Team India won its first ICC title in the year 1983 when India defeated West Indies in the finals at the Lords cricket ground under the captainship of Kapil Dev. It was quite astonishing for many cricketing pundits to see India qualifying for the 1983 finals. In fact one famous cricket commentator, namely David Frith, commented that India shouldn't be playing the world cup because of their dismal record and should withdraw from the world cup if they didn't improve.
However, as fate would have it, India defeated the giant West Indies by a gruesome total of 43 runs and lifted an ICC trophy for the very first time. On the very next day David Frith was pleased to (literally) eat his own words with the help of some red wine, claiming that he had helped spur India the victory.
Since the year 1983 India has won four ICC titles. Three alone under the glorious leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and has gone from strength to strength. The team has entertained the world cricket through the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Saurav Ganguly to name a few.
However, with the ODI world Cup less than two months away, Team India's experimentation leaves more questions than answers as the spree continues in the limited overs rather than finalising the probable fifteen and distribute the roles accordingly and get them used to their respective positions.
Ironically since 2013 team India has never won any ICC trophy though it qualified for the finals in 2015 and 2017 but winning a title continued to elude India. Under Rohit and Dravid's leadership the team reached the world Test Championship finals but lost it to the Aussies.
In the T20 World Cup that was held last year, India failed to qualify for the finals as the Asian giants were trounced by the Bazbal (England's style of cricket) by a crushing defeat of 10 wickets thus adding yet another year to India's pursuit of lifting an ICC trophy for the fifth time.
The leadership of Rohit and co. has come under sharp criticism of late as the experts argue that the duo have failed to deliver at the world stage.
With the World Cup just around the corner, team India needs to finalise its fifteen member squad and get the middle order muddle sorted out by or before the end of Asia Cup. Therefore as a blessing in disguise, Asia Cup is a great opportunity for all the Asian teams to get their combinations right before the World Cup clash.
The hype that media creates around the World Cup events cannot go unnoticed and as arch rivals Pakistan will travel to India after seven years for the ultimate Marquee clash, it is going to be a battle to be worth remembered for ages.
The pressure can be more on the hosts as the visitors are playing their first two games against a slightly weaker opposition while as India will play their first two games against Australia and Afghanistan.
Both are equally capable of giving India a very tough time and if India loses either of their first two matches, it can create more pressure on them as they will fight it out in their third match against the formidable Pakistan.
Ahead of the Asia Cup and subsequent World Cup, India is still looking for options in the middle order but the number four slot remains up for the grabs. The injury woes continue to remain an elephant in the room for team India as Shreyas Iyer is still recovering from the back injury.
The number four slot is something that has also troubled India in the previous editions in 2019 in England. The wicketkeeper batsman K.L. Rahul, who is undergoing rehabilitation after a thigh surgery will be strong contender for the number one wicket keeper and number four slot when he returns to the action.
In his absence, both Kishan and Samson have a chance to make a claim for the second wicket keeper's slot with the Rishabh Pant unlikely to be fit in time for the world cup.
India have failed to claim an International Cricket Council (ICC) event title for a decade now, with their last major win coming in the 2013 Champions Trophy, two years after their World Cup triumph at home. This year’s ICC World Cup is set to be hosted by India from Oct 5 to Nov 19. And more importantly India is desperate to end icc title drought.
The writer is a recipient of two National Awards and a literature student at University of Delhi. He hails from Badibera Lolab, Kupwara