Almost a decade of domination in world cricket by Australia has reached its end. Its decline from the status of world champions in both forms of the game be it the test arena or the one-day arena as reached its end. It is now ranked 5th in test and the same in ODI’s in the latest ICC cricket ratings. The domination started way back in the early1999 under the leadership of the then captain Steve Waugh and later passed on to his deputy Ricky Pointing; and now is surely going to be shifted to the hands of some other player after the world cup; whatever be the result of the world cup.
While the Aussies where enjoying their domination of world cricket; a sleeping giant was slowly waking up in the other side of the world. Giant in terms of the amount of people playing this sport and the money pumped into it. The giant woke up with an aggressive and vocal captain at its helm called Sourav Ganguly. This was later followed by his deputy the milder and calmer Rahul Dravid, which later fell into the hands of two brave, smart and courageous men. One took charge of the shorter format; while the other looked into the test arena. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Anil Kumble; the latter has retired but the former now leads in all formats and does a pretty damn good job of it.
Now; the questions arises what is it that makes a great team? Will just great players do the trick or do we need greater captains’.
We view this in hindsight; The Australians had the talent of amazing legends through their dominant years; while India was just building theirs. The greats of the game such as Hayden, Gilly, Langer, McGrath, Warne, Gillespie, Pointing (at his peak), and even the young and aggressive Brett Lee formed the backbone of the Aussie domination. India at this time had just one Sachin Tendulkar. India; however even now has the same players which were there with them ten years back still in the game. There is Dravid, Laxman, and Harbhajan who present then and are still there were today playing some form of cricket. They are backed by excellent players like Zaheer, Sehwag, and Yuvraj. All of these still form the backbone of either the test or the one day game.
So; what do we associate the dominance of a team with; great players or great captains. Choose the former then the fall of Australia and the rise of India can be explained; chose the latter then the Aussie dominance should have never failed because now honest cricket lover will ever tell you that Pointing was a poor captain but a great player.
The question will always remain unanswered; but the status of India as a dominant force is world cricket can only be asserted after its performance in the world cup to be held next month. Till then India remains one among the many who look to dominate world cricket.