It was a difficult year for Indian cricket. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid called it a day. Sachin Tendulkar retired from ODIs and the Test team slipped all the way to No. 5 in the world. Zaheer Khan’s lack of fitness and Habhajan Singh’s lack of form meant the bowling has suffered too. 2013 therefore stands to be a defining year for team India.
Not only are more established players such as Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir also struggling, but the next generation of players needs to establish themselves and prove they can take over the mantle and help India climb back up the rankings table. To do that though, the BCCI need to have a plan to rebuild the team.
“It should be a defining year,” veteran cricket writer Ayaz Memon said on Sports Talk. “The Indian cricket establishment should set an agenda that this is what we want to achieve this year. In ODIs, for instance, this is the progress we want to make so that by the time the 2015 World Cup comes around, we will have a terrific team.
“They need to look at how to revive their rankings and their performances. To me, it seems exceedingly difficult at this point in time because I can’t see the Indian team taking 20 wickets. It is not just about the bowlers. They are young – Ohja, Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav when he comes back. But the batting is not clicking. So it is a double worry.”
India aside, Memon said there was plenty to look forward to in 2013 as young talent across the cricket-playing world comes through the system. A resurgent West Indies side and an Ashes contest that could see England reclaim the no. 1 Test rankings are other intriguing story lines to follow next year.
Watch Ayaz Memon and Pulasta Dhar discuss the year to come in the video above.