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Indian Cricket's Exceptional 2017

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Best year ever: on Indian cricket's exceptional 2017
As Indian cricket wraps up a spectacularly successful year, key stress-tests lie ahead
The Indian men’s cricket team had an exceptional 2017 — statistically, its best year ever. Across formats, only the all-conquering Australians of 2003, with 38 wins from 47 games, managed more victories than India’s 37 in 53 matches this year. Virat Kohli’s side didn’t merely consolidate its hold on the No. 1 spot in Tests; it also routinely bullied the opposition in the shorter forms of the game. The lone blip came in the Champions Trophy in England, where India unravelled against a feisty Pakistan. But few will complain when a runner-up finish in a global tournament is the year’s biggest failure. That match apart, an inevitability seemed to accompany India’s success: whether it was a Test, a One-Day International or a Twenty20, the team took the field noticeably stronger than its adversary, and calmly, ruthlessly, set about proving it. It i…