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Retrospection and reflections are many as yet another impressive test season starts to slowly slip by. For a format that was reeling under precariousness and uncertainty, the finesse of Test cricket never really faded away throughout the course of the season. On the contrary, there was a certain poignancy to it that not only separated it from the likes of its newer contemporaries, but also brought home an acute feeling of nostalgia.
There were substantiating debut performances, overhauling of previously long-standing cricketing records that had stood the test of time, and there were a couple of retirements that made every cricketing fan weep for the time that would never come again. Test cricket in 2013 was thus a peculiar blend of old with new, with the latter staying on to entertain, while the former seeped away to remembrances.
Before the year ends though, it’s only fair that the most highlighting of test match performances – batsmen, in this case – be enumerated for one last recollection:
The south-paw from Delhi, debuted in the third test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy held at Mohali, at the start of 2013. Since that time on, Dhawan has made himself indispensable to the Indian cricket team with a style that’s distinctly his own combining self-confidence with a certain arrogance that never fails to put the bowlers on the back-foot. His first test saw him break the previously held record of Gundappa Vishwanath of scoring the highest innings in test debut and made him a cricketing icon overnight with kids emulating his actions of twirling his moustache and opening his hands wide after a successful innings. His name signifies ‘one who’s at the top’ and Shikhar Dhawan is the guy who’s right at the top as far as Indian cricket is concerned.
England may have had a troubled Ashes series in Australia, but Alastair Cook’s batting performances have been integral to the team as ever. Though England lost the fourth test at Melbourne, Cook’s batting efforts saw him become the youngest batsman to make 8,000 runs surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s previously held record. And again, despite England’s whitewash in Australia, Alastair Cook’s batting performances have endured for the entire season even as many of his team-mates have succumbed to the pressure of failing to meet expectations.