How India fared in 2015

Ravichandran Ashwin. — K. R. DEEPAK
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Ajinkya Rahane. — PTI
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Indians celebrate the fall of a South African wicket in the Nagpur Test. The plitch came in for criticism. — REUTERS
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The BCCI secretary, Anurag Thakur, presents Virender Sehwag a memento at the Kotla during a function felicitating the former India opener. — PTI
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Last December, the 30th day to be precise, M. S. Dhoni took the cricketing world by surprise and announced his retirement from Tests, through a BCCI press release. India had just drawn the third Test in Melbourne while Australia led the series 2-0. Once the shock of Dhoni’s sudden exit from the long-form, ebbed away, Virat Kohli sat in his hotel room, eyes moist, his mind heavy with the sudden reality that he will be India’s Test captain.

Dhoni’s boots are immense but Kohli managed to slip them on and added his own pro-active layers to it. In the fourth and final Test in Sydney, India wrested a draw after an intended-chase went kaput while Kohli, the batsman, enhanced his halo with four tons in that series and in his skipper-avatar, amply displayed a positive streak.

As the year wore on, he grew in stature. Away in Sri Lanka, Kohli’s men scripted an epochal 2-1 Test series triumph. Back at home, the cup of joy brimmed as South Africa were humbled 3-0. The new captain was in control, though, his criticism against sections of the media, could have been tempered. That’s a minor quibble in a rather eventful year for the 27-year-old and it is a matter of time before he holds the reins in ODIs and Twenty20s too as Dhoni inches towards his twilight.