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    EditorialWell done boys!

    Well done boys!

    Date:

    Well done boys!

    rarely ended its -calendar-year with a no-loss record. It happened in 2016 as Virat Kohli and his team won nine out of the 12 Tests they played. They bettered the 2010 mark by registering eight wins, three losses and three draws.

    Having made a winning habit seems to be focus on work ethic and fitness of the high standards and it was impressive by any means. Ever since Kohli took over as the Test captain following the surprise retirement of M S Dhoni mid-way during a series in Australia, the goalposts appear to have shifted and the approach has been aggressive with the thrust on winning.

    Kohli after winning the Chennai Test against England to seal an emphatic 4-0 series triumph had said, the contribution of all the players had made it possible. The over-dependence on individuals is a thing of the past and the victory at the M A Chidambaram stadium was achieved though the top batsmen (M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli himself) didn't get scores while newcomers K L Rahul and the new hero, Karun Nair, stole the show. Among the bowlers, R Ashwin, who was expected to mow down the English batsmen on home turf, got just one wicket but the others put their hand up.

    The two home series against England and New Zealand showed that India could fight adversity and post victories. In the five-Test encounter against the English, Kohli lost four tosses but they still won four Tests. It has been a comprehensive performance, to say the least.

    The team has a settled look with competition for spots evident. Injuries to Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane opened up slots in the middle-order and Karun Nair did his case no harm with a brilliant triple ton in only his third Test.

    Going forward, Kohli & his men will aim for a repeat against the visiting Australians early in 2017 while also seeking to improve the overseas record, which has already been criticised. The team has the ability to win abroad but they need to ensure that the key men remain fit. The England series saw a spate of injuries with leading paceman Mohammad Shami, first-choice ‘keeper Wriddiman Saha and Rahul being injured at various times apart from the long-term unavailablility of Rohit Sharma. That the replacements did an efficient job spoke volumes about the bench strength, which is a pet subject of Kumble and the ‘A' team mentor Rahul Dravid.

    This also turns the attention on player management so that the big guns are available (at all times) for important series/tournaments.

    Having retained the year-end No. 1 ranking and seen R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja take the first two spots in the ICC Test ratings, it has been a memorable cricketing year for India, despite the failure to win the T20 as host. Things can only get better from here and the players will well be aware of that.

    Northlines
    Northlines
    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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