Team India end 2010 on a high

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Published: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 18:57 [IST]
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Team India end 2010 on a high

Team India has just completed a stellar year with a fantastic winning record. In the Test arena, the side has played 11 matches in 2010 from which they have won as many as 8, lost 3 and drawn 3, thus truly vindicating their status as the No. 1 ranked country in the world. To add to the magnitude of their achievement, 4 of India's victories this year have come on foreign soil with just 2 losses overseas.

India began the year with a couple of wins as well, beating Bangladesh in the opponent's own backyard by 113 runs in the first Test and 10 wickets in the second. Sachin Tendulkar was the highest run-getter in the series with 264 runs to his credit, including two centuries, while Zaheer Khan was the highest wicket-taker with 15 scalps at an average of 19.53 and a best of 7/87.

India's second Test series which unfolded in Feb 2010, was far more challenging as they hosted South Africa. The Proteas began the series strongly, taking the first Test by an innings and 6 runs. But India struck back forcefully to win the next encounter by an innings and 57 runs. While Hashim Amla was the highest run-scorer with 490 runs, Virender Sehwag clocked second with 290, including 2 centuries and at an average of 96. Dale Steyn was the highest wicket-taker in the series with a tally of 11 wickets, while Harbhajan Singh followed him with 10 wickets.

More exploits would follow in July and August when India toured Sri Lanka. The Singhalese won the first of the three-match series by 10 wickets, drawing the second match with India and losing the third by 5 wickets. Sri Lanka captain Sangakarra aggregated the most runs in the series with 467 including 2 centuries, but Tendulkar came in second at 390 with 1 century. India's Pragyan Ojha was the fourth most successful bowler with 8 wickets at an average of 64.37 and a best of 7/204.

India once again tasted outright victory in October when they defeated the touring Australians by 1 wicket in the first Test and 7 wickets in the second, to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Tendulkar again was the top-run scorer with a 403-run aggregate, including 1 century and recording an average of 58.15. Zaheer Khan, emulating his success earlier in the year, was the top wicket-taker with 12 wickets at an average of 21.83 and a best of 5/94.

India then welcomed the Kiwis in November, drawing the first two Tests with them and crushing the tourists in the third, by an innings and 198 runs. Sehwag topped the chart for the most runs, notching up 398 at a staggering average of 99.50 and with 1 century and 3 fifties to his credit. Meanwhile, the New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, was the leading wicket-taker with a tally of 14 wickets but was followed closely by Ojha, who picked up 12 at an average of 37.41.

In the current series in South Africa, which is the India's last Test series of the year, the side has drawn level with the hosts 1-1. The tourists were routed in the first encounter by an innings and 25 runs, but came back strongly to take the second Test by 87 runs. While Jacques Kallis with an aggregate of 228 runs and Hashim Amla with 189 runs top the most-runs chart, Indian captain M S Dhoni is in third position with 179 runs at an average of 44.75. Meanwhile, Proteas pace ace Dale Steyn has the most number of wickets with 15 scalps, with his new-ball partner Morne Morkel coming in second with 12 and Harbhajan Singh following with 8, at an average of 31.12 and a best of 6/80.

India has proved formidable as an One-Day outfit as well, winning a dozen encounters and losing just 5 in 2010. Again, the winning percentage soars to nearly 75! Indian captain M S Dhoni has staked his claim as one of the side's most successful captains and his reign promises many more victories in the year ahead.

What great wonders awaits the India team in 2011? Will they retain the No. 1. Test ranking in Tests? Will Tendukar chalk up another record for the most runs scored by an individual batsman in a calender year? Will India win the World Cup and lay claim to the No. 1 One-Day team in the world as well? Those questions will certainly be answered in the next 365!


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