As 2015 is nearing its end, it is time to look back at how Team India fared in this calender year.
It was a roller-coaster ride for this young Indian team in 2015. They had to face one of toughest tests when they took on the up beat Australia and England in the beginning of the year in a triangular series Down Under. India could not make any impact whatsoever in that series and lost all their games.
Everyone thought that it would dent their confidence before walking into the ICC World Cup 2015. Surprisingly, things did pan out well for Team India as they reached the semifinals of the World Cup, before losing to eventual champions Australia.
After the IPL, India were assigned a short tour of Bangladesh. It is here where they faced a debacle in the ODI series. India never lost an ODI series in Bangladesh in the history of the game and this time they crashed to a 2-1 defeat. That ODI series defeat made the critics raise questions about MS Dhoni's leadership abilities.
BCCI decided to rest most of the senior players for the Zimbabwe tour that followed. Ajinkya Rahane donned the captain's hat in the absence of Dhoni, Kohli and others. India completed a 3-0 whitewash against Zimbabwe in the ODIs and drew the two-match T20 series.
Then came one of the most memorable moments when the Virat Kohli-led India defeated Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series at the latter's backyard for the first time in a couple of decades. The last time when India defeated Sri Lanka in the Lankan islands was under the leadership of Mohammad Azharuddin back in the early 1990s.
While India were basking in the glory of the victory over Sri Lanka, they were aware that a bigger assignment was awaiting them. South Africa came on a 72-day long tour, where they played three T20s, five ODIs and four Test matches.
India, yet again, could not make an impact in the limited overs formats under the captaincy of Dhoni, losing both the T20s and the ODI series.
Quite amazingly, India bounced in the Test series, trouncing the Proteas 3-0. If rain did not play spoilsport in the second Test match in Bengaluru, the hosts would have gone on to make it a complete whitewash.
As a result of the 3-0 series win, India climbed to the 2nd spot in the current ICC Test rankings, just few points behind South Africa.
This has been a good year for Team India when it comes to the longest format of the game. But they will have to buckle up in the T20s before the start of the ICC World T20 2016, which is set to start in March next year. In the 50-over format, India did not have a great year, even if they did reach the CWC semis, and their New Year will start with a five-match ODI series against the Aussies.