Team India’s Mixed Bag of 2023: From Asia Cup Triumph to World Cup Heartbreak

From Asia Cup Triumph to World Cup Heartbreak

New Delhi: The year 2023 was a roller-coaster ride for the Indian cricket team and its fans, who had high hopes of ending the long wait for an ICC trophy. The year saw some glorious moments of victory and some agonizing moments of defeat for Team India, who remained the number one team in the world rankings across all three formats.

The Highlights

Team India began the year on a high note, winning the ODI World Cup in England, which was their first major ICC title since 2013. Led by the charismatic Virat Kohli, who returned to form after a lean patch in 2022, Team India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final and then overcame hosts England in a thrilling final at Lord’s. Kohli scored a magnificent century in the final and was adjudged the player of the tournament.

Team India also won the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, beating Bangladesh in the final by eight wickets. It was their seventh Asia Cup title and their fourth consecutive one. Shubhman Gill, the young opener, was the star of the tournament, scoring 374 runs in five matches, including two centuries and two fifties. He was named the player of the series.

Team India also dominated the bilateral series, winning against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, and Sri Lanka at home and away. They also drew the Test series against England in England, which was a rare feat for an Asian team. Team India also reached the final of the inaugural World Test Championship, where they faced Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Lowlights

However, the year also had its share of disappointments and heartbreaks for Team India and its fans. The biggest one was the loss in the final of the World Test Championship against Australia, who won by six wickets. Team India had a chance to win the prestigious trophy, but they failed to capitalize on their first-innings lead and collapsed in the second innings. Australia chased down the target of 183 with ease, thanks to a brilliant century by Steve Smith.

Team India also suffered a shock defeat in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in India, where they lost to New Zealand by four wickets. Team India had topped their group and were the favorites to win the title, but they were outplayed by the Kiwis, who chased down the target of 180 with two balls to spare. Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, played a match-winning knock of 85 not out.

Team India also faced some controversies and injuries during the year, which affected their performance and morale. The most notable one was the rift between Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, who reportedly had differences over the team selection and strategy. The duo had a heated argument after the loss in the T20 World Cup semi-final, which led to Shastri’s resignation. Kohli also announced that he would step down as the T20 captain after the series against West Indies, which India won 2-1.

Team India also missed some of their key players due to injuries, such as Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Rishabh Pant. These players were crucial for the team’s balance and firepower, and their absence was felt in the crucial matches.

From Asia Cup Triumph to World Cup Heartbreak

The Records

Despite the ups and downs, Team India’s players showed their class and talent throughout the year, breaking and creating many records. The most impressive ones were:

  • Ravindra Jadeja, the star all-rounder, took the most wickets in all three formats combined, with 66 wickets in 35 matches. He also scored 978 runs, making him the most valuable player of the year.
  • Kuldeep Yadav, the wrist-spinner, took the second-most wickets in all three formats combined, with 63 wickets in 39 matches. He also became the first Indian bowler to take two hat-tricks in ODIs, against Australia and West Indies.
  • Shubhman Gill, the young batsman, scored the most runs in all three formats combined, with 2154 runs in 52 innings of 48 matches. He also scored the most centuries, with seven, and the most fifties, with 10.
  • Virat Kohli, the captain and the star batsman, scored the second-most runs in all three formats combined, with 2048 runs in 34 innings of 35 matches. He also scored the second-most centuries, with eight, and the second-most fifties, with 10.