Set-to-conquer-more

Virat Kohli owned 2016. His voyage towards excellence had begun in 2012, but 2016 saw him propelling the journey towards greatness. We were reaffirmed about Don Bradman s enormity. Kohli has emulated the Steve Waugh-led Australia s glorious run (18 undefeated Tests); by the time the season ends, he may well go on to replicate Ricky Ponting s. But this is not about Kohli; it is about Team India. But then, 2016 and India cannot be mentioned in the same breath without naming the Indian Test captain. And with the king was his lieutenant, the man who architected most wins Ravichandran Ashwin.

The first half of the year was a coloured-clothing affair. BCCI made some smart scheduling keeping the ICC World T20 in mind. And then, the headlines ran Kohli Kohli Kohli Kohli…

Come July, and Kohli had already taken charge of the side as their long sojourn in whites began. The three wise men in BCCI s advisory committee Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman chose Anil Kumble ahead of Ravi Shastri as India’s head coach.

Kumble took over the rein. The initial challenge was a relatively easy one, for they landed on the Caribbean shores to take on Jason Holder’s depleted West Indies. The script ensued Kohli Kohli Kohli Kohli…

Kohli had had no double-hundred in First-Class cricket till then. He struck one in the first Test at Antigua and two more by the end of the year. Meanwhile Ashwin emulated Jack Gregory and Ian Botham by becoming only the third cricketer to scalp a seven-for and score a century in the same Test. While Kohli and Ashwin did their usual, the other hallmark was Mohammed Shami’s return. He bowled with fire and venom.

Virat Kohli kisses the turf after scoring his maiden double hundred. (Courtesy: AFP)
Virat Kohli kisses the turf after scoring his maiden double hundred. (Courtesy: AFP)

India’s pace battery looked sorted and Viv Richards’ country was conquered with an innings win.

India dominated the second Test at Jamaica but West Indies’ lower middle-order led by Roston Chase’s hundred in the second innings denied a win to the visitors.

The teams moved to St Lucia. West Indies had India on the mat at 126 for 5. The decision to promote Ashwin to No. 6 paid off; Wriddhiman Saha, who had 7 dismissals to his name at Antigua, finally proved why Kohli had always rated him so high. Ashwin and Saha may have already formed a prolific keeper-bowler pair; this time, however, they added 213 runs, both scoring hundreds.

On his comeback, Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed a five-for as well. The Indian pacers helped the side complete another comprehensive win. This was the first time a team from India had won more than one Test in West Indies in the series.

India climbed to the pinnacle of ICC Test Rankings but only for a while. Pakistan’s win at The Oval and washout of the final India-West Indies Test at Port-of-Spain ensured Pakistan wore the crown. But it was a matter of time…

Shift to Kanpur. Kane Williamson’s New Zealand were here. India played their 500th Test at Kanpur. There were some early hiccups with the bat, but Ashwin, alongside his partner-in-arms Ravindra Jadeja, bailed India out.

Ashwin claimed another 10-wicket haul. The setting moved to Kolkata. The track had uneven bounce and assisted pacers. India, high on confidence, they proved that they did not need tailor-made tracks to script wins, for that was the myth buzzing post their 3-0 win against South Africa in 2015-16.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane knit a crucial 141-run stand before local boy Saha anchored the batting to respectability with an unbeaten fifty. The Indian pacers rose to the occasion. Bhuvneshwar claimed a five-for exhibiting inspiring swing bowling while the other local boy Shami claimed 6 wickets in the Test. As his little daughter was recuperating in a hospital, Shami was busy reversing the Kiwis back to the pavilion.

2016 saw Wriddhiman Saha's rise in reputation. Already India's best gloveman, Saha played crucial knocks too. He got his maiden Test hundred at St. Lucia. (Courtesy: AFP)
2016 saw Wriddhiman Saha’s rise in reputation. Already India’s best gloveman, Saha played crucial knocks too. He got his maiden Test hundred at St. Lucia. (Courtesy: AFP)

New Zealand have always punched above their weights. They scared the Indians by reducing them to 43 for 4. Shikhar Dhawan had his finger fractured courtesy Trent Boult’s sharp skills. Kohli counterattacked with a defiant 45, and Rohit Sharma and Saha again harboured India to a winning position.

