2013 is not a normal year for Team India. We've actually won some matches, Ravindra Jadeja has played exceedingly well, and even Rohit Sharma won us a match. At any time now, the alarm clock will wake us up to a reality where we lose every match there is, but till it does, let's live our dream a little. Based on what we've already seen, it's clear that 2013 is going to be a year unlike any other before it. So here are some things we might see in 2013 on the cricket field that we never have before:
1. Duncan Fletcher's contract will be renewed for 20 years: Under Duncan Fletcher, we have lost everything, and gone from global champions in both formats to an opponent as juicy as Zimbabwe. In the normal universe, you've got to think he will be fired and never come back. But in Rohit-Sharma-performing-land, Duncan Fletcher will get a guaranteed contract for years and years, while we become as good at cricket as the United States.
2. Sunrisers Hyderabad will win IPL 6: A new team, built on the ashes of the late unlamented Deccan Chargers, owned by the same family that produced A Raja. You would have to be crazy to bet on them beating CSK, MI, DD and RCB, right? But in a year that saw a hat-trick of ODI victories for India, maybe that's just what you should do.
3. MSD will show tension: One day, just one day, in 2013, we will see Dhoni lose his cool and either fight with someone or tell the truth about his ODI team, that they're a bunch of no-hopers who collapse around him, just like all our teams did around Sachin in the past. Or maybe he'll have a fight with Sehwag or Gambhir and make one of them cry.
4. India will win the Champions Trophy: The last ever Champions Trophy will see the top eight ODI sides in the world slug it out in the mini-World Cup. If India manages to somehow pull off a victory away from home, in England, we will know for sure that we are in a dream, the same dream that saw Sir Jadeja become an actual performing asset for our team.
5. Australia will whitewash us at home: Team Australia is in a mess. Yes, they whitewashed us last year, but they've since collapsed embarrassingly to Sri Lanka, and generally played very differently from the Australia we know and hate. It would seem impossible for them to come to India and beat a side that drubbed England a few months before, but that's exactly what might happen, if we extrapolate the January performance.
And the ultimate dream, the one that cannot come true even in our alternate universe:
6. Sachin will come back: To ODI cricket, and hit double century after double century as the productivity of India drops to zero and accidents happen when road drivers turn their necks to look at small TVs in roadside shops.
Pics: India win match, series against England in Mohali
India is a tiger at home, and a bacterium abroad. After our embarrassing performances in South Africa and New Zealand, questions are being asked about whether our team is truly ready to play a cricket match anywhere outside the sub-continent. We think there is light at the end of the tunnel - we think that these 6 ideas will help India rise from the ashes and become a tiger everywhere.
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