Virat Kohli’s cabinet for an ICC trophy still remains empty after India collapsed on the sixth day to be bowled out for a below-par score for 171 in the second innings of the ICC World Test Championship Finals.
Till the end of fifth day, a draw looked the most likely result with rain washing out two full days, and the trophy would then have been shared by both New Zealand and India. But on sixth day, New Zealand bowlers had other ideas and bowled India out on a bright sunny day for just 170 - with the last five wickets falling for just 28 runs, giving New Zealand a target of just 139 to get which they reached quite comfortably.
India’s last ICC trophy had, incidentally, come on the same day eight years ago in 2013 in England under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy when India won the Champions Trophy beating England and after that, India had a dry run. They have made it to the 50-overs World Cup semi-finals in 2015 and 2019 but were knocked out once by Australia and New Zealand, respectively.
In the 2017 Champions Trophy, India who were overwhelming favorites, lost to a come-from-behind Pakistan team. Similarly in the T20 World Cup, India were runners up in 2014 when they lost to eventual champions Sri Lanka in the final and then in 2016, lost to West Indies in the semi-final.
India have been good in bi-lateral series in all formats - beating most of the teams worldwide but when it comes to ICC tournaments, they seemed to be the bridesmaid after reaching the last stage more often than not. With this latest loss to New Zealand, Virat Kohli must be wondering when he can bring in the ICC trophy for team India which has been eluding them for eight years now.
Their next campaign is the T20 World Cup, which might be held in the UAE, and all eyes will be on it.
- Cricket enthusiast and businessman Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group