April 2, 2011 has been etched in the history of Indian cricket in gold as it was the day when India won the World Cup after 28 years. It was the biggest dream of every cricketer and every cricket fan that came true on that glorious night. India became the World Champions.
But since then much has changed and mostly not for a good reason.
India's disastrous outings in England and Australia: India were the World Champions. India were the World No. 1 in Tests. India were the title holders of the Pataudi Trophy and had won the series against England the last time they went there. But despite all the factors that favoured India heavily when they toured England last year in September, they were totally overpowered by Andrew Strauss and his men in white. India came back whitewashed.
And if they had any plans of bouncing back, they were dashed in Australia. Indian batsmen failed to stand up to the Australian pace and the host enjoyed a clean sweep.
India tried to salvage some pride in Asia Cup but Bangladesh added insult to their injury as they beat the World Cup winners convincingly.
India lost World No. 1 Test status: England had dethroned India from the No. 1 spot in Tests after beating then 4-0 in the series. In ODIs too the journey has been downhill.
Yuvraj Singh diagnosed with cancer: And amid all this, India got another shock when Yuvraj Singh, who was Man of the Tournament after India lifted the World Cup, was diagnosed with rare germ cell cancer and has been out of action since then. Needless to say, Team India is missing its Prince.
Reports of rift in Team India: Things that were said in hushed tones became loud when the reports of rift in the team came out in public. Skipper MS Dhoni and vice-captain Virender Sehwag comments during the Australia tour pushed the BCCI in a damage control mode and they talked the two out. After the Tour of Down Under, Sehwag was 'rested' and Virat Kohli was appointed as deputy to Dhoni for the Asia Cup.
Drop in Sehwag's form: And Virender Sehwag did no good to himself with the bat. In 9 Tests, he could score just 484 runs. He averaged 10.25 against England and 24.75 against Australia.
Sachin's 100th ton took more than year to come: India's master blaster Sachin Tendulkar scored his 99th international hundred against South Africa on March 12, 2011 during the World Cup. And the entire country dreamt that his hundredth hundred would come during the tournament itself. He came closer to it during the semi-final against Pakistan but fell in his 80s. And that much-hyped hundred took more than a year to become a reality. It came against Bangladesh during the Asia Cup but a shocking loss against the minnows took the fizz out of the big occasion.
Emergence of Virat Kohli as 'The New Wall': The only good thing that has happened to Indian cricket in the last one year is the emergence of Virat Kohli as someone who can be relied on in the tough times. Ever since his debut, Kohli was seen as someone who had a mature head on his young shoulders. But he took that maturity to a new level in the last 12 months and became India's ultimate savior in every format and against every opponent. His temperament does worry his fans a little but they know he is a great in the making.
Dravid's retirement: Though Rahul Dravid was not a part of the World Cup win, but he certainly is a part of the legacy, the process that got Team India there. Virat Kohli has shown glimpses of a promising No. 3 batsman, but he will have to do much more to be where Dravid reached. Being India's Wall for almost two decades wasn't an easy task. Being India's second most highest scorer, Dravid put an end to an era when he announced his retirement from international cricket last month.
Kirsten goes and in comes Fletcher: Gary Kirsten was Team India's silent soldier, the mastermind who worked behind the curtains. He took Team India to new heights before going back to coach his national team (South Africa). Duncan Fletcher was appointed India's next coach and his first assignment was taking India to England, the team he had coached last. But so far he is struggling to sort out the woes of Men in Blue.
Harbhajan Singh out of the team: He remains India's most successful off-spinner and a member of the World Cup winning squad, but Harbhajan Singh failed to hold on to his place in the team because of his form and fitness. He picked just 9 wickets in the World Cup, 3 against Windies in the ODI series and 11 in the Test series. During the England tour, he got injured and since then has been out of the team.
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