Test defeats, retirements make it a difficult year for India


A string of heavy Test defeats, some of the biggest superstars walking into the sunset of their glorious careers and 'Captain Cool' Mahendra Singh Dhoni turning into 'Captain Circumspect' are how things panned out for Indian cricket in 2012.

Amid the number of disappointing results outweighing the success stories which were few and far between, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh hogged the limelight albeit for different reasons.

In March this year, Tendulkar completed a historic feat of 100 international centuries, when he reached the three-figure mark in an ODI against Bangladesh but within nine

months, announced his retirement from the 50-over format, leaving a lot of questions unanswered.

In February this year, Yuvraj Singh was diagnosed with a rare germ-cell cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy sessions in the US before stunning one and all to make a comeback in international cricket within six months.

For Tendulkar, who has been worshipped for the past 23 years for for his delightful strokes, the 'timing' of his ODI retirement became a subject of debate as to what prompted the legend to take such a decision, especially with a high-profile series against Pakistan round the corner.

Tendulkar's scratchy form against New Zealand and England has again prompted the Doubting Thomases to wag their tongues and getting bowled time and again to incoming deliveries hasn't helped his cause one bit.

While Tendulkar would still be seen in white flannels, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman decided to call time on their international careers to signal the beginning of the rebuilding process in Indian cricket.

Ironically enough, the two, who wrote one of the finest chapters in Indian cricket with their great recovery act against the mighty Australians at the Eden Gardens in 2001, played their last Test together in Adelaide earlier this year.

Dravid's decision might have been prompted by the fact that he was bowled six out of the eight times in the four Test series against Australia Down Under. The Aussie pacers repeatedly breached through the impregnable defence of 'The Wall' and at 39, the comeback looked near impossible.

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