Its 2008, and a lot has happened for Indian cricket in the year which is barely half completed. First, India did get revenge for the test against the Kangaroos (lost 2-1, though put up a good fight which might have made it 1-1, but for Clarke) by winning the CB series. That was the last series of its kind in Australia, and India had the last victory lap of the tournament. Two superb finals preceded by good battles to reach the finals, the tournament had its share of spices. Sachin’s long awaited century was delivered, and what timing!? Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma got into the limelight, and Gambhir proved his worth. Pravin Kumar was the pick of the finals, I should say. For the Aussies, Hopes carried the hopes of Gilly and Bradley Hogg to win the game and move to Adelaide from ‘Gabba, so that they can have one more game in their career. Sadly, Pathan had other ideas for Hopes.
Later on, South Africa visited India for a test series, which I didn’t follow much for some personal reasons. Of what I could make, Viru got into prime sub-continental form and got his second triple ton, the only thing to look at the otherwise run-loaded Madras match. The Proteas won the second one to put the pressure on the Indian. Luckily for the Indians, the Green Park had been tailor made to suit the Indian bowlers, favouring them to pull the series 1-1.
Then came the IPL… Blah blah blah. More bat thwarting, blind hitting, body throwing, cheer-leaders, controversies, finds, lows, hots-and-nots, and at the end of it all, the under-rated Royals from Jaipur, under the coach-cum-captainship of wily ‘ol Warne, bagged the 1.2 million $ suitcase.
Now, the lab is in Mirpur, Bangladesh to test the effects of the IPL on the players, when India, Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh lock horns in an ODI series.