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Future bright for Indian cricket as 2018 marks a year of dominance

The bowling department has gone from strength to strength, registering rare success in the away cricketing series against South Africa and England.

Future bright for Indian cricket as 2018 marks a year of dominance
Image Credits: Twitter/@BCCI

The Men in Blue have enjoyed a productive cricketing season in 2018, dominating opponents at home with an increased level of success in overseas clashes.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been the man to watch out for amongst the batsmen, scoring runs at a consistent rate with match-winning performances under pressure. He has further enjoyed quality support from the likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan who have been amongst the runs themselves.  

The bowling department has gone from strength to strength, registering rare success in the away cricketing series against South Africa and England. Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami, the Indian pace bowling trio have also been amongst the wickets in the ongoing Test series against Australia. 

Here is look at some of the major highlights from the Indian cricketing season in 2018: 

1) First bilateral ODI series win on South African soil: 

Virat Kohli led India recorded their maiden bilateral ODI series win on South African soil during the 6-match series between the two nations in February where the visitors recorded a 5-1 truimph. 

India had failed to emerge victorious in all previous bilateral ODI series against South Africa which took place in 1992, 2006, 2010 and 2013.

South Africa emerged victorious by a margin of 5-2 in the seven-match series organised in 1992 setting the stage for constant dominance in the coming years. 

Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni led the visitors in 2006 and 2013 respectively, without much success despite registering improved performances. The truimph also marked India's first bilateral ODI series win against South Africa since 2010.

2) India win the 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup: 

An excellent 93 by Sunil Ramesh helped defending champions India retain the Blind Cricket World Cup as they prevailed over arch-rivals Pakistan in the final which took place at the Sharjhah Cricket Stadium, UAE. 

The side had previously recorded victory against the same opponents in the final of the 2014 edition of the tournament which took place in Cape Town, South Africa. 

This achievement drew praise from none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi who hailed the side for their phenomenal attitude.  

3) India lift record fourth U-19 World Cup Trophy: 

India lifted a record fourth U-19 World Cup trophy following an eight-wicket win against Australia in the final, under the leadership of Prithvi Shaw.   

Opener Manjot Kalra was the man to watch out for, scoring an excellent century to chase down a target of 217 without much ado. India have surpassed Australia in the list of teams with most U-19 World Cup titles, following the truimph.  

The side had last emerged victorious six years back in 2012 under skipper Unmukt Chand, which makes the win all the more memorable. 

4) Lifting the Nidahas Trophy, Asia Cup:  

Dinesh Karthick did a Javed Miandad to help India record an exciting win against Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas trophy. India need 6 runs off the last delivery to emerge victorious with Karthick ensuring the needful with a mighty six. 

India maintained their perfect record against their neighbours in the shortest format of the game, having defeated them in eight matches so far. 

Not only this, the Men in Blue also emerged victorious against the same opponents in the final of the Asia Cup, after being handed a modest target of 222. Kedar Jadhav was the hero for India, scoring a single off the last delivery despite being affected by a hamstring injury.

India emerged victorious in the Asia Cup for a record 7th time to round off a perfect campaign for the visitors which they finished unbeaten.      

5) India end year as the most successful ODI side having won 75% of ODIs in 2018:

India have ended 2018 as the most successful side in one day international cricket, having emerged victorious in 14 out of a total 20 matches played throughout the year. 

The Men in Blue have recorded a whooping win percentage of 75, with England the next best having won 17 out of a total 24 matches. The English side enjoy a win % of 73.91. 

India will be looking to ensure similar performances in the upcoming eight ODIs against Australia and New Zealand in 2019 before the 50-over World Cup set to take place in England. 

6) Harmanpreet Kaur becomes first Indian women to hit a century in T20I cricket: 

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur became the first Indian woman to score a T20I century during the opening clash of the ICC Women's World T20 2018 against New Zealand in West Indies. 

Kaur is currently the third player in world cricket to have recorded a T20I century. 

The 29-year-old smashed seven boundaries and eight sixes during the knock which helped India post a match-winning total of 194 within the allotted 20 overs.