Narrowly missing out on a spot in Australia's World Cup squad, Indian-origin pacer Gurinder Singh Sandhu is nonetheless excited at the prospect of playing alongside Zaheer Khan in the upcoming IPL and "learn the art of reverse swing" from the wily seamer.
As India broke a long-standing World Cup jinx against South Africa here on Sunday, appreciation and congratulatory messages poured in from the cricket fraternity which hailed the team's "terrific" all-round performance in front of a packed MCG.
India's premier fast bowler Zaheer Khan feels that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's form will be key to India' title defence as they get ready to face arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup in less than a week's time.
Out-of-favour batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir, integral members of India's 2011 World Cup-winning side, Monday said they were disappointed at being ignored for the team chosen for the 2015 edition of the tournament.
Munaf Patel is reliving the moments that culminated in India's 2011 World Cup triumph but while doing so he also fears that the lack of a bowling spearhead like Zaheer Khan and an inexperienced attack might dent the team's chances of defending the title Down Under.
Some stellar performances by seasoned veterans and promising youngsters continued to raise the bar in Olympic sports but there was heartbreak in equal measure when corruption scandals blighted India's favourite obsession, cricket, in a see-saw year for the country's sportspersons.
The year that the Indian cricket team played without Sachin Tendulkar and lost successive Test series abroad gives enough food for thought on the nature of the sport, also at a time when other team sports in the country are beginning to organise commercially on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
From Rohit Sharma's record breaking double ton in ODIs, the team's never-ending overseas woes, to the controversy surrounding BCCI president-in-exile N Srinivasan over IPL 6 spot-fixing scandal, Indian cricket had the good, bad and ugly in equal measure in 2014.
This is truly the end of an era in Indian cricket. After finding themselves out of India's 30-man 2015 World Cup probables list, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir joined the likes of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra who lost central contract.
Jagmohan Dalmiya's partnership with Punjab Cricket Association boss IS Bindra propelled him to the top of the BCCI echelons. The duo changed the rules of cricket administration as they maximized the television rights of Indian cricket.
After being omitted by Indian national selectors from the recently picked 30-member list of World Cup probables, India discards Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh played impressive knocks for their respective Ranji sides on Sunday to take their teams to a respectable totals.
Seeking their 41st Ranji Trophy title, former champions Mumbai are to open their campaign against Group A minnows Jammu and Kashmir in the first-ever meeting between the two teams in 80 years of the tournament, here Sunday.
In their bid to defend the World Cup title in 2015, Sandeep Patil-led Indian selectors infused young blood and ignored Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Inclusion of unheralded players like Axar Patel, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Sanju Samson, Karn Sharma, etc in the 30-man short-list certainly reflects a new intent.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday stated that the probable's list for the 2015 World Cup, which the organisation released earlier in the day, was a balanced team and the players had been shortlisted after proper deliberation by the selectors.