The Indian cricket team, also known as Team India and Men in Blue, represents India in international cricket. Governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status.
Although cricket was introduced to India by European merchant sailors in the 18th century, and the first cricket club was established in Calcutta in 1792, India's national cricket team did not play its first Test match until 25 June 1932 at Lord's, becoming the sixth team to be granted Test cricket status. In its first fifty years of international cricket, India was one of the weaker teams, winning only 35 of the first 196 Test matches it played. From 1932 India had to wait until 1952, almost 20 years for its first Test victory. The team, however, gained strength in the 1970s with the emergence of players such as batsmen Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath, all-rounder Kapil Dev and the Indian spin quartet namely Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi.
Traditionally much stronger at home than abroad, the Indian team has improved its overseas form since the start of the 21st century, winning Test matches in Australia, England and South Africa. It has won the Cricket World Cup twice – in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev and in 2011 under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After winning the 2011 World Cup, India became only the third team after West Indies and Australia to have won the World Cup more than once, and the first cricket team to win the World Cup at home. It has won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, under the captaincy of Dhoni. It was also the joint champions of 2002 ICC Champions Trophy, along with Sri Lanka.
As of 26 September 2016, India is ranked second in Tests, third in ODIs and second in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) by the ICC. Virat Kohli is the current captain of the team in Tests while Dhoni is the ODI and T20I captain. The Indian cricket team has rivalries with other Test-playing nations, most notably with Pakistan, the political arch-rival of India. However, in recent times, rivalries with nations like Australia, England and South Africa have also gained prominence.
Over the span of his career, Virat Kohli has transformed his mind and body to attain the mental and physical attributes required to succeed at the international level.
Kohli lost "about 11 kg in eight months". He monitored his diet with military discipline, zeroing in on a specific brand of mineral water and setting himself hourly reminders to drink specific amounts. Out went all the junk food. In came a hundred squats a day and a lower-body workout regimen that would enable him to hare between wickets.
Equally transformative during the phase in which his batting has caught fire: Kohli's head has cooled off. Gone are the fifties and hundreds brought up with cuss words spewed out. Gone are the overt gestures towards booing crowds. The anger that smouldered has given way to a sustained rage, directed less at others and more inwards -- berating himself for a poor stroke or walking to square leg after an airy waft.
The great legspinner built a prolific career on tenacity, hard work and professionalism - exactly the qualities an India coach must promote.
The appointment of Anil Kumble as India's new head coach has been met with approval from many quarters of the cricket world. Greg Chappell, a former India coach himself, has added his name to ranks of those who approve. Writing in the Hindu, Chappell argues that Indian cricket has generally neglected diligent preparation, preferring to rely on natural ability and flair. Kumble, he avers, is one of the shining exceptions who led the way with his strong work ethic and unrelenting commitment to the team's cause. These qualities make him the ideal choice for the role of head coach of India.
Kumble was never one to blow his own trumpet, but no one ever needed to be told that he was giving the team everything that he had. Whether with the bat or the ball or in the field, Kumble competed with a tenacity that few Indian players have surpassed. Kumble will demand the same commitment from the teams that he coaches. He will demand nothing less than 100 per cent effort, but he will be generous to those who give of their best and fall short on occasions.
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