On the wee hours of the fourth day, Shami ran in and fired in a bouncer at Boult, who backed away and looked to be overambitious with the willow. The top-edge lobbed to Murali Vijay.

India won the Eden Gardens Test by 178 runs; the series was sealed 2-0 and with it came the No. 1 Test rank.

Kohli was winning games with bat, Ashwin with bat and ball. The side had someone winning the Man of the Match because of his fineness behind the stumps.

Kohli's Team India climbed to the No.1 spot after the Eden Gardens' win against New Zealand. (Courtesy: AFP)
Kohli’s Team India climbed to the No.1 spot after the Eden Gardens’ win against New Zealand. (Courtesy: AFP)

Like true champions, India trampled New Zealand at Indore, the city hosting its first ever Test. Test cricket witnessed capacity crowd in a long time. Kohli had gone 7 innings without a fifty and he satiated his hunger with 211, adding 365 for the fourth wicket with his deputy Rahane.

While all this happened, Gautam Gambhir made a comeback to Test cricket with a changed stance but similar grit. A selfless fifty followed an attractive 29.

Ashwin got a 13-for this time and bagged his seventh Man of the Series title, two more than Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. It is a different story that the wily Chennaiyan had played less than half Tests as Sehwag and less than a fifth of that of Tendulkar.

Team India celebrates after routing New Zealand 3-0 and receiving the ICC Test Mace. (Courtesy: AFP)
Team India celebrates after routing New Zealand 3-0 and receiving the ICC Test Mace. (Courtesy: AFP)

***

The great English annihilation

Beaten at Mirpur and forced to square the series against a lowly-ranked Bangladesh, Alastair Cook’s men arrived in India for the acid test. Records were in England s favour, for they had won their past three series against India in 2011, 2012-13 (in India) and 2014; however, under Cook’s disposal was an inexperienced side, more so given the conditions.

On November 9, it seemed that the Indian team had decoded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation decision as a ban on five-fors and scoring hundreds. India’s approach in the entire first Test at Rajkot was lacklustre. England outplayed them in all departments. Catches were dropped. Batsmen showed little intent to grind out. And England spinners outshone their famed counterparts.

These are the Invincibles in waiting in Test cricket, of that I have little doubt.

Despite all that, Pujara and Vijay got tons. Ashwin made up for his off time with the ball with a fine 70. Kohli’s 49 not out stood between England and a win. 0-0, England had the mental edge.

Gambhir’s poor show in Rajkot got him the boot. India bounced back at Visakhapatnam. Kohli’s 167 and 81 placed India in a commanding position. Ashwin did not want to miss out on the spotlight and claimed a customary five-for and a three-wicket haul in the second innings. India won by 246 runs.

Sight of the year: Mohammed Shami dismantles Alastair Cook's off-stump; breaking it into two. (Courtesy: AFP)
Sight of the year: Mohammed Shami dismantles Alastair Cook’s off-stump; breaking it into two. (Courtesy: AFP)

The king and his lieutenant delivered the killing blows, knight Pujara played his role well with another hundred, now third in a now. Meanwhile, India had unearthed another jewel in Jayant Yadav who contributed with 35, 1 for 38, 27* and 3 for 30. His Ashwinesque intelligence and calmness impressed all and sundry.

A fine fringe bench is the hallmark of a great side. India were showing shades of it. Saha was ruled out due to injury, what seemed like a rollback of calendars took place as Parthiv Patel made a comeback after eight long years.

Parthiv Patel made a memorable comeback to the Test side. He was decent behind the stumps but made a statement with the bat. (Courtesy: AFP)
Parthiv Patel made a memorable comeback to the Test side. He was decent behind the stumps but made a statement with the bat. (Courtesy: AFP)

The baby-faced Gujarat wicketkeeper s attempts to look older with the Team India customary stubbles did not work. What worked was his efficiency in the Mohali Test. He shone as an opener and put up an improved show behind the stumps.

