The period under review included tough away tours to both England and Australia, the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka as well as the home series against New Zealand and Pakistan.
One can well imagine how a batsman would feel when a 6 feet 5 inch comes running in, ready to hurl the cherry at 140 kmph. Will Indias wickets turn out to be the Aussies graveyard?
Cricket statistician Gopalakrishna Ramaswamy highlights the many records South African captain Graeme Smith is about to achieve when the Proteas face Pakistan in the first Test at Johannesburg.
In five Ranji games, Shami took 28 wickets at a stunning average of 21.35. He'd probably have scalped a few more had it not been for the small matter of a call-up to the Indian One-Day International squad to face Pakistan.
The 37-year-old left-hander was at the crease when the winning run was hit by batting partner Mitchell Johnson to clinch a five-wicket win over the Sri Lankans and script the perfect ending for his 79-Test career.
While Aussie skipper Michael Clarke is in prime form it is unlikely that he would do just as well at the top of the order despite all his runs.
I urge the readers not to curl their lips, for I say this because Dhoni went in with three spinners on a turner based on the past. He had seen batsmen like Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, who were extremely adept against spin. The victories on home turf were achieved due to their skills, to not only survive but also dominate even on rank turners.
Virender Sehwag has rewritten the art of opening the batting in Test cricket with his own unique brand of nonchalant aggression that has forced the best in the business to tear their hair out in frustration.
As a cricket lover, I've had many 'I was there' moments – the kind you want to live to tell your grandchildren about. I was there when India won at Perth in 2008 to become the only team from the subcontinent to defeat Australia at the WACA. I was there when thousands of Australians leapt to their feet to give Tendulkar a standing ovation at the SCG as he got to a 100 in a Test that was to be marred later by Monkeygate.
Apart from the odd press conference before or after a game, one is yet to hear anything of any real substance from Duncan Fletcher on the disasters that were tours of England and Australia, losing Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, his plans. If any.
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