1 Test series—2004.
2 ODI series—2004, 2006.
Total = 3.

New Zealand.
2 Test series—1968, 2009.
2 ODI series—2009, 2019.
2 T20 series—2020, 2022.
Total = 6.

dubai-1113262_960_720UAE.
7 multi-nation tournaments—1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, 1998, 1998, 2018.

Bangladesh.
2 Asia Cups—1988, 2016.
5 Test series—2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2022.
1 ODI Tri-series—1998.
3 ODI series—2004, 2007, 2014.
Total = 11.

China.
1 Asian Games Gold Medal, 2023.

Canada.
2 ODI series—1997 (Pak), 1999 (WI).

clover-445255_960_720Ireland.
1 ODI series—2007 (SA).
3 T20 series—2018, 2022, 2023. (Ire).
Total = 4.

Zimbabwe.
1 Test series—2005
5 ODI series—1998, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2022.
2 T20 series—2010, 2016.
Total = 8.

Grand Total = 96, that includes 6 World Cups/mini WCs, second only to Australia.

India has won at least one 5-nation plus tournament in Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies-USA, Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh and India.

(This blog was first published on October 1, 2018. This is an updated version of the same)

4 languages have won 18/21 FIFA World Cups

europe-32847_1280Only 2 continents have ever won: Europe and South America.
None from North America, Africa, Asia or even Russia and Australia.

In fact, only 6 languages have ever won the World Cup…

Spanish (Uruguay, Argentina, Spain)
German (West Germany, Germany)
Portuguese (Brazil)
Italian (Italy)
French (France)
English (England)

The top 4 have won 18/21.

Interestingly all these languages emanated from one zone in North-West Europe and they are all neighbours clustered together.

Finalists who never won…

Netherlands (Thrice)
Czechoslovakia (twice)
Hungary (Twice)
Sweden
Croatia

Semi-finalists/Top 4 teams who never reached the final…

USA
Austria
Chile
Portugal
Russia
Poland
Belgium
Bulgaria
South Korea
Turkey

Most improved cricketing teams in recent times

cricket-150559_1280Most improved white ball team since 2010…

England.

1975-2009: Zero Big Tournament wins (Comprising 5 or more teams).

2010-22: 3 World Cups.

Most improved red ball team since 2015…

India.

9 straight Test series wins from 2015-17.

First 3-0 Test series win (and whitewash) on foreign soil, Sri Lanka, 2017.

Home whitewashes:

3-0, New Zealand, 2016.

3-0, South Africa, 2019.

First ever Test series win in Australia, 2019, repeated in 2021.

Topped the rankings for inaugural Test championship in 2021.

Undefeated at home since 2012.

But most missed opportunities without winning…

2014: T20 World Cup Final.

2016: T20 World Cup semis.

2015: ODI World Cup Semis.

2017: ICC Champions Trophy Final.

2019: ODI World Cup semis.

2021: Test Championships Final.

2022: T20 World Cup Semis.

India has been choking for quite some time now

virat-kohli-5835741_1280In the 2014 T20 World Cup India played spectacularly winning 5 matches in a row including the semis where they comfortably chased a target of 173 against South Africa.

Then in the final they crashed to an abysmal 130 in 20 overs to lose.

In the 2015 ODI World Cup, we bettered this league performance winning a whopping 7 matches in a row including a 300+ score versus Bangladesh in the quarters.

In the semis, we crashed to 233 all down chasing 329.

In the 2016 T20 World Cup in the semis, we couldn’t even defend a score of 192, as West Indies won by a good 7 wickets and 2 balls to spare.

In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, we were humiliated by Pakistan, crashing to 158 all down chasing 339.

In the 2019 ODI World Cup semis, we couldn’t even chase a target of 240, getting 221 all down.

In the inaugural Test World Championship, we topped the global rankings but crashed to 170 all down in the second innings when even a 220 might have been enough to draw the match thanks to all the rain delays.

And in the recent T20 World Cup we got thrashed by 10 wickets in the semis.

If we had bad teams and lost to a better team it would have been different. But we have been doing consistently well in the leagues and then crashing at the last moment.

The only silver linings have been the Asia Cups we won in 2016 and 2018.

We really are missing MS Dhoni (he was in severe decline in the above-mentioned period) and his Golden Era when from 2007-13, we won the T20 World Cup (2007), the ODI World Cup (2011) and the ICC Champions Trophy. Apart from the 2016 Asia Cup, Dhoni also won us the 2010 edition and our first ever tri-series win on Australian soil in 2008.

Our previous golden period was 1984-86, when we won the ODI World Cup in 1983, the Asia Cup in 1984 and the Benson & Hedges World Series in 1986 apart from other smaller tournament wins.

Let’s see when the next golden period begins.