Shami and Umesh Yadav tormented Englishmen. Shami’s seam position and Umesh’s probing length aided with pace proved a tough proposition for England. India’s lower-order shone bright with Ashwin getting 72, Jadeja 90 and Jayant 55.

England arrived in Mumbai hoping to repeat the wins of 2005-06 and 2012-13. They ticked the first box with 400 on board. Vijay’s composed 136 and Kohli and Jayant’s record stand broke England. Kohli went into the EA Sports towards the end while Jayant brought up his maiden hundred. Ashwin took 12 as India won by an innings and 36 runs. Mind you, India were without Rahane, Saha and now Shami.

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed another 12-wicket haul in Mumbai as India won by an innings. (Courtesy: AFP)
Ravichandran Ashwin claimed another 12-wicket haul in Mumbai as India won by an innings. (Courtesy: AFP)

Chennai was a dead rubber. The first three days yawned fanatics to switch to the more exciting Pakistan-Australia day-night Test at Brisbane. England put up 477 and India 759, their highest in Tests.

“To me, the Chennai victory will remain the sweetest of the four wins in the series,” wrote CricketCountry Chief Mentor VVS Laxman in his analysis. “There is great depth in the squad, an overwhelming awareness of the virtues of physical fitness, a healthy competition for places and a distinct desire to not get easily satisfied. There are the qualities that first shape, and then drive, a world-beating side. These are the Invincibles in waiting in Test cricket, of that I have little doubt.”

In Chennai, Kohli failed, as did Ashwin and the ever-consistent Pujara. The injury-ridden KL Rahul assured his berth with a near-perfect 199. After three-and-half days of batting boredom, Karun Nair, into his third Test innings, decided to punish the English for letting his chances go by manhandling them. In process, he became the second Indian to the triple-hundred club after the great Sehwag.

Karun Nair employed most of his sweeps and reverse sweeps to perfection en route to his triple ton. Here we have the first Indian cricketer after Virender Sehwag in the triple ton club. (Courtesy: IANS)
Karun Nair employed most of his sweeps and reverse sweeps to perfection en route to his triple ton. Here we have the first Indian cricketer after Virender Sehwag in the triple ton club. (Courtesy: IANS)

Enough of Ashwin. Jadeja claimed his maiden 10-for to spark a surreal English collapse on the fifth day. Hence proved the side has emerged out from Kohli and Ashwin’s looming shadows.

Jadeja’s dominance on Day Five allowed Kohli to bag the Man of the Series award and break the Ashwin monotony.

India lost Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammed Shami and Wriddhiman Saha due to injuries but the back-up were more than ready. The year saw Rahul and Saha’s rise in reputation, Shami’s inspired comeback and the side found jewels in Jayant and Nair.

India won 9 Tests in 2016. Their previous best of 8 wins in a calendar year had come in 2010. The only teams who have done better are England who won 11 in 2004 and Australia, with 10 in 2006.

18 Tests without a defeat is India s longest unbeaten streak.

They will continue to rule the roost in Test cricket in the coming days, but their real test lies in alien conditions, especially in England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Also, facing Pakistan in similar conditions like home will test them to core. However, at this point it is a distant dream.

India may continue to place the gold on their crown but their Test supremacy will only be judged after they replicate similar shows overseas. With players adept in foreign conditions, thanks to the well-timed India A and Under-19 tours under the watchful eyes of Rahul Dravid and an able think-tank in place, there is no reason why Kohli’s men would not scale greater heights.

***

Men in Blue

India had travelled to Australia in January to play a series of 5 ODIs. MS Dhoni was in charge. While the likes of Kohli, Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan scored runs aplenty, batting was not an issue; however, the bowlers were not capable of defending totals. Rohit, Kohli and Dhawan scored over 1,110 runs between them in the 5-ODI series.

To an outsider, it was apparent that there were cracks in the foundation of the Dhoni-Ashwin chemistry. Ashwin was dropped from the XI and Indian bowling clearly lacked the sting.

Australia won the first three ODI chasing down totals in excess of 300 or almost. India batted second at Canberra and found themselves in command, at 277 for 1 in the 38th over. The target was a massive 349, but hundreds from Kohli and Dhawan hundreds had put them on top. India went on to lose 9 wickets for 46 runs and thus 0-4.

