The Indian cricket team has won the 2013 Champions Trophy by defeating England in a rain hit final played at Edgbaston, Birmingham on June 23. The team led by M S Dhoni gave an all round display and did not loose a single match on its way to the finals. The Indians started as favourites and their chances of making it to the finals increased once they demonstrated their prowess in the opening match itself  against South Africa.

Overcoming West Indies and luckless Pakistan was not at all difficult. England was expected to make a match of it, because the finals were being played in England and also the fact that they have never won any trophy in One day or T20 formats of the game. They did come very near in the rain truncated match reduced to 20 overs each. In the end the difference was a mere five runs, but a big margin in a 20 over match. India in its present form deserved to lift the trophy.

The real plus of the tour has been the right balance the team has achieved. After the retirement of a few eminent seniors it was expected that the Indian team would go through a long period of consolidation. However the present team has struck a right balance in all the departments. The one area where the progress has been impressive is in fielding. It was a pleasure to watch Indians field in a highly professional and effective manner. Young players like Raina and Kohli were the pick along with Dhawan and Karthik. The runs saved in fielding add pressure on the opposite team in scoring their runs.

In the batting department Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik have blossomed into run-scoring machines, Rohit Sharma is also in fine form. Virat Kohli continues with his dependable batting. Dhoni comes into form when needed. In bowling Bhuvaneswar has been a real find. He usually gives an early breakthrough. Ishant Sharma gives runs but then strikes blows at the right time. Ashwin has by now established himself as the lead spin bowler who takes wickets but gives very few runs. Umesh Yadav can become an effective bowler with a bit more practice.

However the real progress has been of 'Sir' Ravinder Jadeja who has now established himself as an all rounder of great value to the team. His bowling is very accurate and is productive. His batting also contributes very valuable runs for the team, many of them in form of sixes to the delight of the viewers.  He is equally a very good fielder. He was the man of the match in the final scoring an unbeaten  33 runs  and taking 2 wickets. Shikhar Dhawan was rightly chosen as the man of the series, scoring 363 runs at an average of 90 with a high score of 114 runs. Another all rounder is Suresh Raina who scores, bowls and fields like a hawk. The new entrants have made us forget Sehwag, Ghambhir, Harbhajan, Zaheer and Yusuf.

India has now won the crown in all the three formats of the game. Dhoni has the honour of being the most successful captain till date. His winning percentage is 63 % in ODI's, 51% in T20's and 51 % in Tests. he is also known as captain cool because win or lose his expressions remain the same. He is all the time grinning and is rarely seen admonishing any player on the field. Under his captaincy India has won all the three ICC tournaments. It was world T20 in 2007, the world Cup in 2011 and now the Champions trophy in 2013. a unique distinction making all Indians proud. He has held the team together under tiring circumstances Indian cricket has recently gone through.

After a long time Indian team is strong in all departments of the game. They must now build on it and sustain this wonderful form for a reasonably long period of time. They owe it to their millions of fans both in India and abroad, who have remained loyal to them through thick and thin. One hopes that the strife within BCCI does not ruffle the Indian team.

Congratulations to Dhoni and his team on a fine victory in the last Champions Trophy tohave been conducted by te ICC.


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