It's no secret that players keep track of their records, that they have their favourite innings and moments and matches and victories. They also, it seems, keep an eye on what their close pals are doing.
Dhawan attracts admiration for the manner in which he has turned things around and transformed himself from a journeyman cricketer to a young man with the cricketing world at his feet.
Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh have a chance to redeem themselves and earn their place back in the Indian team.
Paes is not just a wonderful athlete, but he is also a very intelligent man who figured out reasonably early in his career that he didn't have the weapons to be a top singles player on a consistent basis.
Until a couple of days back, the abiding image of Deepika Kumari was of a smiling, giggling young girl who seemingly didn't care that things were going anything but swimmingly at the London Olympics last year.
At the picturesque Galle International Stadium, Muttiah Muralitharan bid adieu to Test cricket like only he can. Come Moscow and the opportunity to enthrall and entertain her home fans, and Isinbayeva somehow found a second wind.
Cricket is only played at the highest level by ten countries, it is the No. 1 sport in less than half that number, and while it has been trying to spread its wings far and wide, it can ill afford to antagonise the fan-base that has sustained it for centuries now.
Robin Uthappa had turned to Pravin Amre in a bid to resurrect his flagging career, while Gautam Gambhir turned to former India batsman Woorkeri Raman.
Feet heavy as if strapped with iron. Clammy, sweaty palms. Palpitations courtesy a racing heart. Hands unwilling to do the bidding of the mind. Which itself is cluttered, a million thoughts flitting through in the bat of an eyelid. Mental and physical paralysis. Welcome to the world of pressure.
Always extremely close to his father - a role model and an inspiration from the time he can remember - Sachin rushed home for the last rites, but was goaded by his mother and his family to return to England and answer the call of the team. Somewhat reluctantly, Sachin rejoined his mates, and paid the ultimate tribute to his father with a blazing 140 against Kenya, the century acknowledged with no more than a cursory wave of the bat towards the dressing room and a long, longing, heart-wrenching look heavenwards.
Kaushik has spent more than 20 years following the Indian team. He started his life in journalism with the Newstime daily in Hyderabad before moving to Deccan Herald in Bangalore in 1998. He has covered five World Cups and more than 100 Test matches, and is one of the few journalists to have been privileged to see an Indian win in all 10 Test playing countries.
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