The final ODI was at Sydney. India drafted in uncapped 22-year-old pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who had a good season for Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Bumrah made an impression with his variations and ability to bowl yorker. Australia managed 330 but Bumrah finished with 10-0-40-2.

India won the match courtesy Manish Pandey s heroic 104 not out. Playing in his fourth ODI, Pandey guided the side to an empathic win with three balls to spare. It is another story that Dhoni’s waning skills as a premier finisher were apparent during this chase.

Manish Pandey's maiden ODI hundred guided India to a memorable win at SCG. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
Manish Pandey’s maiden ODI hundred guided India to a memorable win at SCG. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

T20Is can wait for now…

The side’s next assignment came in June when they made their annual visit to Zimbabwe. Dhoni led a rookie bunch to the African nation and what followed was an excruciating display of boredom. The only solace for cricket journalists were making puns of Zimbabwean names and digging out humour in Zimbabwe coach Makhaya Ntini’s post-match comments.

Meanwhile, Rahul became the first Indian to register a hundred on debut. India, no more than a ‘B’ team, lost only 3 wickets in the 3 ODIs and the routing meted to the hosts was 3-0.

India’s third ODI assignment of the year came at home against New Zealand. The Kiwis have had the better of Indians in limited-overs cricket in recent times. Their spinners had out-bowled their Indian counterparts in the World T20 earlier that year. They were expected for a better show after the 0-3 routing in Tests.

India rested key players like Jadeja, Ashwin and Shami, but their bowlers still put up a good show. Amit Mishra spun the web around the Kiwis, claiming 15 wickets at 14.33. New Zealand were too reliant on Williamson, while their other key men Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor did not get going. They managed two wins but India sealed it 3-2.

Amit Mishra celebrates with MS Dhoni
Amit Mishra stood tall in absence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, claiming 15 wickets in the 5-ODI series against New Zealand to help India win 3-2. (Courtesy: AFP)

Kohli finished with 358 runs at 119.33. His 154 not out at Mohali was one of the best knocks of the year. Who is surprised?

That is it. India finished the year at No. 3 spot in ICC ODI Rankings behind Australia and South Africa. They played only 13 ODIs in the year, which is unusually less; the last time India played as few was in 1990!

But at the same time they have not played 21 T20Is as well.

***

The Rockstars of T20

After the 1-4 drubbing in ODIs in Australia, India squared off against the hosts in a T20I series. The format has been Australia’s Achilles Heel and India shot right. Kohli, Rohit and Bumrah starred in the 3-0 whitewash.

The win was special for many reasons. Ashwin found his rhythm back. India unearthed two special talents in Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. The tour also marked the return of Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. Nehra impressed with guile, and India needed 17 from the final over, they had their comeback men Yuvraj and Raina at the crease.

A four and an iconic six from Yuvraj’s bat that set our page-views soaring were among the most cherished moments of the year. Raina had his moment too. With 2 needed from the final ball, Raina made room and punched the bowler over point for a boundary. India jumped to the No. 1 spot in the ICC T20I Rankings.

Suresh Raina (left) and Yuvraj Singh go ecstatic after routing Australia 3-0 to win the T20I series. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
Suresh Raina (left) and Yuvraj Singh go ecstatic after routing Australia 3-0 to win the T20I series. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

The only constant in this was Kohli’s consistency. The scores went 90*, 59* and 50, as he finished with 199.

But no. He is never finished. More was in store. Much more. He was put on the charger for the Sri Lanka T20Is, where Ashwin stood tall, claiming 9 wickets from 3 matches at a ridiculous 3.88 and an unreal economy rate of 3.18 in this format.

With the World T20 in sights, the Asia Cup for the first time was held in the T20I format. The marquee clash was between India and Pakistan, where the latter were dismantled for 83 and Kohli went on to defy an inspired Mohammad Aamer on return to script a five-wicket win.

India went on to defeat hosts Bangladesh in the final to reclaim the Asia Cup. The stars were the Indian pacers. Bumrah, Nehra and Pandya claimed 19 wickets among them at 15.66, 14.71 and 16.50 respectively.

