After the loss in both Tests & ODIs in SA, team India embarked on their first phase of the home season in 2022 leading into the IPL phase. In the SA series, though the overall scoreline across the 6 matches states 5-1 in favor of SA, India was always in it with a fighting chance. In our previous article on the SA series, we have highlighted the crucial middle phases wherein India could not make enough inroads into the SA batting contributed the main reason for defeat. The Feb month though has been relatively good for the Indian side as they have climbed the top spot in the T20 Rankings.
Following that series, is the amount of controversy that took place with Virat Kohli stepping down from the captaincy in test format as well. KL Rahul tried to bridge the ODI series in the absence of Rohit Sharma. Hence, India needed a strong home leg to settle down the nerves and bring back the winning habit.
The month of Feb ’22 lined up a 9 match home series comprising of 3 ODI & 3 T20Is against the WI followed by another 3 T20Is against Sri Lanka, gave exactly the right results for the men in blue to keep behind what has happened in the SA series. The matches are scheduled from 6th Feb to 27th Feb, i.e., 9 matches across 22 days. India whitewashed the opposition in all the 3 series by winning in all 9 matches. Only the 2nd T20I against the WI went close at the finish line, and rest of the matches it has been easy to have highly convincing victories. Following are the records scored during the T20I matches:
- After defeating SL 3-0, India won 12 T20Is in a row starting with the WT20 match against AFG, which is a joint record with Afghanistan for the most consecutive wins in T20Is.
- This is 3rd T20I series in a row wherein India clean swept the opposition.
- This is the 7th consecutive T20I series win in home conditions, the most by any team.
- Rohit Sharma has won 17 out of 18 T20I matches as a captain at home matches, the most for any captain playing at home.
Another striking feature in the 9 matches is that only the skipper, Rohit Sharma, featured in all the 9 matches for India. Including him, a total of 25 players featured in the playing 11 for India across the 9 matches. This shows the amount of bench strength in the Indian team with players seamlessly coming in and going out, in order to manage the workload under the covid bubbles. Also, the team combinations are being tried out in preparation for 2022 WT20 and 2023 WC. The shortcomings in the last WT20 have been identified and worked upon. Below highlighted the batting & bowling efforts for the men in blue in the 9 matches:
As seen from the above, all the players chipped in with quite a number of debut caps handed over to new players. Come the World Cups, hope the execution comes good with a stabilized team composition. India is back to being ranked no. 1 in the ICC T20 Rankings, after a gap of 6 years with 270 rating points in 42 matches to England’s 269 from 39 matches.