Year 2012 has been marked with darker shades in the Indian cricket calender. For several reasons that have been endlessly deliberated upon, the men in blue and countless more in the stands would much rather look forward to what is in store, in the fresh year.
Of course, having Pakistan at home means the season could not have begun on a more riveting note. For most who said cricket has ended for them with Sachin Tendulkar hanging up his ODI boots, a look - please - at the packed stands! The Delhi match was reportedly sold out in some sort of record time. Surely then, the promotional advertisements on television which paint cricketers as over-confident warriors who only have blood in their eyes, are playing their intended part in keeping the fan-fire burning.
Then again, it has always been an established assumption that it would take a lot more than shameful lack in form, a to-the-moon-and-back string of defeats and legendary retirements to keep fans in India at home when a T20/ODI is being played in their city. Or elsewhere. Tests though will continue to stare at vacant seats much like a hapless coach who has given up on repairing his work and reputation as a maverick. Call it the Fletcher-syndrome or the Rohit-phenomenon - to expect Tests to stage a revival would be fool-hardy.