Now came World T20. Hosts India, the top-ranked side, were hot favourites.

They got a reality check in the tournament opener when New Zealand’s unheralded spin trio of Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum spun their side to a 47-run win. Chasing 126, India were dismantled for 79. In what was termed the clash of the year, the venue shift from Dharamsala to Kolkata meant better mileage for the second Indo-Pakistan clash of 2016.

Despite rains and thunderstorms, CAB boss Sourav Ganguly ensured there was an 18-over game. Amidst the luminaries, Ganguly orchestrated the ground-staff and made them sit on sheets with umbrellas to ensure there was no wet outfield.

Another defeat would have put a lid on India’s campaign. There were luminaries and Amitabh Bachchan started the proceedings by singing the national anthem. The murmurs were rain, the pressure, the grapevine going on Kohli’s break-up with Anushka Sharma and then there was the buzz about Qandeel Baloch. It was maddening.

Amidst all this, Kohli did what he does best: he got a fifty and pulled off another win for India.

...And another Kohli special downs Pakistan. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
…And another Kohli special downs Pakistan. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

Of late, India have found a new limited-overs arch-rival in Bangladesh, especially since the quarter-final of World Cup 2015 and Bangladesh s inspired 2-1 win that followed. The sides met at Bengaluru in what was a virtual pre-quarterfinal.

For once Kohli failed and India managed 146. Ashwin produced 4 tight overs, giving away 20 and claiming 2 wickets. Bangladesh needed 11 from the final over. In the third ball of the over, Mushfiqur Rahim got his second boundary through fine-leg and got involved in a pre-mature celebration.

Bangladesh needed 2 from 3 balls when they pressed the hara-kiri mode. Two moments of madness saw Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah depart on successive deliveries. Bangladesh shut the doors to a knocking win for choosing brawn over brain. Dhoni provided the final icing on the cake by running out Mustafizur Rahman. India won by a run.

At Mohali, Kohli hunted down Australia, yet again with a brute 51-ball 82 not out to help India into semi-final.

The toss was going to be important in Mumbai against the West Indies, one of the top sides in this format. India lost but put up 192 courtesy Kohli’s 47-ball 89. Lendl Simmons, Mumbai Indians’ local boy lit it up in his comeback with a match-winning 82 not out from 51 balls. Andre Russell’s unbeaten 43 from 21 played the perfect support. West Indies won with two balls to spare and they went on to lift the trophy as well.

Another Kohli special and another Australia defeat. Kohli finished the tournament with 273 runs at 136.50. He was awarded the Man of the Tournament. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
Another Kohli special and another Australia defeat. Kohli finished the tournament with 273 runs at 136.50. He was awarded the Man of the Tournament. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

The Ashwin-Dhoni chasm widened when the celebrated off-spinner was just bowled 2 overs and there were chances created off his bowling as well. On the flip side, Kohli, asked to bowl, picked up a quick wicket and was even entrusted with the last over

Thus a dream run for India ended. They had won 13 of their 16 games and enjoyed a spot at the top of the ranking charts. India did not win the cup but the Man of the Tournament award came Kohli’s way. He had won it even in the 2014 edition.

***

Dhoni led the young second-string (third-string is more like it) national side in Zimbabwe for a 3-T20I series post the ODI whitewash. Dhoni, who did not get an opportunity to bat in the 3 ODIs, came out at No. 6 but failed to finish it off for India. Zimbabwe were one up and India youngsters came back strong to make it 2-1 in the end.

In August end, India and West Indies flew to Florida after the Test series to play a 2-T20I series at Lauderhill. Popularisation of cricket in the United States had begun years back, and Cricket All-Stars League in 2015, conceived by Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne, had made decent strides in the nation. BCCI played its part too by hosting this series.

The first match went on to enter record books for registering most runs in a T20 game. In a nightmarish contest for the bowlers Evin Lewis smacked five consecutive sixes off Stuart Binny as he marched to a 49-ball 100. India were set 246.

