Ad mist the gloom that surrounded India's defeat at Cape Town, my thoughts were searching for the High's and lows of the previous year. Certainly there were moments to remember and forget in the last year. Here are some of them:
1) Punter's revenge:
When Ricky Ponting was run out at Old Traford , Duncan Fletcher apparently greeted him with a smile. By the Time Ashes 2006 was over it was only Ponting who was smiling. Stung by the criticism which he had to face after last years defeat Ponting made sure that his team was as intense and focused as it ever was. He himself lead the way with some stunning batting efforts. As for Fletcher ,after a 5-0 loss mainly due to some strange selections , there really was nothing for him to smile about.
2) Monty's Miracle:
At Mumbai ,Old Traford and at Perth there was a celebration. A young Sikh playing for England reminded us what a beutifull game cricket was. Monty Singh Panesar did not sledge, he did not fret and rant but still it was fun watching him. Bowling slow left arm spin, Monty had some of the best batsmen in the world viz Tendulkar, Inzaam and Ponting in trouble. With Sharne Warne having finished, Monty could well be the next spin bowling star.
3) Yuvi's Brilliace:
For all the disappointments that the Indian One day team has faced this year, we cannot forget the fact that the same team set a world record by chasing 17 consecutive targets. The man instrumental behind this was Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj made batting look ridiculously easy and displayed to the World the astonishing talent that he possessed. A cruciate ligament injury meant that he missed the later part of the season and this was a major factor in India's dip in form.
4) Mayhem at Jo burg:
At Lunch time on 22nd March Ricky Ponting must have been a very satisfied man. His team had just made 452 runs in 50 overs and he himself had played a a huge hand in that by scoring a magnificent 163. Enter Herschelle Gibbs to play the most stunning one day innings ever seen. Gibbs scored a magnificent hundred and by the end of his innings he was hitting sixes at will. South Africa won with one ball to spare to make it the most memorable ODI of the year.
NOT SO HIGH POINTS:
1) THE KING IS NO MORE:
And that is a fact that we need to accept. Sachin Tendulkar will never be the same again. The straight drives are replaced by pushes to point, the cheap dismissals are increasing and the injuries are also ever increasing. Enough to suggest that the body, reflexes and eyes are not the same. The fact is that Tendulkar looks like just another ordinary player. No score above 65 in Test cricket this year is a very good indication that this should be his last World Cup.
2) 4th Innings collapses:
At Karachi ,Mumbai and Durban the story was the same. A second innings collapse by the Famed Indian Batting order. There was no second innings century recorded by a single Indian Batsmen throughout the year. Now that's a story.
3) Ashes Dissappointment: With so much hype surrounding it , the Ashes was one series to look foward to this year. However injuries and poor thinking meant that England never really competed. All though Collingwood , Pieterson and Hoggard tried hard England never stood a chance. The result the most one sided Ashes contest witnessed this century.