New Delhi: Virat Kohli declared it “a great year” for India cricket after ending 2019 on a high with a series-clinching win over the West Indies.
The India captain’s masterful 85 set up a successful 316-run chase on Sunday to win the third one-day international by four wickets and complete a 2-1 series triumph.
Kohli’s side end the year ranked No. 1 in Tests and second in ODIs, with the only regret being a World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand at Old Trafford in July.
“Apart from the 30 minutes in the World Cup, it’s been a great year,” Kohli said after his team’s win in Cuttack.
“We’ll keep chasing that ICC trophy. But apart from that, the way we’ve played has been satisfying.”
India lead the new world Test championship table with three series sweeps away to the West Indies and at home against South Africa and Bangladesh.
Kohli ended the year with 1,377 runs in 26 ODIs, behind swashbuckling opener Rohit Sharma who topped the season’s batting chart with 1,490 runs including seven centuries.
But it was India’s fast bowlers who stood out with pace and control — even on spin-friendly Indian pitches.
Pace spearhead Mohammad Shami led the 2019 world wicket-taking charts with 42 in 21 ODIs. New Zealand’s Trent Boult was next with 38 scalps.
Kohli was full of praise for his quicks across all formats despite the recent absence of yorker specialist Jasprit Bumrah who has been unavailable due to a stress fracture of the back since September.
“Having a bunch of fast bowlers who can bowl out any opposition anywhere, them taking the attention away from the spinners in India is a huge achievement,” said Kohli.
India will next host Sri Lanka for a three-match Twenty20 series starting January 5 followed by Australia for three ODI matches starting January 14.
India then tour New Zealand for five Twenty20 internationals, three ODIs and two Tests in January-February.