India’s triumph was not just a victory of youth but also one for the much maligned selection committee. The three most thankless jobs in cricket have to be umpiring , wicket keeping and selection.
One mistake gets highlighted and discussed many times over while all the good work is accepted as being expected and part of the job. Selection is an even more thankless one, for once the selection is done there is nothing that the selectors can do about it. If the team management does not believe in the player then he will not get the chances or the opportunities that other favoured players of the team management get.
Without any disrespect to previous selection committees, what seems to come out of this selection committee is that they did not hanker for the job and so are not worried about not being selectors next year and so are taking calls which they genuinely believe are in the best interests of Indian cricket.
Sure some of their decisions will be criticised for that is the chief hazard of being a selector but as long as they have taken it without any other thought than the future of Indian cricket they should not get upset. After all in India every cricket fan is a selector and so will feel strongly about some selections and some omissions.
When India embarked on the Champions Trophy campaign amidst the controversies in the IPL and allegations swirling around the India captain, not many gave them a chance.
It was going to be not just a mental battle but also a technical one of coping with the cold conditions in England and the grassy pitches to play on. In the event they found sunshine at the start of the tournament and so got into their stride early with impressive wins in the warm up games.
As for the grass on the pitches, ever since Kapil Dev came onto the scene and showed that India also could produce devastating users of the new ball, the grass has pretty much disappeared from the pitches.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav made good use of the moisture and Ashwin and Jadeja also profitted from the softness by getting the ball to turn and bounce. This was a very balanced attack and the opposition could not take liberties with it. The bowling was supported by some of the sharpest fielding seen by an Indian team for a long time.
The manner in which Shikhar Dhawan has developed his game is a wonderful example of how to learn from disappointments and get strength and belief and then translate it on the field.
His hunger for centuries is great to see and may it remain unsatiable for every batsman worth his salt must never price his wicket below a hundred.
Virat Kohli too is looking to get in the books as a great batsman by scoring hundreds and if only the talented but wasteful Rohit Sharma can learn from these two players, he also could be reeling off centuries with the range of shots that he posseses.
Dhoni got the big trophy and Dhawan and Jadeja the other ones for their batting and bowling in the tournament but it was team India that triumphed and that’s why it was a most heartening win.