So, the Indian team finally reaches the top of the stack called ranking system. There will be umpteen but's that the team may be ranked #1 but still is not the best or that how can we be #1 when we have not won any series in SA and AUS etc. etc.
Everything accepted. But for now, let us salute to the players and the support staff who made this possible. Hats Off and Thank You.
The best part about this achievement is that it was achieved in the longest format of the game. Ironically, success in this format takes the longest to achieve. Any team can win 20-20 World Cup by great performances by just 1 or 2 players over a period of a week or 2 (just like Afridi did it earlier this year). A good team can win the World Cup by just being in top form just that season (just like Pakistan did it in 1992 or Sri Lanka did it in 1996 or for that matter, India did it in 1983). But to do that in Test matches, it takes consistent performances for a period of years.
According to me, this journey started in 2001 when India defeated Australia in that epic series. We were a very young team (Fab Four and Kumble were just 28-29, Bhajji-Zaheer others were even younger) and that series made everyone believe that the right ingredients were in place. The right guidance and direction were going to make this a success.
The super performance in Australia in 2004, Pakistan in 2004, England in 2006, WI in 2007 and NZ in 2009 were just additional levels built on that excellent foundation. The core group stayed in place (Fab 4, Kumble, Zaheer, Bhajji, Sehwag etc) and the journeymen (Bangar, Gambhir, Pathan, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Yuvraj, Dhoni) supported them. Some of them excelled to be the core group (Gambhir, Dhoni) and some perished away to the grinds of domestic cricket.
But, as a result of consistent performances over the last few years, the crowning glory was achieved today. Today, at least due to this statistical achievement, the cricketing world will take a note. Today, we are not a team who are afraid to play SA at Kingsmead or Australia at Perth or England at Headingley. We actually look forward to challenge them at their fortresses. We are a team who expect to win away from home.
In a couple of years, most of the seniors, especially the batsmen will retire. Whether the replacements may or may not fill these huge voids remains to be seen. But for today, thank you for making us proud, once again.