2009 will be remembered as a year when Team India moved to the No. 1 spot in both ODI and Test rankings. While its stay at the ODI pinnacle was a short one, it will enter the new year as the world's No. 1 Test team. Here is Team India's glorious year revisited.
India started the year with a five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. With the help of Yuvraj Singh's murderous form, India clinched the series 4-1. They also played a one-off T20 and Pathan brothers made sure India returned home triumphantly.
India toured New Zealand after a gap of six years, with embarrassing memories of the last tour still lingering. Defeats in the tour opening T20 matches did not set the right tone for the tour.
But come Sachin Tendulkar and things changed drastically. His good form not only helped India win the ODI series 3-1, but boosted the confidence. He slammed 160 in the first Test and helped India win the Test by 10 wickets. Riding on this Test win, India won a Test series in New Zealand after 41 years.
Soon after a successful New Zealand tour, Indian players dispersed for the Indian Premier League 2 that was held in South Africa. Deccan Chargers surprisingly clinched the title.
From South Africa the T20 caravan went to England for the second edition of the World T20. Defending champions India could not repeat their 2007 success and were ousted by the hosts.
India then toured West Indies for an inconsequential 4-match ODI series and won it 2-1. With rain playing the spoilsport, the only bright part of the bilateral event was that it was India's fifth consecutive ODI series victory.
From here India started reaping the rewards of their good performance. India toured Sri Lanka for a tri-series with New Zealand being the third team.
During this tour India became the World No. 1 in ODIs. India defeated New Zealand to claim the spot but the stay was too short as a loss in the next match saw them down.
However, India defeated Sri Lanka in the Compaq Cup tri-series final with the help of Sachin's century. With this win, a record remained intact that India have always won those finals in which the master batsman scored centuries.
India's performance in the following ICC Champions Trophy was very disappointing as they made an early exit. What added to the frustration was that India lost to archrivals Pakistan as well.
Australia toured India for a seven-ODI series with a depleted side. With most of their key players injured, the chances looked grim for them to beat India on the home turf. But Australia proved why they were a champion side as they defeated India 4-2. A submissive performance of India invited severe criticism.
After a disappointing ODI series against Australia, India were all set to host Sri Lanka for a full-fledged tour, comprising of three Tests, 2 T20s and five ODIs. India won the Test series 2-0 to become the World No. 1 or the first time ever.
After drawing the two T20 match series 1-1, India clinched the ODI series 3-1. It was a high scoring series, but it had some murky moments as well. MS Dhoni was banned for 2 ODIs due to slow over-rate. By the time he returned, India had won the series in Kolkata. While he wanted to end the year on a winning note, it was not to be.
The final ODI of the five-match series was to be held in New Delhi's Feroz Shah Stadium. Electing to field, India had sent five Sri Lankan's back in the pavilion. After 23.3 overs when the visitors were reeling at 83/5, their skipper Kumar Sangakkara objected that the pitch was unsuitable for an international game.
After much discussion, the game was called off, leaving the fans disappointed and the board embarrassed.
Damage control measures were taken but the future of Kotla as an international venue still hangs in balance.
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