Home > Features >

MS Dhoni & Co. could well be India’s best-ever one-day side

image_20131128113134

The Indian team won its sixth consecutive One-Day International (ODI) trophy when they beat West Indies at Kanpur © IANS

By Derek Abraham

Eleven months, four continents, six ODI trophies — can it get any better? Guess what? It can. How about beating South Africa in their own backyard? India could realise that dream in a fortnight’s time. By pummeling the West Indies in Kanpur on Wednesday, Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co didn’t just pocket the series 2-1. For the umpteenth time this year, they posed this question to you and me: Isn’t this the best ODI side to have represented the country? Greater than ‘Kapil’s Devils’ (1983), ‘Sunny’s Stars’ (1985), ‘Dada’s Gang’ (2003) and even the ‘Class of 2011’. Are ‘Dhoni’s Dudes’ (2013) right up there?

Fathom this: they started the year with a 3-2 triumph over England. In June, they lifted the ICC Champions Trophy — a tougher assignment than the World Cup because of the absence of minnows — without losing a game before crossing the Atlantic and winning a tri-series involving the West Indies and Sri Lanka in the Caribbean. Forty winks later, they were in Zimbabwe — Dhoni and a few others sat out, but that’s besides the point — to hand the hosts a 5-0 hammering. Back home, they beat the Aussies 3-2 before rounding off the home season with a straightforward win on Wednesday.

Most old-timers consider the World Championship of Cricket-winning side of 1985 better than the one which put India on the cricket map in 1983. The reasons are aplenty. One, they won in Australia, which is the most challenging of tours. Two, they won five out of five matches. Three, they picked up 49 of the 50 wickets there were on offer. Also, the team was packed with world-class all-rounders and there was no tail as such. Even No. 11 Laxman Sivaramakrishnan had a first-class century to his name.

Sourav Ganguly’s team, which reached the final of the 2003 World Cup, was considered the best for several years before Dhoni lifted the World Cup in 2011. Now that was a ‘Dream Team’. Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir at the top; Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina in the middle and Dhoni to guide the rest. It was a batting colossus. The journey, which culminated at the Wankhede on the night of April 2, 2011, had started with that famous victory in the 2008 Commonwealth Bank tri-series final in Australia.

But just like the period between 1983 and 1985 saw India suffer many series defeats, the stretch from 2011 to 2013 was forgettable. India lost in England, failed to qualify for the tri-series Down Under, lost to Bangladesh in the Asia Cup and even suffered at the hands of Pakistan at home.

And then came Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli and Rohit Sharma 2.0. There’s been no looking back since. South Africa is the only country where India haven’t won an ODI series. Time to conquer the final frontier, then?

A few statistical highlights

6   The win against West Indies is India’s sixth successive ODI series triumph this year.

21 Number of ODIs India have won in 2013 out of the total 30 played, with eight losses and one no-result.

5 — Number of centuries Shikhar Dhawan has scored this year, the most so far. He leads Virat Kohli, who has scored four.

(The writer is Principal Correspondent at DNA, where the above article first appeared)

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Cardiff

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 177 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

Photos

England Women vs India Women 2014, 1st ODI at Scarborough

Videos

Morgan talks upcoming ODI series and World Cup

India tour of England 2014: Blaming WAGs for India’s poor run is childish

India look to regain confidence in warm-up match ahead of ODI series against England

India tour of England 2014: Visitor’s recent record in overseas ODIs a cause for concern

India tour of England 2014: Is county cricket really the answer for Indian batsmen?

India vs England 2014: Ideal opportunity for Sanju Samson and other youngsters to shine

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ravi Shastri South Africa tour of Zimbabwe 2014 South Africa vs Zimbabwe Sri Lanka West Indies Zimbabwe Zimbabwe vs South Africa Zimbabwe vs South Africa 2014

Live Scorecard:Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 1st ODI, at Hambantota

Eoin Morgan believes England must be more aggressive in ODIs

Shoaib Malik: When playing for Pakistan, my role in the team is not made clear

West Indies steamroll Bangladesh by 177 runs in 2nd ODI at Grenada, take series 2-0

Yuvraj Singh pays tributes to yoga guru Iyengar

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014: Younis Khan’s ODI comeback brings hope to Pakistan

India tour of England 2014: India among teams losing three tests in a series after being 1-0 ahead

Stephen Fleming: New Zealand tour to England in 1999 is one of my best moments

India tour of England 2014: Blaming WAGs for India’s poor run is childish

India look to regain confidence in warm-up match ahead of ODI series against England

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

660 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny Cricket Wonders and Blunders

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014: Younis Khan’s ODI comeback brings hope to Pakistan

Everton vs Arsenal, Preview and Team News, Barclays Premier League 2014-15: Toffees test await Gunners in EPL

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita let Simmi live with her husband?

Motorola Shamu aka Nexus 6 spotted on Indian import manifest

Extreme sportsman says he painted a Ukraine flag on Moscow skyscraper

Rajkumar Hirani, Gauri Shinde, Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Anurag Basu to do cameos in Amitabh Bachchan’s Shamitabh!

Eoin Morgan believes England must be more aggressive in ODIs

5 diseases that may give you no warning signs

Apple iPhone 6 confirmed by Chinese carrier ahead of September 9 launch

UN Council condemns `heinous and cowardly` Foley murder

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here