New Delhi: It was a
tough year for Indian cricket as it went through a transitory
phase with the retirements of Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman - and
Sachin Tendulkar's exit from One-Day Internationals (ODI).
While bilateral cricket ties resumed with Pakistan after a gap of
five years, the new year ahead looks tough for skipper Mahendra
Singh Dhoni, who is under pressure following the team's poor
performance in all versions of the game in 2012.
During the year, India failed to impress in significant Test, ODI
or T20I series' and arrest the slide that started last year during
the tour of England.
The year started with 0-4 drubbing in Tests in Australia and ended
with a 1-2 thrashing by England at home.
India played nine Tests, winnings three, losing five and drawing
one. That pretty much sums up the team's performance during the
With calls for Dhoni's sacking getting stronger, the stunning rise
of Virat Kohli, named vice captain this year, has made him a
It has been a great year for Kohli as the Delhi-lad became the
third highest run-getter this year in ODIs, scoring 1026 runs at
an average of 73.28 with five tons.
His match-winning and career-best 183 came against Pakistan while
chasing a mammoth target of 330 during the Asia Cup in Bangladesh
in March. He was also the highest run-getter for India in Tests,
scoring 689 in nine matches at an average of 49.21.
Following India's disastrous Australia tour, Dravid decided to end
his 16-year-old illustrious international career.
It was an emotional press conference by the Bangalorean in his
home town on March 9. Dravid was flanked by Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI) president N. Srinivasan and his former
skipper and teammate Anil Kumble.
India's woes, however, continued.
In ODIs, India failed to qualify for the finals of the tri-nation
Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia and the Asia Cup.
The Asia Cup, however, will be remembered for Tendulkar, who
finally got his much awaited 100th century - 114 - against
Bangladesh. But for the master blaster it was not a century to
celebrate as India lost the match by five wickets.
India's disappointing exit from the Asia Cup was followed by a 4-1
ODI series win in Sri Lanka and a 2-0 Test win against New Zealand
at home in August. But five days before the start of the New
Zealand Test series Laxman quit Test cricket despite being
selected for the series.
Laxman's decision to pave way for youngsters proved right as
India, riding on some good performances of the youngsters,
whitewashed New Zealand in the two-match Test series.
Young Cheteshwar Pujara, who made a comeback to the Test side
after a year, hit a brilliant 159 in the first Test in Hyderabad.
India won the match by an innings and 115 runs.
India also won the second Test in Bangalore by five wickets. The
Man-of-the-Series was spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who claimed 18
Next came the two-match T20 series against the Kiwis in September,
which was notable for the return of Yuvraj Singh after a
life-threatening battle against cancer. While the first T20 was
washed out, New Zealand won the second by a run where Yuvraj made
Yuvraj was also picked up for the ensuing World Twenty20 in Sri
Lanka. But it turned out to be a disappointing tournament for
India as they failed to make the semifinals despite winning four
of their five matches.
Though among the disappoints, there was a silver lining for Indian
cricket as the Under-19 team lifted the World Cup in style in
Australia in August.
Skipper Unmukt Chand scored 111 not out as India defeated the
hosts by six wickets in the final.
As the year came to a close, expectations were high from India to
exact revenge on England in the much hyped series. Fans expected
India, who lost all matches last year in England, to give them the
Though India started the four-match series with a convincing
nine-wicket win Ahmedabad, England bounced back strongly to win
the next two matches and draw the final Test in Nagpur to win
their first series in India after 28 years. The two-match T20
series ended in a draw.
With a week left for 2013, Tendulkar, who was struggled for some
time, finally ended his glorious and magnificent ODI career. The
decision curiously came moments before the selectors announced the
team for the ongoing limited overs series against Pakistan.
Elsewhere, former skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, now a Congress
member of parliament from Moradabad, got his life ban, slapped by
BCCI, struck down by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
The board was also lauded for disbursing Rs.70 crore among 160
domestic and international cricketers who had retired before