CT 2017: Indian tiger roars, Bangla one whimpers

Source :SIFY
Last Updated: Fri, Jun 16th, 2017, 07:04:30hrs
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CT 2017: Indian tiger roars, Bangla one whimpers
So, India thrashed Bangladesh in the semi-finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy by 9 wickets in 40.1 overs at Edgbaston to storm into their fourth ICC tournament final in just six years! In the end it took just three Indian batsmen (Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan) to chase down the Bangladeshi score.

We now have set up a dream final with Pakistan. Though upsets can always happen, we are now the firm favourites for that clash. Pakistan has never beaten us in an ICC tournament final, semi-final or quarter-final.

The match full of many clichés…

Coming back to the Bangladesh match, take all the cricketing clichés before the match and they all came true. There were absolutely no surprises in this key clash and everything went according to script. Just take a look…

India has never lost to Bangladesh outside Bangladesh in the last 10 years. Check.

India-Bangladesh matches are generally one-sided. Check. (We won by 9 wickets in 40.1 overs)

Shikhar loves Champions Trophy and England and gives us a great start. Check. (46 of 34 balls)

Dhawan and Rohit are a great opening Champions Trophy act. Check. (87-run opening stand)

Rohit is in the ODI form of his life post-2013. Check. (An unbeaten 123 runs off 129 balls)

Kohli is the king of the victory chases and generally remains not out when we bat second. Check. (96 runs off 78 balls and he hit the winning boundary)

An Indo-Pak final is the best that there can be. Check.

In the 2010s, India has a great streak in ICC knockout matches. Check.

We won 3 knockout+ matches in the 2011 ODI World Cup, two in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, one in the 2014 T20 World Cup, one in the 2015 ODI World Cup and so far one in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, bringing the grand total to 8 in 6 years! Some teams can't come near that in 40 years!

So India already has two ICC trophies this decade along with one runner-up prize. Now we will add to that. If the 2000s belonged to Australia, the 2010s definitely belongs to India.

Rohit "King" Sharma has had two lives. In the first he was a pauper. From 2007-12, he had an ODI average of just 30 and could justifiably have been retired. However, from 2013 to 2017, he averages at a much higher 55.8 with 9 centuries.

He is the only man to have two ODI double centuries and his highest score 264 was what Bangladesh mustered up in the semis. To make matters even greater, he has three IPL trophies for Mumbai Indians, ahead of MS Dhoni's two.

In the 2015 ODI World Cup quarter-finals, he hit a blistering 137 off 126 and now he followed it up with 123 off 129 in the CT semis.

But still Twitter never stops making fun of Rohit. He may be a king today. But just wait for him to come out with a cheap score in the future and the jokes will return in a tsunami. Once Sir Ravindra Jadeja was also the butt of jokes (Why on earth is he Sir Ravindra Jadeja?). But he subsequently gained great respectability.

What will it take for all the Rohit jokes to stop? Foreign players can't just fathom that.

India is the bogeyman for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has had a great 2010s and they have beaten many Top 8 teams. (That phrase no longer applies for they reached No. 7 in the ICC rankings!) They have started beating higher ranked teams consistently.

However India continues to be a bridge too far for them. They met us in the final of the 2016 Asia Cup, the semis of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the quarters of the 2015 ODI World Cup.

We beat them comfortably in all those key matches!

Can don Kohli do a Dhoni?

So far, captain Kohli has matched captain Dhoni in all the Test and ODI series. Now can he match Dhoni and win the very first ICC tournament that he captains? He is just one win away from that. That would really be something.

This is a very young team and it is likely that it will stay the same for the next couple of years. We might still have a T20 World Cup in 2018, it is being considered. Then there's the 2019 ODI World Cup.

The former may be in South Africa, the venue of our first T20 World Cup win. The 2019 WC is in England, our favourite country after India. With the form Team India is in, we should definitely win more ICC tournaments before most of the current players retire.

But first, we have to put the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy into our kitty.

The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here

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