Rahul took over the mantle after Rohit’s 28-ball 62 blitzkrieg. The same geekish lad who walked out at Melbourne on Boxing Day in 2014 and was dubbed as a Test specialist had re-invented himself in 2016. The transition was apparent after his switch to the Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2016.

Rahul sported the Khal Drogo look throughout the year. Not just the looks, his reputation changed as well. Rahul has been India s most improved batsman shedding many a notion. He went on to become the only Indian after Raina and Rohit to register a hundred in all three formats. And he made his ODI and T20I debut only this year.

Rahul’s majestic 110 kept India in the driver’s seat until the ultimate ball when Dhoni fell to Dwayne Bravo when India needed 2 from it. India lost by a run. The 489 runs scored in the game remains a world record in T20Is. It would have remained a record in all T20s as well, had a match between Otago Volts and Central Stags on December 21 not yielded 497.

Rahul played one of the finest T20I knocks to almost guide India to a miraculous win. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
Rahul played one of the finest T20I knocks to almost guide India to a miraculous win. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

The next T20I at Lauderhill was a washout, and the trophy went to West Indies. India’s good year in this format finds them placed at No. 2 in the ICC T20I rankings behind New Zealand. That sounds fair, for New Zealand are a side India are yet to beat in this format.

2016 ended with Kohli the ranked one T20I batsman and Bumrah, the No.2 bowler in the format.

***

IPL 2016 was another successful season and it was another Kohli-dominated show. With no T20 hundred under his belt till the tournament, Kohli registered 3 this season and almost a thousand runs. He almost singlehandedly propelled RCB to the finale where a similar character David Warner went away with the pie.

IPL was another tournament that King Kohli owned except for the grand finale which turned out to be another heartbreak. (Courtesy: AFP)
IPL was another tournament that King Kohli owned except for the grand finale which turned out to be another heartbreak. (Courtesy: AFP)

Kohli led RCB to the final but could not help them cross the final hurdle as Warner s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) clinched the trophy for the maiden time.

***

2016 saw India take new strides. To their advantage, they have had the luxury of home cushions, but the side seems to be in a better space. Kohli has often been found wanting as a tactician. To be fair, he is still not the most experienced of cricketers, but his hunger to win and proactive attitude have enthused the young bunch. He has led from the front. Rising from a slump, India are reigning in Test cricket.

The Kohli-Kumble duo has made it clear that they are looking at a bench that is ready to go out and perform whenever the opportunity arises rather than stay in the dressing room and play the first few games in order to learn the ropes in international cricket.

With sane heads like Ganguly, Tendulkar and Laxman in the advisory roles and Dravid training the younger guys under his watchful eyes, Indian cricket is headed to positivity.

India A did well to win the One-Day series in Australia, as did India’s Under-19 side. The junior boys under Ishan Kishan’s leadership and Dravid’s coaching ticked all boxes till the grand finale of the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, where they ended as runners-up, losing to West Indies. The final icing on the cake was winning the Under-19 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

The captaincy debate arises from time to time in limited-overs cricket with Dhoni’s finishing skills in decline and Kohli’s zest has only threatened. With Champions Trophy 2017 around the corner, there may not be any tinkering but it is a matter of time before the Kohli era takes over.

Meanwhile, we have started to see Dhoni moving up the batting order, which is a good sign. Dhoni the batsman has more to contribute in limited-overs cricket.

Kohli’s numbers in 2016

Matches Runs Ave HS SR 100s 50s
Test 12 1,215 75.93 235 60.41 4 2
ODI 10 739 92.37 154* 100.0 3 4
T20I 15 641 106.83 90* 140.26 0 7
IPL 16 973 81.08 113 152.03 4 7

That is where the Bradman reference stems from.

The year was delightful for the fans and for us writers too, for they got a respite from Ashwin and Kohli. The rise of Rahul, Bumrah, Saha, Nair, Pandya, Pandey, among others, has given hopes. Shami’s return and Umesh’s discipline is a boost to the flourishing pace battery. The return for Yuvraj, Nehra, Gambhir and Parthiv added to the nostalgic bit.

King Kohli and his knights are in a happy zone yet hungry for more. Come 2017, they will eye more conquests.