The year 2007 through my Cricket eyes,
btw,I am a self-confessed obsessive fan of this Game:):)
I have been following this game since the past 13 years, but never have I encountered such a year in its history.
Yes, this is the year in which India was knocked out in the second leg of a World Cup and this is also the year in which India won the first ever T20 Cup.
We as followers of the game, have had a roller-coaster ride of emotions, we ridiculed them after the shameful exit from the world cup and showed praises when they won the T20 cup.
The year started with Saurav Ganguly announcing his return to the team with exceptional batting and a gallon of runs against South Africa which booked his seat in the World cup squard. The plane to West Indies had a number of first timers namely M.S Dhoni, Robin Uthappa,Shreeshant, Munaf Patel, Dinesh Kartik and the old horses with Captain Rahul Dravid leading from the front . But who could have imagined that India could loose to Bangladesh and pack its bag in the first leg of the tournament itself. Well they faced dire consequences when they reached home because we all know how seriously we take our Cricket. Once the blame game started it ended with Greg Chappell’s resignation and soon the heroes of yesterday were made to look like zeroes.
At last the Aussies bagged the top honor making it three times in a row.
The World cup debacle followed India’s tour to Bangladesh in which the Indian ripped them apart and avenged the defeat of the world cup.
India then played against England and South Africa, in which they showed some caliber and managed to win a test series aboard after a gad of more that 5 years.
The month of September set the stage for the first ever 20-20 world cup, which was a shorter version of the game and ensured slam-bang cricketing experience. No body could even imagine in their wildest dream that India could bag the top honor over here. But they did and that also in style.
The T20 cup was a welcome surprise for the entire nation, firstly no one expected India to go so far in the tournament without Sachin, Saurabh,Rahul in the dressing room and beat the likes of Australia and South Africa, who believe in slam-bang cricket which the shorter version of the game was all about. But the youth brigade bought it on and played like champions beating Pakistan in a final to remember. Unknown names like Joginder Singh and Rohit Sharma became house hold name with their Captain M.S Dhoni proving yet again why the entire nation chants his name, Yuvraj came of age and showed what he is capable of. And booked their names in the history books for generations to remember and showed our presence in the Cricketing world map.
And when they returned from South Africa, the entire nation erupted into festivities and the players were showered with cash prizes from all sources possible.
And after Dravid’s resignation, M.S Dhoni was crowned as the captain of the ODI team , a job which he did with full responsibility and poise.
Next up was the Aussie tour to India which apparently witnessed Racism from the crowds on a few occasions something which was unprecedented in India. But unfortunately they ran all over us and won the one-day series.
The next assignment was the Pakistan’s tour to India in which we showed them who’s the boss by bagging both One-days and test series. It also witnessed come drama over appointing Anil Kumble as the Captain of the test side.
The tremendous popularity of T20 cup paved the way for the creation of ICL ‘Indian Cricket League’ who roped in players from the domestic as well as the International circuit .We saw the likes of Brain Lara, Inzamam Ul Haq, Lance Kluserner playing for local teams under the ICL banner. This landed them in dispute with BCCI who oust the players playing for ICL. Leaving a big hole in the Domestic circuit which was filled by young guns waiting in the wings for their 20 minutes of fame.
This year saw a unprecedented rejuvenation of Cricketing talents in India’s armory. And the future looks bright.
The year ended with India touring Australia and losing the first test from over 300 runs.
Coming up the review of the test series.