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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dream Season for a Die Hard Fan.....

What a season this has been on cricket front as well as for the nation.

It's been a while that  this space had  commented 'on the field' moments on  subject as trivial as cricket. But as everyone knows including the big brothers (Orwellian reference in this age) that this space belong to a blogger.

The season started with 4 tests in WI which was on the road and then home season run of 13 tests. Nevertheless the efficiency of Indian team on its own  shores was always been granted. There were the aberrations as  I recount like 2000 series with SA , 2004 Aus series. These two series were won by pace  which followed  a set trend  by WI wins in 80s (Marshall Holding and others). I remember the terror of these fast bowlers. I remember that series when we grew up to  drinking Thumsup and getting a player picture on reverse of the lid and completing the team to win fun bottles. How fooled we were just after a triumph at the Lords versus WI  when we claimed ourselves world champions on that glorious evening in London in June 03. But it was '85 Melbourne which made us felt like real champions which was followed with Rothmans trophy victory in Sharjah . Only instance when foreign spinners won on Indian soil in my cognizant  cricket memory is 2012-13 England in India . The pitch strategy had to be blamed apart from exceptional skills by Cook, Pieterson, Monty and Swann....

This season has been most memorable acknowledging the winning ratio of Indian team .  To say that it was a team effort is a cliché' but then all stood up when it counted; be it skilful spin of Ashwin, unsung batting heroics of Pujara, Rahul, Rahane , Vijay and most surprisingly pace efforts led by Umesh ( who was exceptional in his bowling ahead of leading pacers servicing their respective teams like SA, NZ , Aus , Eng), Ishant, Bhuvi ( priceless wicket of Smith whom we had no clue of getting out but this bowler had that in final decider innings). Few new comers made their inclusions count like Kuldip, Nair, Jayant . Lost were  the old guards like Mishra (Hard Trier), Rohit and few more .  I would like also to acknowledge the rubbing effects of Captain HOT ( as against reference to MSD) who mattered in all the season with his bat except that the  law of averages caught up in final series where he mattered in a different role  countering everything said against him and his team verbally . We did not miss Dhoni thanks to non fussed Saha behind wickets and scoring crucial runs. And last but not the least it was light and sound show of Sir Jadeja.  Also Kudos to Team Australia and captain smith for their performance and spirit.

It was not just the result of series vs Australia but consistent performance of team against England , NZ and WI ( Not that I discount Bangladesh) that made all fans, who followed Indian cricket religiously since the times of Gavaskar and the great Kapil Dev take a special note. We always will miss the generation of Ganguly, Dravid, VVS, Kumble neither we ignore the impact of greatest SRT in all formats and game patterns. Then Dhoni led us to ultimate glories in WC, ICCT20 and CT. Next Gen comprisng of Sehwag, Yuvi, Bhajji, Gambhir, Pathan  also clicked when it mattered the most. Unsung heroes like Kaif (lords 02), Agarkar (Adelaide 03), Bangar (Leeds 02), Akash Chopra and few more with due apologies for non  inclusion.

But this is pinnacle of history for a hard core fan like yours truly. I hear someone say that victories in away conditions matter most which they do but for now it's the best moment. Then always there is a final frontier for everyone in cricket and life as said by indomitable Steve Waugh . Just to mention that the Final Frontier  is as fictional as star trek for all teams playing now. There were teams like  WI in 80s and Aus in next two decades who managed to dominate everywhere. Wishing that this team does same.  Dil Mange More......