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...This is about the twists and turns of 2016, a series of actions — strictly talking on-field, and not boardroom or courtroom drama — that left several baffled, many disheveled and steered Indian cricket to utter chaos. No matter how much ICC wants it to believe that 2016 was Ashwin’s year, the average fan on the stands would want to write Virat Kohli on the calendar. By the way, wasn’t this a period — as all the other routine gung-ho year-enders would suggest — put India firmly on top of Test rankings and in the top 3 in the shorter formats but frankly 2016 was a year in which Indian cricket remained irritatingly indecisive. A year in which all long-term planning and policy matters on the field were thrown into the dustbin, things happened as per whims and fancy of a select few, and a year which clearly established that process be dammed, nothing is more important than immediate goals. ...ABP on Dec. 28, 2016, midnight
...Like it or not, Virat and his team have matched the golden generation of Indian cricket. It’s a ludicrous comparison, so as to say. How else can a movie like Befikre, tutoring a bit of French all along and titillating in abundance with kisses and casual sex scenes, be touted and appreciated as modern-day version of cinematic classic DDLJ. It wouldn’t bother Yash Raj productions if Befikre doesn’t even sustain 1009 shows in Maratha Mandir like its illustrious ‘forefather’ did for as many weeks in a stretch, but the Ranveer starrer has still given them a cool 50 crores net profit — in this day and age of notebandi. And that’s massive. Likewise, just wondering if a befikre Virat Kohli and his team — on a hot unbeaten 18-Test streak that has dwarfed players of Himalayan reputations — sashaying the same I-give-a-damn kinda carefree attitude, sporting facial hair with panache and punching every opponent on their face — be hailed as the golden generation? Just like The Originals of this millennium; or are they even better than their predecessors? ...ABP on Dec. 21, 2016, midnight