'Tis that time of the year when you think about the time gone by. And then you compile the lists. Here is Slipstream Cricket's list of 10 cricketing memories from the year 2012.
1. The year of Retirements
Dravid, Laxman, Strauss, Ponting, Boucher, Simon Taufel retired from all formats of the game through 2012r. And the year ended with Mr. Cricket Mike Hussey announcing his international retirement at end of the current Australian season. Then there was the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar from ODIs (only) which led to millions of Indian fans saying that they will retire from watching the ODI game.
2. The year of Michael Clarke
He is the new batting machine. Starts the year with a triple against India. Followed it with a double against Indians, added 2 more doubles against South Africa in a losing cause and then ended the year with a meagre 106 against Sri Lanka. Purple patches don't get purpler.
3, The Gangnam Style
There was a universally loved West Indies victory in the T20 world cup. They won it in style and celebrated in Gangnam style. There was a certain pride in playing for the West Indies shown by their maverick T20 mercenaries showing glimpses of a revival in West Indies cricket. Hopefully it is not another false dawn.
4. The Hundredth Hundred
The entire country and multiple statisticians waited for the hundreth hundred to come for over a year. It did not come in World Cup 2011 or in England or at home in India or in Australia. People kept waiting and waiting. And finally when it did come it came in a defeat to Bangladesh in Asia Cup
5. The Virat Kohli run chase formula
Give any target, provide some extra parameters (have to win in x overs or get a bonus point, lose early wickets). Then comes to bat Virat Kohli. And Job is done.
6. Misfiring strategy of the year
India had to avenge last year's blanking in England. Given England's poor display against Piyush Chawla & Harbhajan Singh in the T20 world cup, spin was the weapon of vengeance. And the weapon needed to be carefully hidden. So no spinners picked against the English in the practice games. Only the Indian think-tank forgot that they had Swann, Monty & Mustaq Ahmed to practice during the nets. End result - first series loss to England in 28 years.
7. Cricketing jargon of the year
Reintegration - Kevin Pietersen behaves like a bad boy off the field. So he is dropped. But England need him as they get knocked out early in the T20 World Cup and lose the Test top dog status to South Africa. So they pick him again after talks. And they call the process - Reintegration. Result - England win their first Test series in India in 28 years.
8. The Curse of the Golden Mace
After India England arent able to hold on the mace for long. 'The curse strike them as they keep losing till finally handing over the mace to South Africa. South Africa barely survive the Clarke juggernaut and have retained the mace. Not sure for how long South Africa they can hold on to it though.
9. Surprise of the Year
There was no new controversy emerging from Pakistan. None that I can recall any at the moment. And that in itself I would call as a major achievement.
10. Newton's Law of Gravity award.
To the Indian team. From the highs of 2011 World Cup victory to 4-0 demolitions in England & Australia & a series loss in India, failure to reach finals of CB series & Asia Cup and early elimination in the T20 World Cup. Yet the arrogance in BCCI remains.
P.S. RIP Tony Grieg. Slipstream Cricket had differences of opinion with you but your voice would be sorely missed.